The White House Hosts “Greening America’s Congregations through Energy Efficiency”

At the end of 2012, the White House convened diverse faith-based and non-profit leaders to encourage our nation’s houses of worship to take action to reduce their energy use with help from ENERGY STAR. Hosted by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, speakers throughout the day called America’s congregations to promote environmental stewardship through greening their houses of worship.

You too can take action by helping to make your house of worship more energy efficient. Read on to learn what you can do and how EPA can help!

Taking Action

If America’s more than 370,000 houses of worship cut energy use by only 20 percent, together we would save nearly $630 million, cut electricity use by more than 3.6 billion kWh, and prevent more than 2.6 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to the emissions from about 480,000 cars. However, most congregations can cut energy costs by up to 30 percent by investing strategically in efficient equipment, facility upgrades and maintenance. Your congregation can more easily improve the stewardship of your budget’s energy dollars and of the earth by reducing energy waste and energy costs, while protecting the environment.

Apply for White House Recognition

The White House recently announced a first-of-its-kind public recognition opportunity for houses of worship, and you may already be eligible. Recognition will be provided for three milestones:

  • Benchmarking the energy use of a house of worship (available only to congregations who started benchmarking in 2012 and have current weather-normalized source EUI value in Portfolio Manager),
  • Earning EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification,
  • Achieving a 20 percent reduction in energy use (for reductions against a baseline of 2009 or later).

Congregations interested in earning recognition for the first two milestones need not apply; if you are eligible, EPA will contact you directly. However, to earn the third recognition, you will need to submit an application. Details are still being finalized, and applications will be due in late November or early December. Check back at this page in early November for specific application instructions and deadlines.