From the March 2022 Bulletin
by Peter Montagna
While the B’nai Israel Green Team is looking toward the future and thinking about how B’nai Israel can become the most sustainable temple possible, so much has been already achieved by the House Committee at B’nai Israel. To celebrate these accomplishments, Peter Montagna of the House Committee outlined many of these great efforts to date.
Over the years, the House Committee at Congregation B’nai Israel has worked to reduce its carbon footprint. Updates to utility systems have always strived to reduce energy usage. Some examples include the heating boiler (replaced in 2013 with a natural gas-fired system, reducing the temple’s heating bill by about 50%) and the air conditioning system’s chiller (replaced in 2018 with a unit about 10% more efficient). Some proactive measures have also been completed. Fluorescent lighting was replaced in 2019 with LED bulbs. New windows were installed in the school wing to reduce energy loss. Heat pumps were installed in the nurseries and some of the classrooms, to help control temperatures, particularly in the winter months. These measures have helped reduce our electrical usage by about 45% over the past 3 years, or an average of 7,000 kilowatt-hours per month – more than enough to power my entire house for a year! Can we do more? The House Committee and B’nai Israel’s Facilities Manager Eric Braisted are looking at replacing additional light fixtures with LEDs; providing programmable thermostats and motion sensors; and improving heating controls. We welcome any ideas from congregants; feel free to reach out to Peter Montagna (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Eric Braisted (email@example.com) anytime.