In 2015, Synod resolved to reduce LCA’s impact on the environment including minimising greenhouse gas emissions across all of its areas. The Ark at Salisbury has focused on energy efficiency since early in 2013, initially to try to reduce costs which averaged around $8,500 per year. The annual consumption of energy between 2001 and 2013 averaged 24.3 MWh.
After looking at usage patterns and energy usage for various equipment, a number of opportunities were identified. These related mainly to refrigeration appliances and lighting, as there is a Master Off switch in the church facility which manages all lights and sound desk equipment in the church itself.
Table 1 summarises the costs and savings identified for refrigeration appliances. These savings of more than $2,200 annually are significant! In addition, security lighting and flood lighting replacements contribute savings of more than $1,100 annually (see Table 2). There is also the added benefit of reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2015, the Admin Committee at The Ark also successfully applied for a grant for a solar photovoltaic rooftop system. The solar PV system was installed in August 2016 and has a total capacity of 18.72kW. The PV panels had generated 3.35 MWh for the month of January 2017 alone and a total of 16.86MWh between installation and end of January 2017. This generation of renewable energy has avoided the emission of 13.48 T CO2. It is anticipated that the Solar PV system will generate sufficient electricity to offset the electricity use of the church.