Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church
At a Glance
Commercial Energy Efficiency
Fox spent a summer as an EDF Climate Corps fellow at Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. Established in 1848, St. Paul was built by the first independent Black congregation and is designated as a North Carolina historical landmark. St. Paul is eager to join the green movement and become a sustainable congregation, while also resolving concerns of rising energy consumption and operating costs.
Because St. Paul is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) entity, Fox focused on low-cost, high-impact energy efficiency measures, as well as financing options for larger projects. Fox found ways to help St. Paul save money and cut emissions through changes in the HVAC controls, a reflective cool roof system, lighting retrofits and hot water heater insulation. The lighting retrofits included installation of occupancy sensors and replacement of incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs. These alone would lead to a projected annual 33% reduction in energy costs, or more than $9,700 in savings in the electricity bill each year. Fox also proposed that St. Paul install a white Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) cool roofing system, which would reflect solar heat and cool down the church on hot days.
St. Paul potentially could cut energy costs by $18,000 each year, save more than 240,000 kWh of electricity annually, and reduce carbon emissions by 319,360 tons per year.