Sustainability News from All Saints Church, Howick
“We were very interested to note that our lighting load had the greatest impact on our power usage”. Based on this knowledge from their electricity bill analysis, All Saints took action by replacing incandescent bulbs with efficient compact fluorescents (CFL) or light emitting diode (LED) bulbs as appropriate to the lighting required and upgrading their linear Fluorescents. They had already installed occupancy sensor switches in remote bathrooms to reduce power consumption from lights being left on. For more on lighting [click here] For more on how to analyse your electricity use for one year [click here]
The challenge of heating a large space efficiently is common to a lot of churches. The night store heaters in the main church and radiant heaters in the historic church are old and inefficient by modern standards. With rising electricity costs and Care of Creation motivating them, they were keen to explore alternatives. Far infrared radiant heaters are being considered. For more on heating [click here]
All Saints considered the possibility of generating electricity on their roof. A quotation for installing photovoltaic panels was received. It is not cheap! The cost of a photovoltaic system is like paying your energy bills of the future, up front. Therefore, further cost analysis is required to assess whether or not the investment is worthwhile.
Sustainability News from St Andrew’s, Epsom
St Andrew’s has a history of connecting sustainability with actions through their on-site Guide Garden, their youth involvement with the .350 movement for action on climate change, their recycling and their purchasing of 100% sustainable paper supplies for the office. In 2010 the renovation of the hall and kitchen resulted in reductions in electricity consumption due to the installation of energy efficient compact fluorescent lighting in the hall. The efficiency of the bulbs was further enhanced by the use of special lightshades. A more modern water boiler was installed in the kitchen.
In 2013, after investigating different options, they upgraded their heating in the old church to more efficient long wave (“black”) radiant heaters. Modern long wave heaters are a good option for church heating. They use radiant heat to warm bodies and solid objects rather than trying to heat the large volume of air in the church auditorium. In the Resources section you can read and download the paper, “Radiant Heating for Churches” for more information on the pros and cons of various types of heaters.
St Andrew’s also hosted a presentation by one of the Eco Design Advisors from the Auckland Council. At the meeting parishioners shared their own stories about improving the sustainability of their homes, once again connecting sustainability to practical actions. To find out about how the Diocese and the Auckland Council have worked together to assess Diocese homes [click here].
Sustainability News from Titirangi Local Shared Ministry Unit, St Francis Church, Titirangi
Titirangi “were all intrigued to see how ‘green’ they might be” before inviting the Sustainability Field Worker to assess their buildings and operations at St Francis Church. They were pleased to learn that their upgraded heating, improved insulation and water saving fittings all got the green tick.
In 2007 Titirangi upgraded their heating to efficient Long Wave (Far Infrared) heating. Originally the panels were hung crosswise but later changed as the lengthwise mounting was found to distribute the heat better. They are careful to set the heater time clock to programme the heaters to turn on and off as efficiently as possible. For more on heating options for churches [click here].
The analysis of their electricity bill showed that they spent roughly ⅓ on their winter heating and lighting, ⅓ on their base building load throughout the year, and ⅓ on the fixed component of their bill. The fixed component of your electricity bill is proportionally higher when your total electricity cost is low. This fixed sum (line charges etc.) must be paid no matter how much electricity you save.
One area for action was to upgrade their old fluorescent tubes and fittings and Titirangi have now replaced all of the fluorescent lights in the main church area. If your church has fluorescent tubes that are “fat” (called T12 lamps, 38mm diam.) or flicker when you turn them on, then they should be upgraded to more modern and efficient lamps (called T8 or T5 lamps, 26mm or less) and ballasts. When choosing lamps, select a warm colour lamp for meeting areas. The lighting industry is currently going through a major change to even more efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) fittings and lamps. However linear LED tubes are not yet economic for replacing linear fluorescents. For more on lighting [click here]. For more on how to analyse your electricity use for one year [click here]