Hillside Church, a Baptist Fellowship
10% carbon reduction
Hillside Church, a Baptist Fellowship, is committed to Creation Care by reducing their carbon emissions through energy saving measures. They worked with North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light, an affiliate of the national network of Interfaith Power & Light, to have an energy savings analysis done by a volunteer auditor and began with upgrading lighting to LED technology. Through this contact they learned about the Cool Congregation program and decided to apply for national certification as a Cool Congregation at the 10% reduction level. Congratulations Hillside!
Longtime Hillside member John Roberts, who during his engineering career designed heating and air conditioning systems for schools and hospitals, wanted to do something about global warming in his retirement. He now volunteers for North Carolina IPL conducting energy audits for houses of worship and did the energy audit and wrote a report suggesting actions that Hillside could take to save energy, reduce carbon emissions, and cut costs.
In John’s own words:
‘Our concerns were high energy bills and a need to reduce our carbon footprint. Our church hosts a preschool, so our energy bills were high. We had many fluorescent fixtures with 2 or 3 lamps. The fixtures were aging with lamps and ballasts burning out. Our utility, Duke Energy, offered a service where they would replace all the fluorescent tubes with LED tubes and remove the ballasts. They replaced 40 W tubes with 12 W LED tubes. The cost was subsidized by 70%. It was professionally done and we have a 5-year warranty on the work. We are also saving substantially on our energy bills, the cost to the church was $3500, with annual savings of $950 in utility bills.
The final results were improved lighting, replacing two outside lights that had burned out years ago, and substantial savings on our church sign lights. We also eliminated all fluorescent ballasts. We saved 18% on our electricity use. Our use of gas increased, but this was mainly due to increased use of the church and weather changes. Our net carbon reduction was about 11%, based on 0.87 pounds of CO2/kwh for North Carolina and 11.7 pounds/therm.
The next step for Hillside is to replace the parking lot lights with LED which involves getting a permit from the city of Chapel Hill. The project estimate is approximately $540 and with estimated savings of $240 a year Hillside could see more savings over time.
A long-term goal is to install solar at Hillside. Duke Energy offers a rebate of $750 for each kW of installed solar capacity. The shingle roofs are currently at the end of their life and need to be replaced soon. A solar installer indicated that a metal roof would be better for installing solar panels than a shingle roof. Currently Hillside is being evaluated for a solar installation by Eagle Solar and Light company.
We do not have an official green team, but the members that worked on the project are:
John Roberts, member, Dina Sit, Church Secretary, Susan Dunn, Chair of Deacons and Rob Tennant, Pastor.’
Learn more about North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light’s emPOWERed – A Comprehensive Energy Program for Congregations. Click here.