Property Care Committee
Mike Flamang, Chair
Our new Parish Hall RE wing has given us four years of low maintenance service. Starting this year, the property care includes climbing maintenance costs. New to us this year were significant expenditures for replacing many of the backup batteries that power the unseen micro-processors in our alarm systems and elsewhere. We also spend more time and money repairing door hardware that we had previously taken for granted.
With the new addition, our church floor area grew by about 63% and the heating energy consumption is up about 11%. Looking forward, with the Green Sanctuary group, the PC committee began to study ways to save energy and use our building more efficiently.
In the summer of 2008, Belmont Municipal Electric Department modernized its billing schedule. The church was put on a rate schedule that charges not only for the energy used each month, measured in kilowatt-hours. The church now pays a “demand charge” for electrical power. Demand is measured in kilowatts and it is the highest load that the church requires from the utility for any 15-minute period, anytime during the month.
The church has many electrical loads. Many come on automatically when needed; water heaters, water coolers, refrigerators, air compressors and furnace fans, some never go off; circulating pumps and power supplies for telephones and alarm systems. The measured monthly demand never goes below 10 kW. This means that, on the slowest month of the year, for some 15-minute time period during that month, the church would have required 10,000 watts of power from the utility. The charge for each kW of demand is $11.00 per month. For that quiet month, on our electric bill, our demand charges would be $110.
Another line on the bill is the energy charge. These kilowatt-hours are measured separately by the electric meter. The church’s energy cost is 15.16 cents per kWh. A 30-day month has 720 hours. Completing the calculation for our quiet month, 10 kW X 720 hours X $0.1516 = $ 1091.
There are a few appliances, “power-users” in the church that will always be expensive to operate. They should never be switched on indiscriminately. The Parish Hall air conditioner represents 30 kW of demand. The first time this air conditioner is put on every month, the church pays $330. The Upper Hall air conditioner demands 10 kW. The Parish Hall recessed lighting, 22 individual 500 watt lights, turned to their brightest setting requires 11,000 watts, a $121 demand charge. For July 2008, the church’s electrical bill was $2,448 including a demand charge of $589. Before the rate increase, the bill would have been $1,527.
The PC Committee is working to keep this equipment operating well to support our church programs. Wise use of the facilities benefits the church budget and the church’s energy footprint.