by Andrew Rudin June 1990
Electric costs are rising. The heat of the summer will make us want to turn on the air conditioning. How can we control cooling costs? Based on experience with congregations in Phoenix and Philadelphia, here are a few suggestions:
1. Make certain your building is on the most advantageous electric rate.
- If your peak use of electricity (when most things are turned on) occurs during your electric utility’s off-peak periods, request off-peak rates lower the cost of electricity.
- Pre-cool each day before the higher on-peak rates take effect. In Philadelphia, this is 8am weekday mornings; weekends and holidays are off-peak all day.
2. Move morning worship earlier in the morning.
3. Reduce the generation of heat inside the building.
- Install lower wattage lighting.
- Turn off all unnecessary inside lights.
- Reduce lighting levels.
- Insulate domestic water heaters and piping.
- Turn off circulators that pump water to hot water taps.
- Minimize appliance use inside air conditioned areas.
- Turn off pilot lights in boilers and furnaces.
- Do not run air hander fans when building is vacant. (The fans add heat to the air.)