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Swarthmore Presbyterian Church Wins EPA Award for Energy Efficiency

Release Date: 10/24/2010
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543, smith.bonnie@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (October 24, 2010) – Swarthmore Presbyterian Church in Swarthmore, Pa. is one of only two congregations nation-wide to receive an EPA Energy Star Congregations Award two years in a row. The award recognizes congregations for saving energy and preventing pollution which helps to reduce climate change. Swarthmore Presbyterian is among nine national winners of EPA’s 2010 Energy Star Small Businesses and Congregations awards.

“Swarthmore Presbyterian has seen very positive results from its energy efficiency efforts, which is an example for other churches and houses of worship to follow,” said EPA’s mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “It’s important for everyone to learn how to be more energy efficient, saving energy and helping to curb climate change.”


Swarthmore Presbyterian Church was constructed in 1896. The first expansion took place in the early 1900s adding a children's Sunday school. Today, a series of buildings is connected in a quadrangle surrounding a central courtyard and totaling 28,000 square-feet.

In 2002, the church had an energy audit by the Interfaith Coalition on Energy in Philadelphia. In 2009, EPA awarded Swarthmore Presbyterian an Energy Star Congregations Award for reducing total energy usage by 40 percent. The 2010 award recognizes Swarthmore Presbyterian’s continued efforts to improve energy efficiency and energy awareness by adding its third 95 percent energy-efficient Energy Star-rated boiler, installing programmable thermostats throughout buildings, and benchmarking its buildings energy usage with the Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool.

By making an energy savings commitment, the church has reduced its energy costs by 54 percent, saving $25,000 annually from a base of $50,000 in 2006.

In addition, the church works to increase environmental and energy awareness of its staff, volunteers and 900-member congregation.

Most congregations can cut energy costs by up to 30 percent by investing strategically in efficient equipment, facility upgrades and maintenance. For more information about Swarthmore Presbyterian’s Energy Star award http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=sb_success.congregations2010_swarthmore.

For more information about Energy Star for Congregations www.energystar.gov/congregations.

Jpeg photos available upon request.