The USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter has partnered with Missouri Interfaith Power & Light to support congregations in our Chapter territory green their houses of worship. Faith-based organizations own and operate over 400,000 buildings in the United States. Implementing sustainable strategies in the operation of their facilities allows congregations of all faiths and denominations to save money, reduce environmental impacts, and exemplify teachings of creation care.
You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure!
Energy Benchmarking for Congregations
Energy benchmarking is the process of measuring how much energy a building consumes and comparing that performance to similar buildings or to past performance. All buildings benefit from energy benchmarking.
Congregations are encouraged to take the 25×20 Energy Benchmarking Pledge! USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Advocacy Committee volunteers are available to assist 25×20 participants that need assistance with benchmarking.
The free, online benchmarking tool ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager has numerous resources to help congregations reduce energy waste, cut energy costs, and steward natural resources.
ENERGY STAR for Congregations Resources
- ENERGY STAR for Congregations Website
- ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Data Collection Worksheet for Worship Facilities
- ENERGY STAR Congregational Success Stories
2015 Greening Your House of Worship Workshop
In February 2015, USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter and Missouri Interfaith Power & Light partnered to host Green Your House of Worship: Building Success for a Better Building and a Better Planet. At this workshop, a pilot for USGBC’s ADVANCE platform, volunteers assisted congregational representatives as they began to create a sustainability action plan for their houses of worship.
The event was covered in Gateway To Sustainability, an article in USGBC+ magazine.
2014 Energy Audits
In 2014, a grant from the national USGBC funded 10 complimentary energy audits for houses of worship. Energy auditors from Microgrid Energy and Ross and Baruzzini conducted audits of the following congregations:
- Congregation Shaare Emeth Creve Coeur, MO
- Grace and Peace Fellowship St. Louis, MO
- Immacolata Catholic Church Richmond Heights, MO
- Lafayette Park United Methodist Church St. Louis, MO
- New Life Community Church East St. Louis, IL
- New Northside Missionary Baptist Church St. Louis, MO
- St. John’s Tower Grove St. Louis, MO
- St. John’s United Church of Christ Chesterfield, MO
- St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Ferguson, MO
- University United Methodist Church University City, MO
Ross & Baruzzini’s Sustainability Team completed a pro-bono energy audit for Grace and Peace Fellowship, a Presbyterian church located in the Loop. Annie Smith, a USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter member and volunteer, wrote about the Sustainability Team’s experience completing the audit on Ross & Baruzzini’s blog. Check out her story here.
The national EdenKeeper Blog posted a three part series of stories about St. John’s Episcopal Church’s experience with their energy audit, written by local blogger and congregation member Jeff McIntire-Strassburg.