10 Ideas Energy and Money Saving Ideas for your Church

This little light of mine, I’m not going to let it shine….

1.  Install Motion Switches in Church Bathrooms. This idea comes from raising three daughters, none of whom could turn off a bathroom light to save their life. I replaced the standard switch with a rotary timer switch they could turn to get up to 45 minutes. GE smarthome products, among others, sell motion sensor switches that replace your regular wall switches. Typically, they can be set to keep the lights on up to 20 minutes at a time.

2.  Get your church out of Hot Water
When was the last time you needed hot water at the church? Exactly. Yet there sits the church hot water heater wasting money. You don’t need it in the bathrooms (and scientifically speaking, you’d burn people’s hands if you turned it up hot enough to actually disinfect something. The only place you might need really hot water is in the kitchen. So do this: replace that heater with an “instant-on” “hot water on demand” style heater. Or, get a much smaller water heater for the kitchen (you probably have a big 40 gallon tank in there now).

3. Go Native
Choose more native plants for your gardens. Choose plants that need less maintenance and water.



4. Plant Shade for the Future
Encourage members and groups to buy and plant shade trees at the church to commemorate special occasions and show their commitment to future members.  Shade Trees Save Money, Benefit the Environment, and Look Pretty!


5. Print Less Paper

Let’s be honest, half the stuff we print for leaders goes into a notebook or folder never to be seen again. Reduce paper and printing consumption at your church by emailing documents. Then project documents at meetings using an LCD projector hooked up to a laptop. Send meeting summaries via email. This is a bit sneaky because your members may print the stuff at home. But maybe not! …and maybe less if you show up projecting the docs on the wall.

6. Provide Recycle Bins on Sunday Morning
7.  Think “Carbon Offset” about your church’s trash
Carbon Offset is the principle of “if you create a problem in one place, make up for it in another.” Yes, your newsletters and annual reports waste paper, energy and printing supplies, but include notes about how the church is conserving resources, include tips for members, etc., and you have created an “offset.”
8.  Reduce Water Consumption
Reduce the waste of water down the drain by reducing the water pressure in your bathroom faucets. There’s a handle on the water line under the sink.
Check the toilet tank for leaking flappers, and to see if your tanks are using too much water to flush (a common finding in older buildings). Installing a new inexpensive valve in the tank can save a lot of water.
9.  Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk, and Caulk the Caulk!
Caulking around leaky old windows saves money on your heating bill. Check each door’s weatherstripping annually during your “annual energy audit” walk around.10. Replace old refrigerators in the church kitchen witha  more energy efficient model.
BTW…when was the last time anyone cleaned the coils of your church frig? Dirty coils make your frig work overtime.

11. BONUS IDEA:   Encourage carpooling to church and meetings. Carpooling will improve attendance, facilitate communication, put people in a place to pastor to each other, and SAVE MONEY. With gas at $4 a gallon right now and RISING, going to church is getting more expensive. In some communities where members live far away from the church, it could become prohibitive.   To encourage carpooling, set aside parking spots next to the main entrance for Car Poolers. Put up signs in those spots to remind people it’s a great idea who’s time has certainly come. 





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