Diane Schetky, Chair Green Sanctuary Committee, First Universalist in Rockland, ME, wrote to the Green Sanctuary Program to share “A Happy Story.”
“Last fall our church underwent needed energy saving improvements in response to an earlier audit. We caulked leaky windows, installed window inserts (made by members of the church), two fans in the sanctuary and an energy saving blind for large window at the rear of the sanctuary. We repositioned thermostats and upgraded to an energy efficient industrial strength dishwasher.
The sanctuary became a comfortable 10 degrees warmer during our hard winter as a result of the window treatment and fans. This along with our generous and hardworking window insert makers (AKA the Window Dressers) inspired members of the church to order window inserts for their homes. A total of 210 custom window inserts were made and sold for the cost of materials, alone.
We were astonished to learn that as a result of the energy improvements in the church, that our fuel consumption was down 25 % over last year for the first quarter of this year and we had saved almost $665. The fuel company wanted to know how we’d done it and commented that almost all of their customers’ fuel consumption had gone up over this winter.
The Window Dressers have taken their project to a new level. We are reaching out to churches in the community trying help them replicate out window insert project with a goal of making 1,000 inserts next fall in time for winter. Some of the inserts will be made available to low income families in the community. The inserts are fairly easy to construct with the proper equipment. They consist of wooden frames cut to order covered on both sides with a clear polyolephin shrink film. The barrier stops drafts related to poor-fiting sashes and jambs. Dead air between the film layers acts as an insulator. A compressible foam edge gasket allow for a snug fit into a window frame from the inside and pull tabls allow for easy removal.”
First Universalist in Rockland, ME was accredited as a Green Sanctuary on November 4, 2009. Check out the full list of accredited Green Sanctuaries at the UUA website.