First Presbyterian Church of Athens wins EPA Recognition

AthensFirstPresbyterianChurch-OhioFirst Presbyterian Church of Athens crossed the finish line in EPA’s 2013 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings. In its fourth year, the competition featured buildings from across the country racing to improve energy efficiency, lower utility costs, and protect health and the environment. Together, competitors cut their energy costs by more than $20 million.

First Presbyterian Church of Athens was formally recognized for placing first in the House of Worship building category. Well done!

First Presbyterian Church of Athens reduced its energy use by 15.6% over the evaluation period and 20% for the past twelve months and prevented 9.2 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the course of the year. Their ENERGY STAR score increased from 39 to 55.

The winner of the competition was Claiborne Elementary in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which reduced its energy use by 46 percent.

From improvements in operations and maintenance to upgrades in equipment and technology, the competitors together reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 130,000 metric tons and saved more than $20 million on utility bills annually. The competitors also prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity used by more than 18,000 homes per year.

“The EPA’s ENERGY STAR National Building Competition helped us save energy, cut our utility bills, and protect the climate,” says Keith Morrow, Chair, Property Committee, of First Presbyterian Church. “The Energy Efficiency Programs of Columbia Gas and AEP-Ohio along with the efforts of the Earth Justice Committee and the commitment of the whole church were instrumental in helping First Presbyterian Church achieve these results,” says Craig Foster, Technical Consultant with Ohio Interfaith Power and Light.

First Presbyterian Church of Athens reduced its energy use through a variety of strategies, including replacing an inefficient gas boiler, upgrading thermostats, replacing incandescent lighting throughout the building and replaced a 40-gallon gas water heater with an on demand gas water heater.

“The impressive results of the fourth-annual National Building Competition are proof positive that any building can take simple steps to improve the energy efficiency of the buildings where we all work, play, and learn,” said Jean Lupinacci, chief of ENERGY STAR for commercial buildings and industrial plants. “All of the participants in the Energy Star National Building Competition are finding more and more ways to cut energy use, saving thousands of dollars and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Congratulations to First Presbyterian Church of Athens for helping to lead the way.”

Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for nearly 20 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year. Thousands of businesses and organizations work with EPA’s ENERGY STAR program and are saving billions of dollars and preventing millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere each year.

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