Better Lighting Techniques

Many church buildings are not energy efficient – they were built when electricity and gas were cheap. Today, the utility bills of church buildings are a major budget item. Churches can reduce their energy bills by taking small steps every year which, over time, will have a significant impact. Here are ways to save on your electric bills.

  1. Meet with your electrician and ask him for ideas in their industry. Get them to be part of the solution, not just a repairman. While salespeople visit with all kinds of new gadgets, they leave after the work is done but your electrician has a vested interest in ensuring your building is up to code and working efficiently.
  2. Have a meeting with a representative from your electric company.
  3. Find out if you’re on the right billing rate
  4. Ask about rebate programs for installing energy efficient lighting
  5. Ask about deals for other energy efficient equipment for your church kitchen, hot water tank, exit signs, etc.
  6. Change your lighting to energy efficient lamps and bulbs. Many churches use 4 foot T-12 lamps. T-8 lamps are 30% more efficient and 30% brighter; they cost about $5 each. LEDs are the rage but they are still pretty expensive.
  7. Reduce the different types of lighting to two or three. Many churches have up to a dozen different types of lamps and bulbs. You may have to change some fixtures but in the long run, having only 2 or 3 types of lighting will save money. For instance, remove 2×2 fluorescent fixtures and replace them with T-8 2×4 lay-in fixtures. 2 ft U-shape lights are more expensive than long 4 ft tubes.
  8. Replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs (corkscrew bulbs). CFLs come in different types of light, from yellow to bright white so you can get whatever shade you want.
  9. Replace exit signs with LED exit signs which are more efficient and don’t use expensive bulbs. Many old style exit signs use incandescent bulbs which run hot and use up to 50 watts 24/7. New LEDs exit signs use 3 watts – that is immediate savings.

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