The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has unveiled a new measurement and recognition system for churches similar to one that is used for hotels, commercial buildings and other structures.
The Energy Star rating system utilizes a data collection and measurement system known as Portfolio Manager to store and evaluate energy usage data. Energy Star Portfolio Manager provides a platform to track energy and water use trends as compared with the costs of these resources. To date, nearly 16,000 buildings nationally have been labeled with Energy Star plaques. Currently over 45 percent of the American Public recognizes the Energy Star label and the number is growing. More than 120,000 Americans live in Energy Star labeled homes and over a billion products have been purchased that carry the Energy Star label.
There exist many large opportunities for congregations to save money and earn the Energy Star rating, including improvements to the building envelope, lighting and lighting controls, heat and air conditioning, and use of energy efficient appliances, commercial food service equipment, and office equipment.
With the current population of churches nationally totaling over 325,000, participation in the EPA's Energy Star program offers a tremendous opportunity for congregations to have a significant impact on energy consumption, thus preventing the generation of millions of tons of carbon dioxide and other pollutants and, more importantly, preserving God’s creation for decades to come.
For information on the EPA's program, visit their webpage.