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Energy Star for Houses of Worship

Beginning in late 2009 America’s houses of worship can now earn the Energy Star label, joining the nation’s schools, hospitals, hotels, and other facilities in their efforts to fight climate change, save energy and reduce their carbon footprint. EPA’s energy tracking tool, Portfolio Manager, currently allows facilities to track energy use and the associated greenhouse gas emissions, set targets for investment priorities and verify efficiency improvements. Now the estimated 370,000 houses of worship across the United States can use Portfolio Manager to receive an energy performance rating, and the most energy efficient among them can earn the Energy Star label.


Most congregations can cut energy costs by up to 30 percent through low-cost changes and by investing strategically in efficient equipment, facility upgrades, and maintenance. With free, unbiased information and technical support from ENERGY STAR, congregations can not only save money, but improve their stewardship of America’s natural resources.


Most religious traditions teach stewardship of financial and natural resources. With many pressing demands on a congregation’s financial resources, it only makes sense to practice better energy stewardship. Congregations are often also at the forefront of activities that care for the earth. However, congregations frequently lack the time and technical expertise to identify and implement energy saving opportunities.  


Gather the following information:

  • Past 11-12 months utility bills this includes: electric, gas, propane, etc.
  • Gross Floor Area in Square Feet
  • Seating Capacity
  • Number of PCs
  • Number of Commercial Refrigeration/ Freezer Units

Once this information has been gathered use the ENERGY STAR Target Finder (click green button to start), and enter the information gathered above.  When you get to step 3 of the Target Finder select a Target Rating of 75 (minimum qualifying number for ENERGY STAR labeled buildings).  After entering pertinent information click “View Results.” 

The graphic below shows a hypothetical scenario of a results page.  The “Design” column represents the results for the information entered for your building.  The “Target” column demonstrates where a building needs to be in order to become ENERGY STAR labeled.  “Average Building” represents the average building in America.

Energy Star Target Finder

If you achieve an Energy Performance Rating of 75 you are eligible to receive the ENERGY STAR Label.  Currently there are only 2 labeled buildings in the US, and 0 in Illinois. Please contact MWE2 and we will help you navigate the next steps, which include setting up your own account on EPA Portfolio Manager, and to schedule the verifications required by the EPA.  If you find your building does not reach the target rating we will be willing to consult on measures that would improve that metric, and a great place to start is our free resource “Guidelines to Building an Energy Management Strategy”.

MWE2 is a proud ENERGY STAR partner and provides assistance to help businesses implement a comprehensive energy management strategy. For further information, please contact Kyle Dunn, PE at 630-219-1615 or to take advantage of this new opportunity; it is more affordable than you think. 

Energy Star Partner