At Faith & the Common Good (FCG), our ongoing commitment is to provide tools and resources that enable faith communities to improve their carbon footprint and be more sustainable in their places of worship. To this end, we look for opportunities and partnerships that further this goal.
For example, along with our DIY Energy Audit Guide, we use the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR® resources, such as the Portfolio Manager software to help faith communities better understand their energy consumption patterns and empower them in making educated decisions on how to become more energy efficient. We are excited about our latest partnership with ENERGY STAR®.
ENERGY STAR® and FCG have partnered up to release an Action Workbook for Congregations. This workbook is intended to serve as a planning guide for clergy, staff, and laypersons who want to increase the energy and water efficiency of their facilities by implementing realistic and cost-effective improvement projects.
“It’s essentially a one-stop-shop to help congregations plan and achieve their energy efficiency objectives from start to finish,” says David Patterson, FCG Energy Coordinator. “This workbook is a useful tool for all levels of expertise, and all project sizes and complexity as it covers the major components of any efficiency project. The workbook itself was developed by the EPA, an incredibly large and well-funded arm of the US government, and contains all of their knowledge, research, and best practices on energy efficiency for places of faith.”
For Stephen Collette, Building Audit Manager, the workbook is an easier conversation to start down the path; “it really helps people in the process of how to move forward. There’s a lot of rationale as to why to get on board, as well as creating an action plan.”
Stephen describes the workbook as having key areas to focus on, that paired with the worksheets in our DIY Energy Audit Guide, “the average faith community can get a lot done.”
He appreciates the straightforward approach of the workbook. “Make a commitment,” he quotes from the guide. “I love the language.
In addition to walking through the property to identify ‘Sure Savers,’ the guide offers an ‘Energy Treasure Hunt,’ where teams walk around their building looking for quick ways to save energy – many of which can add up to big savings and improvements that can be made immediately, and without significant expenditures. The guide suggests that such events have the potential to “strike a positive, optimistic tone,” that can be motivating and educational to employees and volunteers.
Only six pages long, “it’s the checklist that is great; an easy tool to start your process,” Stephen concludes. “The workbook, paired with our DIY Energy Audit is going to strengthen non-professionals’ ability to really make beneficial stewardship decisions.”
**ENERGY STAR® is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency program helping organizations and individuals fight climate change through superior energy efficiency. Learn more at energystar.gov/buildings.