During the pandemic, the Property Ministry set our HVAC controls at 50 degrees (winter) and 80 degrees (summer) to avoid heating and cooling empty rooms. Last year, we used 1,260 kWh of electricity, an 87 percent reduction over 2019. The pandemic thermostat settings kept 13,124 pounds of CO2 out of the atmosphere (the equivalent of 14,961 miles driven by the average car) and saved $1,000 on our energy bill. Due to this reduced usage, our solar panels provided all of our electricity on our main building for eight months in 2020.
As we look forward to hosting more indoor activities in the coming months, we know our energy bills will rise. To continue to be wise stewards of our budget and the planet’s resources, the HVAC settings will be reset to 60 degrees (winter) and 80 degrees (summer). Event and meeting coordinators are encouraged to change the setting to whatever is comfortable for their group but then to return the thermostat to its pre-sets by hitting “CANCEL” or “DONE,” depending on the thermostat. Signage will be posted at each thermostat to offer guidance about the change.
If you have questions about our “energy sipper” goal, please contact Property Ministry Chairperson Merrilee Jacobson at 919-274-4539.