370,000 American houses of worship can now earn Energy Star label
Featuring big rooms with high ceilings and strong drafts, churches are not generally known for their energy efficiency. But that may be a thing of the past as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has now extended its Energy Star ratings to American houses of worship. Joining the nation’s schools, hospitals, hotels, and other facilities in their efforts to fight climate change, save energy and reduce their carbon footprint, American churches can now earn the coveted Energy Star label.
Via the EPA's Energy Star for Congregations, the estimated 370,000 American houses of worship can now access EPA’s energy tracking tool, Portfolio Manager, which allows facilities to track energy use and the associated greenhouse gas emissions, set targets for investment priorities and verify efficiency improvements.
Access to the Portfolio Manager means churches can receive an energy performance rating, and the most energy efficient among them can earn the Energy Star label.
According to the EPA, worship facilities in the United States spend more than $3 billion annually on energy costs. Improving the energy efficiency of America’s houses of worship by just 10 percent would save nearly 2 billion kilowatt-hours each year, preventing more than 1 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and representing a cost savings of about $315 million annually.
Most congregations can cut energy costs by up to 30% by investing strategically in efficient equipment, facility upgrades and maintenance, according to the EPA.
Image via Fabian Bromann