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."SouthviewWithSolarPanelsThe south view of our building shows the solar panels over the social hall and our wind turbine "steeple".

 

 

Energy Saving Projects

Our Green Building Committee has been steadily increasing the energy efficiency of the UUAA building.

LED BobH Office smIn 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.

Suggestions and initiatives involving energy improvements are always welcome- contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

 

Energy Production: Our Wind Turbine and Solar Panels

 

From November 2010 through January 2018:

  • Our total electrical energy production was 136 megawatt hours
  • Our total savings on our DTE electric bills surpassed $30,000
  • And our total atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions avoided was 116 tons

 

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. Nine years later, in December 2011, after much discussion and fundraising, that vision became a reality with the installation of our 2.5 kilowatt wind turbine spinning atop its 90 foot monopole.

Turbine350Our wind turbine is an outward sign of our commitment to respect our environment.

 

Technologies changed and 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 roof over our sanctuary. We have added panels over the years and now have 72 rooftop panels representing 700 watts of energy.

 solar panelsRoofscapeThis roofscape view of UUAA shows our solar panel array (2017).

 

In December, 2011 a stand alone tracking solar array was added to the energy mix, providing more directed collection of energy from the sun.

WattsunTracker350Our Wattsun Solar Tracker rotates to follow the sun's path.

 

 

 Follow this link to see a diagram of our full energy system at UUAA.

 

Monitoring our Energy Production

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.

UUAA is very fortunate-- a rare church with both wind and solar installers and structural engineers and computer engineers as congregants

nov8 datacardsCongregant Don Winsor helps oversee the computer interface to our energy systems. 

 

 Funding our Energy Projects

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.

tiles smSome of the landscaping tiles in our Energy Plaza at the front of the church.

 

Use this link to make a contribution to our renewable energy projects and help us move toward 100% renewable energy.

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.

 

Photos of Our Energy Installations

Installation of the original roof solar panels:

Installation of the roof solar panels

 

 

This link will take you to photos of the 2010 installation of both our wind turbine and the rooftop solar panels.

 

This link will take you to photos of the 2011 tracking solar array installation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn more...

UUA World article on Renewable Energy Projects at UU Congregations around the U.S.

Visit the UU Ministry for Earth web site.

 

We are lowering our carbon footprint and raising our environmental consciousness.