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Growing Church Sings Praises of Energy Efficiency Consulting

Improving efficiency of extension and current building

By: | June 30, 2014 4:39 pm

Feeling the warmth of fellowship is important for any place of worship. And it is especially important for a growing church that must balance the demand for more space, user comfort and long-term energy expenses.

In any non-profit organization, every dollar matters. And when the Building Committee at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Mankato, MN decided to add on to their 1960s structure to answer to a growing membership, they knew they needed to take on a long-term approach for their planning. And that meant considering the energy efficiency of the extension and current building. So they reached out for Energy Efficiency Consulting.

First steps revealed plenty of opportunities

To start, the church received an ASHRAE Level 1 Assessment as part of Xcel Energy’s Turn Key Services. The audit includes:

  • Assessment of building energy systems
  • Building energy benchmarks to establish and measure against other similar structures
  • High-level definition of energy system optimization opportunities
  • Outline of applicable incentive programs

This renovation had extra help

The assessment of the church and planned expansion revealed a wide variety of energy-saving opportunities. Because of the high level of involvement from Xcel Energy’s Turn Key implementation specialist, the church felt confident in having this person handle the contractors and paperwork required for rebates. This helped save time and hassles for the church. So this relationship went well beyond energy efficiency consulting to more of a “get it done” partnership.

So what got done?

A variety of items were involved with this project including upgrades to cooling equipment, motors, variable frequency drives, dishwashers, and vending machine controls. Plus, lighting efficiency improvements that are near completion are expected to provide the church with additional savings.

The results by the numbers


Xcel Energy Rebates:   $8,375

Turn Key Bonus Rebates:   $2,040

Total Rebate:   $10,415

Estimated Annual Electric Cost Savings:   $2,721

Kilowatt Hours Saved:   22,195

Why Turn Key Services?

As Marcia Nagel,Building committee member of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church stated, “Xcel Energy thought of everything and we took them up on nearly all the recommendations — and are now glad we did. This is a great program for businesses looking to save money.”

Read the Case Study about Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Lean more about Turn Key Services


A self-professed energy nerd, Paul loves to explore how technology trends are bringing convenience and surprising benefits to our lives.

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