Here are five things you can do.
- Get the right team together. Make sure you have someone with the necessary business acumen on your sustainability team to help assess financial opportunities associated with energy efficiency.
- Understand your energy use. This could be as simple as a spreadsheet for tracking electricity, gas, oil and/or propane use based on utility bills and invoices.
- Schedule an energy audit from NYSERDA. This is available at no cost for eligible faith communities.
- Prioritize your energy reduction plan in this way:
Low-cost, easy fixes: swap out conventional light bulbs for CFLs or LEDs, upgrading exit signs for LED exit signs, and filling holes that allow warm air out or cold air in
Upgrades that will cost some money: lighting upgrades and new efficient Energy Star appliances
Capital improvements: a new boiler, insulation, window replacements
- Go solar. Energy efficiency upgrades prepare your organization for solar or another renewable energy system. By optimizing your use of electricity through steps 1-4, you are able to choose a smaller, correct size system, responsibly utilizing the treasure of your congregation. If you are interested in solar power, contact only those that are certified through the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. Visit the NY-SUN solar website for NY State information on incentives and installers, or simply click here to find a qualified installer.
Even if you can’t install solar or green power on-site, you can explore opportunities to purchase green power through your energy provider. Look at your organization’s electric bill to determine if you are on a residential or commercial electric rate* then, go here to learn more about your options.
Need help? Call us at (315) 256-0078! And don’t forget to check out the other resources here at nyipl.org!
*Some utilities allow religious organizations to be on a residential rate instead of a small commercial rate. Your bill will describe which rate your building(s) have.