More Ways to Cut the Church’s Utility Budget

Here in the “Green Jesus” category of, I’ve been posting ideas to cut the church energy budget. Here are two low-cost gadgets and a description of LED lights that can start saving your church money now.

Thermal Leak Detector

Where’s your expensive heat leaking to?
Where’s is cold-air infiltrating into your church?
A $40 thermal leak detector could save you hundreds of dollars. Google it or go to amazon.


Attach this $30 device to your outlet and find out how much money your church copier or computers are costing you in the middle of the night when nobody is using them. Then, replace standard surge protectors and powerstrips connected to your appliances and electronics with AUTO SHUT OFF powerstrip/protectors. These “smart strips” detect when your device is turned off and cut the standby” electricity still going to the device (known as phantom power).

It is estimated that 5% of a typical household’s energy bill is lost to standby power, aka, “phantom power”. In the church office it is likely much higher. If your church is spending $200 a month on electricity, then an investment in these devices could pay back in a matter of months. AND you can be an example to the congregation. Google smart powerstrips/protectors or see them at your local hardware.


After you buy the two monitoring devices for your church, LEND THEM to your members. Not only can they save money, but it can raise awareness of how we can be better stewards of the resources God has given us, including the money we waste on utilities (that could go to mission, for example).

GO L.E.D. instead of Fluorescent

LED lights are light emitting diodes and are found either as single diodes, such as in a flashlight, or as a cluster of diodes to create a light bulb. Fluorescent lighting comes in two primary types: tube lighting and CFL (compact fluorescent lighting).

Their long lifespan and low energy consumption makes them a natural for church and home use, especially in high use locations.

———-Break for a quick advertisement!————–


LED Lifespan

LED bulbs can last upwards SIX TIMES LONGER than a fluorescent bulb. LED can last 60,000 hours before needing to be replaced. Fluorescent lighting, particularly CFL bulbs, can last around 10,000 hours before needing to be replaced. You would have to replace the average CFL bulb 6 times to equal the lifespan of one LED light bulb.

LED Energy Consumption

LED light bulbs use about half the wattage of fluorescent lighting, about 6 watts of power versus 14 watts of power for a CFL light bulb. For an LED bulb’s lifespan, about 340 kilowatt hours of electricity is used. CFL bulbs used over 60,000 hours (6 bulbs) will use around 840 kilowatt hours of electricity, according to the website Product Dose which compared different light bulb energy specifications.

Example of what an LED replacement 'tube' for fluorescent looks like.

Initial switchover costs are higher, but the savings are realized over the lifespan of the product, and faster in areas that have high wattage costs. And as more people use LED lighting, product costs will come down even further.  Why shouldn’t churches “L.E.D. the way” ?

Posted by Neil MacQueen
in “Green Jesus”
…part of the website.


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1 Response to More Ways to Cut the Church’s Utility Budget

  1. H Tollefson says:

    Electrodless induction flourescent lighting can replace HID (Metal Halide, Mercury Vapor) outdoor lighting and even some interior lighting. Induction lights produce 90 lumens per wat compare to 50 lumens per watt with LEDs. When comparing parking lot lights a 100w Induction provides 48% more lumens than a 135w LED. Both light sources have about the life 80-100k hours so there is no need to change a bulb for at least 20 years. The induction lights upfront cost is about 40% less than LED. My church will be looking at this technology to replace parking lot & several exterior lights in the next year.

    We will also be looking at T5 relamping or retrofit assemblies to replace T12 bulbs currently in use. Hopefully this will let us remove lamps because the T5 bulb put significantly more light than higher wattage T12 or T8.
    Thank you for a good website that introduces lay leadership to energy saving & tech in a way that will free up funds by reducing building & grounds spending.

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