EnergyStar Congregations is a federal DOE/EPA program to help congregations reduce their energy use. In 2002, the EPA gave ICE a national award saying, ICE is “one of the oldest, if not the oldest, operating interfaith energy-environmental organization on the national scene, and remains a leading national advocate for congregational energy conservation and improved energy efficiency.”
They granted ICE this award even though in 1996 we strongly criticized the EPA about their unrealistic standards for awarding EnergyStar ratings based on faulty data. They suspended that program. In that same article we criticized the EPA for unrealistic rules about asbestos and radon, which continue to this day.
Now, they are at it again with their “Energy Star Congregations” program. To us, it seems that they have never spent much time actually analyzing houses of worship, whereas ICE has analyzed hundreds of them.
For example, here is part of their list of “Sure Energy Savers” with our comments in bold:
- Use fans when a room/area is occupied. Moving air makes people feel cooler during the heating season.
- “Tune-up” your heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) system with an annual maintenance contract. We don’t like fixed-price service contracts because your congregation ends up betting against itself.