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October 13, 2015 | 30th Tishrei 5776
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Energy Audit

Energy Meter 
An energy audit is the first step in understanding the current energy consumption in the synagogue facility (or home) and how to improve upon its efficiency. Energy audits can be conducted by professional engineers and participating local utility companies; or you (and members of the congregation) can do it yourselves.

Doing a Green Audit (reprinted from the Fall 2008 NATA Journal)
To assess the impact of your environmental programs and policies, you must first audit your congregation’s operations. By measuring and understanding your current practices, you can best target the areas of waste to most effectively reduce your environmental impact. Once you establish a baseline, you can work with synagogue staff and administrators to implement policies and procedures to enhance or supplement current practices. Download the NATA Energy Audit Guide, including some bonus greening tips, presented here with permission from NATA.

Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. Congregations can join the Energy Star for Congregations program, which offers information and technical support to help conduct an energy audit and then implement its recommendations. Energy Star also offers tips on its website regarding how to conduct a do-it-yourself energy audit as well as where to find a professional to help with your audit.

The Regeneration Project is an interfaith power and light (IPL) group committed to “deepening the connection between ecology and faith.” It provides specific information about state and local options, including a free energy audit.

The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) provides information on “Hiddur Mishkan - Construction, Choices, Energy Use & Audits

Here are some other additional energy saving suggestions from

  • Insulate your water heater and turn the thermostat down to 120 degrees – save 1500 lbs of CO2 and $70 per year.
  • Plant a tree – trees suck up CO2 and provide oxygen for us to breath – save 2,000 lbs of CO2 per year.
  • Talk to your administrator about buying recycled paper and products with less packaging – save 1,000 lbs of CO2 a year.
  • Change your synagogue's AC filter – save 350 lbs of CO2 and $150 per year.
  • Raise money to replace old appliances – the older an appliance is, the less energy-efficient it is and the more pollution it emits.

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