How Much Is Energy Typically Used By Churches?

Churches are sometimes highly expensive to maintain when it comes to heat and power because of their size and open interior. Many of the concerns that locals have are going to be covered in this article, along with solutions.

When evaluating a church’s energy use, a variety of variables need to be taken into account, including the frequency of events, the spatial features of the facilities used, and the efficiency programs each church has put in place.

Church size and usage

A typical church might be much larger than 400 m2.In one instance, we looked at a church in Oxford that was around 416 m2 in size; the entire floor space frequently needed to be heated with electric heat and illuminated with extremely inefficient lighting sources.

More than one worship service is frequently held at churches each week. The majority of churches frequently need to host numerous community gatherings, catering occasions, weddings, christenings, and conventional worship sessions.

The typical monthly use might equal 16 hours with just one service per week and church gatherings. This might result in an extra 26 hours of power use each month for community purposes and routine choir practice.

The entire length of time the power has to be on and the amount of time the electricity is consumed might keep increasing as long as administration officials, who work in that capacity full-time, as well as any catering and events, do not stop.

Energy Use

The cost of electricity will undoubtedly vary depending on the overall number of pieces of equipment and the physical size of each church. The church we visited utilized between 22,000 and 30,000 kWh of power in total, which is around 9–10 times more than the average family uses.

On average, based on the use of 26,000 kWh, the price per kWh in the present energy environment is roughly 11p, translating to an electricity bill of about £2,860.

Church Energy Efficiency Improvements

Given their high volume of usage, churches may save a significant amount of energy with a few simple changes.

The problem with many churches in the UK is that they are very ancient structures and frequently have outdated fixtures, insulation, and other things that are not easily updated since doing so may be expensive for the church and could occasionally detract from the atmosphere inside the building.

Churches all around the country have utilized a variety of effective strategies, some of which are listed below. But apart from energy-efficient strategies, you can also make savings by finding the best deals on church utility prices, so make sure to keep that in mind.

Lighting replacement

LED lighting may frequently result in significant cost savings when replacing lights like fluorescent bulbs and incandescent lamps.

For the purpose of more effectively illuminating the whole sanctuary, many houses of worship are updating their lighting systems.

Since many of the larger churches in the UK have events, office space, practice rooms, and reception halls, lighting can be a rather expensive expense in a church. Therefore, upgrading to LED lighting is a great decision.

For immediate savings on any sort of lighting, the most recent LED fixtures sometimes utilize up to 40% less electricity. There are several retrofit options, including LED spotlights and replacement fluorescent tubes. The fixtures often don’t differ in appearance from some of the modern lighting fixtures you could find in a slightly older church.

Modified heating systems

Electric heaters used by churches are frequently extremely inefficient, particularly if the heaters are older models.

Most of the churches contain 12 wall-mounted heaters, some of which are plug-in electric heaters and others are biweekly storage heaters.

Since the whole sanctuary needed to be heated with electrical heat, there were several inefficient areas all over the place, forcing many of the electric heaters to turn on and off often in order to maintain the desired temperature.

Setting up a gas central heating system

Even a geothermal heat pump installed via flooring can contribute to a long-term decrease in system costs and an improvement in the heating system.

Making enhancements for this church and providing a reliable heating solution throughout time were made possible by improving electrical heating and employing additional gas sources.

Ventilation, Space Heating, and Air Conditioning

Churches require a lot of energy, especially for heating and cooling systems. Your congregation’s comfort levels could increase while energy costs are reduced by replacing the heating and cooling systems.

To avoid energy loss and preserve comfort, simply caulk and weather-strip windows and doors and replace them every few years. To retain warm or cold air within the building once sealing has been completed, add insulation.

When it’s summer, keep the shutters and drapes closed during the day. Retain your drapes and shutters closed at night during the winter to retain the warm air inside.

To lessen the demand for the heating and cooling system while no one is home, use programmable thermostats.

Set up routine maintenance appointments for boilers, furnaces, and air conditioners to make sure everything is operating properly. Consider investing in thermal curtains to lessen winter heat loss and summer heat gain.

Whenever an area is not in use, turn off the lights

Low-cost lighting control may be achieved by installing motion sensors in bathrooms, and other rarely used spaces. Restrooms, store rooms, conference rooms, and break rooms are spaces where occupancy sensors can be installed with good results.

Compare it to other churches

A typical metric for comparing the energy usage of different-sized buildings is called Energy Use Intensity (EUI).

Add up your annual electric and natural gas expenses, divide by the square footage of your building, and use the results to get the EUI for the facilities used by your congregation.

You are utilizing fewer resources, and the majority of your value is lower than those from the table below.

Average EUI for Churches Electricity Natural Gas

4.5 kWh/square foot0.4 therms/square foot

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You must take note of the methods described in this article if you wish to be more responsible and lower your church’s energy costs.

You may drastically lower the costs associated with your church’s energy use by adopting energy-saving practices, implementing energy-efficient equipment, and shopping around for a better energy bargain using Utility Bidder.

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