Advice for Congregations Interested in Energy Transition

The webinar Tools to Guide Congregations and Communities Through the Energy Transition was co-hosted on October 15th by the Security and Sustainability Forum and the Parliament of the World’s Religions. 

Attendees tuned into a lively discussion which featured the participation of Elisabeth Graffy, Professor of Practice, School for the Future of Innovation in Society, at Arizona State University, Jerry Lawson, National Manager, ENERGY STAR for Congregations, EPA and Thayer Tomlinson, Program Manager, Energy & Security Group.

Elisabeth Graffy, founder of the Sustainability Education and Energy Knowledge-sharing (SEEK) Project, and Jerry Lawson, National Manager of Energy Star for Congregations at the EPA, provided several pieces of advice for congregations beginning their energy transition.

  1. Advice for Congregations Interested in Energy Transition

1. Use EPA’s Portfolio Manager to benchmark your congregation’s energy use. Portfolio Manager is EPA’s free, powerful, online tool to help congregations understand and better manage their use and the costs of energy and water. 
2. Focus on facilities. Buildings and plants use a lot of energy, but they don’t have to. The average building wastes 30 percent of the energy it consumes because of inefficiencies.
3. Work with the SEEK Project to benchmark, audit, and create an action plan for your energy transition. It’s a free service!
4. Don’t fret if your benchmarking exercise puts you in a lower tier compared to other congregations. Some of the biggest reductions in energy use can be achieved for little or no cost.
5. Explore products that have the EPA’s Energy Star label.

Why are faith and spiritual communities doing this anyway?!

• Savings repurposed to the ministry and mission
• Extends the useful lifespan of facility and equipment
• Increases the asset value of facility
• Improves credit-worthiness for financing new construction or remodeling
• Improves comfort, functionality and appearance of worship facility

Watch the webinar recording here for additional information from these experts.



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