Gloria Dei Caring for Creation 2020 Update on Energy Use Reduction Projects

When the COVID-19 shutdown occurred, Gloria Dei locked its doors, turned off the boilers and shut off all unnecessary electricity demands. Beverly Sargent, Director of Finance and Administration, and Clayton Gardner, new-to-GDLC Maintenance Supervisor, quickly noted that we were not seeing energy cost reductions as anticipated and dug in. With the help of a 2017 energy audit, its corresponding 2020 update and the one-on-one support from Mark Ginsbach, Enerchange, they put the following changes into place from October through December 2020.

  1. Reprogrammed air handler fan drives to run on auto mode, allowing the timeclocks to turn off the units during off hours.
  2. Replaced all remaining fluorescent lights with energy-saving LEDs.
  3. Completed a steam trap audit, with repairs and replacement scheduled for 2021.
  4. Performed a boiler tune-up.
  5. Will place a timer on the hot water circulation pump in 2021.

This work is in keeping with our Caring for Creation values. Below are estimated annual energy and cost savings (starting in 2021).

Change# Electric Savings ($) Gas Savings ($) Total Savings ($) CO2 Equiv


1 4,174 2,221 6,395 89,805
2 4,616 0 4,616 22,708
3 0 2,679 2,679 54,217
4 0 674 674 13,677
5 69 226 295 5,314
Totals 8,859 14,659 12,378 185,721
185,721 lbs of CO2 is the amount generated by burning 9,479 gallons of gasoline.


Additionally, Caring for Creation values were discussed extensively during the “Rise, O Church” capital project design phase. “Rise, O Church” began with the decision to renew our sanctuary to allow full access to the altar area for all, properly house a renovated organ with the gathered choir behind it and rebuild it to better facilitate church and community events. The architects and engineers are directed to reuse materials where appropriate in the design, use low-emitting materials and replace in-scope pneumatic controls. Careful deconstruction of the sanctuary space will ensure reuse of materials by others where feasible. Lead and asbestos abatement will be managed. See below for how Gloria Dei incorporated Caring for Creation improvements in its past capital building projects.

Brief history of Caring for Creation (environmental) improvements incorporated into building projects at Gloria Dei

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church intentionally incorporated Caring for Creation (environmental) improvements into each of its recent large capital and smaller projects. The church was built on the existing site in the early 1950s. Heating and cooling systems, insulation, material selection such as lead paint and asbestos tiling, and a variety of interior and exterior opportunities were addressed where feasible during the last 20 years and continue to be addressed in both it’s annual and capital budget decisions.

Starting with the addition of the Gathering Place building in 2002, energy efficiency was addressed by using better R-value rated windows, increased insulation and adding a more efficient separate HVAC system. Integrated energy controls and LED lighting are now part this space. The church made a carefully considered decision to have a slate roof on this building, both for its aesthetics and 100-year life span. In 2013, the broken slate on the 1950s building was replaced and a new gutter system installed. The existing tile was removed from the lower level roofing of the 1960s addition so that rigid insulation could be installed. It was then put back with new tiles added only as needed.

The windows in the Youth Room were replaced with more efficient models and higher R-value insulation was installed over the sanctuary and in the office wing. LED lighting was expanded to more areas of the GDLC complex. And more recently, in 2017, during a major waterproofing project of the Colonial Room and Choir Room, additional structural foundation work was required for stabilization. Steam pipes and traps were replaced to address fugitive energy loss. And this is when GDLC obtained a grant from the Capital Region Watershed District to put in our beautiful rain gardens and control drainage from our parking lot.