All Saints Parish of Brookline, MA, is practicing stewardship of the earth’s resources while saving nearly $5,000 a year on its utility bills, despite an increase in operating hours since the upgrade. In addition to religious worship, the congregation uses its space for daycare, public assemblies, and educational activities. All Saints frequently participates with other religious organizations and groups, and is a member of the Massachusetts Interfaith Power and Light (MIP&L). MIP&L is a non-profit initiative that helps Massachusetts congregations of every religious tradition reduce energy consumption, lower operating costs, and promote non-polluting, renewable energy in houses of worship and related buildings. To increase the energy efficiency of their facility, All Saints installed a relatively comprehensive upgrade. First, their local utility NStar provided an energy audit and installed energy-efficient replacement fixtures including T-8 fluorescent lamps with electronic ballasts.
The Congregation replaced their 30-year-old steam boiler with a high-efficiency gas-fired condensing mode hot-water boiler and hydronic-heating system. They also replaced all of their steam radiators with more efficient units designed for hot water systems. The system was then divided into nine heating zones, each with its own in-space programmable thermostat and a central digital controller for the heating plant. The Congregation’s staff has also initiated utility purchasing strategies to reduce natural gas costs, and is purchasing green power generated from 100 percent renewable resources. All Saints has received public recognition from the Boston Globe and the “Green Energy Congregation Award” from Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light. Their combined effort has resulted in gas savings of 6,800 therms, and is preventing nearly 79,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution per year. Thomas Nutt-Powell, parishioner and member of All Saints’ Property Committee, encourages other congregations to implement energy-efficiency practices. “We have learned that you can ‘do well by doing good’ since upgrades save money while they save the earth,” said Nutt-Powell. “We hope other congregations will see the long-term financial wisdom of energy efficiency...and will begin to make their energy decisions in light of their faith,” he added.
CIPL’s basic goal is to educate the state’s 50,000 congregations regarding climate change, and mitigating actions. CIPL operates the leading U.S. interfaith aggregated purchasing program, and works with ENERGY STAR on continued expansion from initial 2002-2003 purchases of CFLs and LED exit signs (achieved 30-50% discounts from average retail prices), and to establish a standard calculation/reporting methodology for all state IP&L groups to voluntarily share purchasing information with ENERGY STAR.