Renewable Energy Projects
UUAA Renewable Energy Info
Our 7th Unitarian Universalist Principle says that we affirm and promote "respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part."
Energy Saving Projects
Our Green Building Committee has been steadily increasing the energy efficiency of the UUAA building.
In March, 2017, a group of volunteers replaced 220 old T8 fluorescent lamps with a fewer NEW L.E.D. lamps. The replacement project was funder with savings from the 24 solar panels added to the church roof in 2015 (now a total of 72 panels) The new lighting is estimated to save an average of 90 kWh per year per lamp (46 watts per fixture, each operating an average of 5 – 6 hrs per day). The entire cost of the new LED lamp is recovered in less than one year. New savings from the new LED’s are tabulated on the monthly DTE bills – and savings used to complete more fluorescent lamp replacements.
Energy Production: Our Wind Turbine and Solar Panels
In 2002 a discussion started about installing a wind turbine as our church's "steeple"-- a visible symbol of our congregation's commitment to caring for our environment.
That conversation led to a blustery day in November, 2003, when congregants Dave Friedrichs, John Wakeman and Dick Brown erected a guy-wired 100' anemometer tower to measure wind energy across a high point on the church's property to evaluate the feasibility of a wind turbine on our property.
Eight years later, in December 2011, elements from that 2003 project could still be seen--but now incorporated into our 2.5 kilowatt wind turbine spinning atop its 90 foot monopole.
Our renewable energy vision expanded along the way -- As solar energy became less expensive and more efficient, we modified our project to include solar panels installed on the south church roof, representing 10,800 watts of energy.
In December, 2011 a stand alone tracking solar array was added to the energy mix, providing more directed collection of energy from the sun.
All of our UUAA energy production can be monitored on the renewable energy data page of this web site. Congregant Don Winsor provided us with monitoring software and ably maintains this information for us.
Our renewable energy projects were largely funded by individual donors. The solar component allowed the congregation to take advantage of DTE's Solar Currents incentive program, generating more than $20,000 for the solar panel installation.
To pay tribute to the many donors to these energy projects, we created an "Energy Plaza" in front of the church. It is paved with tiles inscripted with many interesting quotes, memorials and dedications selected by the donors.
May we each find some quiet time on a sunny and breezy day to enjoy the remembrances and manifestations of the energy plaza and its surroundings. In that space, a much broader circle is drawn. The area welcomes and remembers so many thoughtful and energetic people (and some UU heritage as well). A sincere thank you to all donors for their stewardship and for helping sustain good spirits.
We are lowering our carbon footprint and raising our environmental consciousness.