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Sparks United Methodist Church awarded EPA Energy Star Award Saves $30,000 annually and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 160 tons a year

Release Date: 09/16/2008
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711,

(09/16/08) SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency named the Sparks United Methodist Church in NV one of the 13 winners of the 2008 Energy Star Small Business and Congregation Awards.

This year’s winners are recognized for doing their part to save energy and fight climate change through effective energy management practices and innovative efficiency solutions.

“The Sparks United Methodist Church has done a fantastic job of working toward saving energy and fighting climate change, by using good planning and process to make its buildings more energy efficient and environmental friendly,” said Ben Machol, manager of the Clean Energy and Climate Change Office in the EPA's Pacific Southwest Region. “The continuing work is also to be applauded as the ongoing projects will enhance the church's efforts to decrease it's environmental footprint.”

The church’s gas-fired boilers are in use with controls to efficiently provide energy and supply heat. Energy efficient evaporative cooling was installed for the low-humidity high desert climate. As part of the more recent upgrades, offices are cooled with Energy Star qualified HVAC units, controlled by programmable thermostats.

All 16 exit lights have been replaced with light-emitting diode lights reducing electric consumption by 97 percent per year. All fluorescent light fixtures in the facility were converted to electronic ballasts and new tubes reducing electric consumption by 35 percent per light. Exterior lighting has also undergone a transformation switching from 100 watt incandescent bulbs to 35 watt high-pressure sodium HID bulbs. This represents a 3,322 kWh annual savings.

Another of the church’s ongoing projects is retrofitting single glazed windows to the more efficient dual glazed models. While, recent efforts have focused on upgrading six bathroom areas with dual flush toilets and waterless urinals.

The church has reduced annual electric consumption and is saving nearly $30,000 per year. The congregation has also reduced their water usage by 10 percent or more than 218,000 gallons. In total, this represents a reduction in annual greenhouse gas emissions of over 160 tons, the equivalent of the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of over 19 homes.

Together, the 13 award winning organizations reduced annual carbon dioxide emissions by more than 860 tons, equivalent to the CO2 emissions from the average electricity use of more than 100 homes for one year. The winners also demonstrated that improving energy efficiency is an effective low-cost solution, even in the face of significantly expanded business operations. Financial savings for this year’s winners totaled more than $160,000 in annual energy costs.

Small businesses and congregations can cut utility costs by 25 percent or more without sacrificing features, convenience, style or comfort while making significant contributions to a cleaner environment by strategically managing the energy performance of their facilities.

The other 2008 Energy Star Small Business and Congregation Award winners are:
• Complexions Spa for Beauty & Wellness (Albany, N.Y.)
• Evelyn Hill, Inc. (Liberty Island, N.Y.)
• FXFOWLE (New York, NY);
• Hand Motors (Manchester Center, Vt.)
• Johnson Braund Design Group (Seattle, Wash.)
• Lambert Auto Sales (Claremont, N.H.)
• Long Island Village Realty (Syosset, N.Y.)
• National Benefit Service Center, Inc. dba City Java (Orlando, Fla.)
• Pine Forest Camp (Greely, Pa.)
• Priority Communications (DubBois, Pa.)
• Congregation Or Shalom (Orange, Conn.)
• Dennis Union Church (Dennis, Mass.)

Energy Star was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the Energy Star label can be found on more than 50 different kinds of products, new homes, and commercial and industrial buildings. Products and buildings that have earned the Energy Star designation prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy efficiency specifications set by the government. In 2007 alone, Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved about $16 billion on their energy bills while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 27 million vehicles.

To learn more about the 2008 Energy Star Small Business Award winners and to view the interactive map, visit:

To learn more about the 2008 Energy Star Congregation Award winners and to view the interactive map, visit: