Tricks Of The Trade: Energy Management For Churches

By James C. Elledge, IFMA Fellow, CFM, FMA, RPA, RIAQM
Published in the January 2011 issue of Today’s Facility Manager

Q Our frequently used facility, a church and school, is 100,000 square feet. It is all electric. Our last bill was $15,000 for the month (whereas an average month is $13,000). We use heat pumps and variable air velocity units for our heating and cooling. Could someone evaluate our power usage and help us conserve?

Jerry Rockett
Facility Manager
East Cooper Baptist Church
Mount Pleasant, SC

A Energy usage is one of the biggest operating expenses for any facility. One of the first things I would suggest is to set up a meeting with your electric utility. You should be able to review a record of your usage for the past two years and analyze it according to available rate plans. Make sure you’re getting the lowest plan applicable to your service type. The utility may also be able to help you create an energy schedule and planning guide to fine tune your operations.

If no resources are available from the utility, then an energy management consultant can be contacted for assistance. There may even be someone in your congregation who could provide the service or make a recommendation.

You could also check out the Interfaith Coalition on Energy (ICE) or Yahoo’s group for Church Business Administrators.

All questions have been submitted via the “Ask TheExpert” portion of the magazine’s Web site. To pose a question, visit this link.