Philip Edlund of Mountain View Lutheran Church, a medium-sized congregation with around 300-350 worshippers each Sunday, faced a complex challenge in managing the church's diverse and extensive HVAC systems. Spread across five distinct buildings on a 7-acre campus, the church's facilities, including a historic chapel and a community center, varied not only in size and age but also in heating and cooling needs. The church's HVAC system comprised six thermostats controlling various units - from two-stage gas furnaces with heat pumps to individual gas-fired HVAC/AC units. After installing these thermostats around three to four years ago and initially starting with the eSPACE Work Order Management feature, the church realized the need for a more integrated approach. This led to the adoption of eSPACE's Event Scheduler with HVAC integration, tailored to accommodate the complexity and diversity of their existing systems.
Mountain View Lutheran Church witnessed significant savings and operational efficiency improvements after integrating eSPACE's HVAC system with their existing Pelican thermostats. From February to the end of 2019, the church estimated a reduction in heating and cooling costs of about $2,000 to $3,000, translating to a 10-15% decrease in their annual energy expenses. This savings effectively lowered their electric and gas costs from around $20,000 to approximately $17-18,000. Beyond financial savings, the integration dramatically streamlined operational processes. Where previously adjusting thermostats for events was a manual and time-consuming task—requiring changes to three thermostats for a single event—the new system allowed for automatic updates aligned with the church calendar. Additionally, the ability to remotely access and lock the thermostats prevented unnecessary energy usage when the site was unoccupied, further contributing to both energy conservation and enhanced efficiency in managing church facilities.
"If we had an event going on, we would have to go change three thermostats for just one event. If we had to change the thermostat for one classroom, we would have to bump it up manually. It was extremely time-consuming. But now, when we update the church calendar, it automatically updates. This has not only helped save energy but has increased operational efficiency. "
Philip Edlund, Church Administrator
Full case study:
Mountain View Lutheran Church, nestled in a unique semi-rural and urban setting, serves a medium-sized congregation of about 300-350 worshippers each Sunday. The church campus, spreading across 7 acres, comprises five distinct buildings, including a historic chapel and a community center. The complexity of the church’s infrastructure, especially its diverse heating and cooling systems, presented significant operational challenges.
After attending workshops by Smart Church Solutions, the church initially adopted the eSPACE Work Order Management feature. Recognizing the need for a more streamlined process, they later integrated their thermostats with the eSPACE Event Scheduler, opting for the Pelican system to manage their diverse equipment.
Impact on Energy Consumption: The integration yielded remarkable results in energy savings. From February to December 2019, Mountain View Lutheran Church experienced a reduction in heating and cooling costs by approximately $2,000 to $3,000, translating to a 10-15% decrease in annual energy expenses. This significant cost-saving meant more funds could be redirected to ministry work.
Operational Efficiency: Beyond financial savings, eSPACE brought a transformative change in operational efficiency. The previously time-consuming manual process of adjusting thermostats for events was replaced with an automated system synced with the church calendar. The ability to remotely access and lock thermostats further enhanced energy management, preventing unnecessary usage and offering greater control over the facilities.
Mountain View Lutheran Church’s experience with eSPACE illustrates the profound impact of integrating advanced facility management technology in a church setting. The transition not only led to considerable energy and cost savings but also streamlined operations, allowing the church staff to focus more on their core mission. This case study exemplifies how technology like eSPACE can be a pivotal tool in modernizing church operations while fostering stewardship of resources.