Top 10: What Should I Do In Houses Of Worship Buildings?
Prepared in 2015 by Doug Faulkner and Scott Sklar
- PREPARE (KNOW YOUR BILL): Rates change seasonally and in some areas by time of day. Demand charges and peak power rates for houses of worship are common, and ratchet rates will begin to appear. Forget the ‘combined rate’ for natural gas, fuel oil, propane, and electricity – breakdown your rates, compare your bills by month, seasonally, and by year.
- LIGHTING: Wherever possible use compact fluorescents or the new bundled LEDs – outdoor and stairwell lights, in closets, bathrooms and in lamps. Skylights and daylighting, and windows, glass brick also disperse light. Use lighting timers where possible.
- APPLIANCES: Shop for highest rated appliances particularly refrigerators, window air-conditioners, and office machines. Minimum SEER 10 for air-conditioners. Check out: ENERGY STAR, a government-created program helping businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. www.energystar.gov
- POWER STRIPS: Buy surge protector power strips with “on/off” switches and use them for televisions, stereos, all transformer-based chargers for copiers, cells phones, iPods, cameras, and other electronic devices – parasitic electric loses are now over 10 percent of energy bills. New construction or renovations: add on/off switches to certain room electrical outlets. New construction: add sockets with switches and LED lights.
- FANS (CEILINGS, ATTICS): Ceiling fans are worth every penny (particularly in winter), and attic vent fans save money (primarily in summer). Watch out for closet, bathroom and stove vent fans without timer switches – they cost you money.
- INSULATION and THERMAL BARRIER PAINT: Keep heat in during winter and cooled air in during summer. Reduce attic heat in summer and increase heat in winter. Proper insulation offers fastest payback after lighting investments. Don’t forget double pane and triple pane gas-filled windows when renovating.
- WATER (SPOUTS, SHOWER HEADS, LOW FLO TOILETS, DOWNSPOUT COLLECTION): Heating wasted water costs money as does wasted water – flow restrictors for sinks and showers have fast payback. Bend down the toilet float and buy low-flow toilets when renovating. Note – energy efficient washers use 40% of the water a regular washer uses at its lowest water setting! Buy rain-collector barrels for your gutter downspouts – stops water runoff and lowers your water bill all at the same time.
- SOLAR WATER HEATING: Heating for swimming pools, water in buildings, and even radiators or radiant space heat are all possible and cost effective – paybacks under 5 years – when incorporated in a renovation loan, immediate positive cash flow. Need UNOBSTRUCTED southern exposure. Flat mount on roof. Only buy SRCC certified solar systems (www.srcc.org).. Only use an experienced solar installer – see pictures and call references. MD, DC, VA – MDV-SEIA, E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.mdv-seia.org.
- SOLAR ELECTRIC CONSUMER OPTIONS: Many great consumer products for home, business and garden, which include solar powered: pathway and security lights, porch and driveway lights, attic vent fans, cell phone and iPod chargers, backpacks, electric fences for gardens, window ornaments, trickle chargers for electric lawnmowers, cars, and tools, and the list goes on and on and on ……
- SOLAR ELECTRIC (PHOTOVOLTAICS), SMALL WIND, AND OTHER OPTIONS: What do you want to do? Make a statement? Protect expensive electronic equipment from surges, swells and transients? Provide back-up power for refrigerator, front office, frail/handicapped services, or for communications? Reduce higher costs electric or natural gas rates or heavily-used appliance? Zero out electric bill? Become an energy net producer? Be a high profile technology or environmental consumer?If you want to – Make a statement. Zero out your electric bill? Become an energy net producer? Be a high profile technology or environmental consumer? Purchase a net-metered photovoltaics system – no batteries. Produce more electricity than you use and turn your electric meter backwards – purchase a photovoltaics (pv) or small wind system without storage.If you want to – Protect expensive electronic equipment from surges, swells and transients? Provide back-up power for refrigerator, home office, frail/handicapped person, or for communications? Reduce higher costs electric or natural gas rates or heavy used appliance? Zero out electric bill? Make a statement? Then, purchase a photovoltaics or wind system with a battery bank. The banks have micro-processors that can take in power when there is solar or lower electric rates and then the building can draw on this lower cost power so as to avoid higher electric sub-rates, or provide absolute 100% back-up power for certain critical functions.
In either case, you need an UNOBSTRUCTED southern exposure. Flat mount on roof or ground mount. Only buy UL certified solar system components. Only use an experienced solar installer – see pictures and call references. MD, DC, VA – MDV-SEIA, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.mdv-seia.org.