ASHRAE Journal January 1984

Religious building energy use

Analysis of consumption in the Philadelphia area shows wide variations in the amount of energy consumed and indicates the possibility of large reductions.

By Lawrence G. Spielvogel, P.E. (Member ASHRAE) and Andrew Rudin (Member ASHRAE)
Taken from : American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers Journal January 1984


The non-profit Interfaith Coalition on Energy (ICE) was formed in 1980 by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Board of Rabbis, the Philadelphia Chapter of American Jewish Committee and the Philadelphia Metropolitan Christian Council of Churches. In a pilot program in 1980, walk-through energy audits were conducted in three religious complexes. During the following year measured reductions in energy use of 14 to 19 percent were achieved.

Subsequently, the Pew Memorial Trust, a private foundation in Philadelphia, funded ICE to:
(1) accomplish energy audits in religious buildings,
(2) publish newsletters, and
(3) conduct seminars on energy conservation for the religious community.


Religious buildings have not been a target for government or private conservation programs.

Read more: ASHRAE Journal January 1984

ASHRAE Journal February 1988

An Update: Religious building energy use

An update and expansion of an analysis of the energy use in religious buildings in the Philadelphia area.

By Lawrence G. Spielvogel, P.E. (Member ASHRAE) and Andrew Rudin (Member ASHRAE)
Taken from : American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers Journal February 1988 

The Interfaith Coalition on Energy (ICE) was organized 1n 1980 by the Philadelphia area religious community and, funded in 1982 by local private foundations and corporations, began an energy management program for religious buildings whose utility bills are paid by congregations.

Since that time, ICE has completed on-site energy audits for 226 congregations with a total of 546 buildings. Each audit report contains a description of the facilities and their energy systems, a baseline year of energy data, a computation of energy use per square foot, and a list of recommendations to reduce energy costs in order of simple payback.

Read more: ASHRAE Journal February 1988