St. Stephen’s United Church in Qualicum Beach is an environmentally friendly place of worship.
It just completed its Greening Project that will reduce its carbon footprint. It cost close to $40,000, with $25,000 funding coming from the United Church of Canada and through the fundraising initiatives by St. Stephen’s.
The project is part of the nationwide initiative of the United Church of Canada’s Faithful Footprints that is geared towards addressing climate change and reducing its churches’ carbon emissions 80 per cent by 2050.
The goal at St. Stephen’ss goal is to cut greenhouse emissions by 25 per cent and reduce utility costs by $1,800 annually. They are set to achieve their objective through installation of a new heat pump, conversion of all lighting to LED, replacement of an old freezer to an energy star rated one, and replacement of a natural gas hot water tank with a new energy star rated one.
These changes, according to Chris Lemphers of the Green Project, have resulted in a net reduction of electric energy use of 2745kWh equating to energy cost savings of approximately $2674.
“We wanted a place of worship that was comfortable in winter and summer,” said Lemphers. “All this was to be accomplished with the overarching recognition of being good stewards of creation.”
Other amendments to the church include reduction in annual natural gas usage through elimination of one old furnace, installing energy star rated windows, replacement of old natural gas hot water tank with an energy star tank, attic insulation upgrade and weather stripping and caulking of external doors and windows. Lemphers said these have led to a net reduction of 171.2 gigajoules.
The grant application through Faithfull Footprints for the bulk of the costs was facilitated by Andy Gilman. The funding helped cover the bulk of the cost said Lemphers.
“Future projects could include replacing another old furnace with a heat pump and perhaps even solar panels on the church roof,” Lemphers added.