Building Management (part 3 of 7)

Energy savings and energy-efficient systems

  • Lighting
    • Most buildings have 4-foot fluorescent lamps – change T-12 lamps to T-5s (and in a few years, once the price has come down, to LEDs).
    • In drop ceilings, remove 2×2 fluorescent fixtures and replace them with 2×4 lay-in fixtures with T-5s.
    • T-5s are 50% brighter and are 50% more energy-efficient than T-12s which saves money and helps the environment.
    • Reducing the different types of lamps reduces the amount of inventory needed on the shelf.
  • HVAC Equipment
    • Over time this very, very expensive equipment will need to be replaced. In the past few years, the industry (at government prodding) has developed machines which are far more energy-efficient than ones from decades past.
    • These energy-efficient pieces come with a price, sometimes twice the cost of less efficient ones. A truly efficient HVAC piece will have a payback period of 7 years or less. Talk with the vendor to see studies about the ROI (return on investment) time period.
    • Energy is only going to get more expensive over the next several decades. A wise church will make an investment today in energy-efficient equipment so that they’ll pay less in fuel over the 20-30 year lifespan of the machine.
  • Here are ways to make this happen financially:
    • Pay for the work from two fiscal years by having the work done at the end of one fiscal year but billed in consecutive months across fiscal years.
    • Pay for the work out of two separate budget lines: the maintenance budget and the utilities budget. Since the utilities expense will be less, it is reasonable for the utilities to absorb some of the initial cost knowing that in subsequent years there will be cost savings.
    • Use funds left over at the end of a fiscal year, which can and should be put back into the facilities of the church. (see “capital-ize”section)
    • Do both of the above, paying out of two fiscal years and two budget lines. That spreads the expense.
    • Continue the above approach until all projects are done.

Lead On!