First English Lutheran Church
First English Lutheran Church has been in the creation care business for the past 20 years. Combining economic and environmental concerns, this inner-city congregation uses energy savings to meet their limited church budget. John Fetters, consultant and congregational member, has been a member of First English Lutheran for 42 years. He says, "The congregation realizes that we are still a viable congregation due, in part, to paying attention to environmental stewardship in practical ways and using simple energy management techniques, such as turning off lights and setting back thermostats."
While the church lives in an economically depressed area of Columbus, they offer a sign of hope by caring for that very environment with their energy stewardship. Their youth have helped with neighborhood cleanup campaigns and they have recycled cans and bottles. Not only do they practice the simple acts of controlling lights and thermostats, they have installed full energy-efficient lighting throughout the church including LED exit signs, lighting controls, and special large compact fluorescents for the sanctuary lanterns. Other purchases and installations of the church have included a waterless urinal, energy efficiency HVAC units, and EPA Energy Star approved equipment. Also, First English Lutheran recycles aluminum, cardboard, and paper (in addition to purchasing recycled paper). The church budget is augmented by the small profits from recycling aluminum cans brought in by members and friends.
The church has built up a good system of energy management over the years, so that by now they have reduced the amount of energy used in the church by 60 percent. Fetters continuously monitors energy use to keep the environmental programs on track. Future plans include low-flush toilets to limit water use and, to further control energy costs, sub-metering of electric use by their non-profit mission partners who share space in the building.
Fetters says that, “First English is in the city for good and takes seriously the biblical charge to tend God’s garden, wherever you are.”
Contact Person: John Fetters
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Energy-saving lighting at First English Lutheran Church