First Presbyterian Church

At a Glance


Religious Organization

Project Type

Commercial Energy Efficiency




Asheville, NC


Maura Farver focused on lighting retrofits to uncover energy cost savings of around 23% for First Presbyterian Church in Asheville.


Maura Farver spent her summer as an EDF Climate Corps fellow at First Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina. Established in 1794, the church is a leading congregation in environmental stewardship, efficiency and sustainability. The church is a certified Earth Care Congregation and has a Recycling Committee, Property Committee and stewardship lecture series. Facilities cover 60,000 square feet and include the sanctuary, chapel, education building, administrative offices and meeting rooms. During the fellowship, Farver was faced with the unique challenges of identifying energy savings in buildings with highly varying usage, and with different times of renovation.


Farver analyzed the sanctuary, which has 16 chandelier fixtures with incandescent bulbs and R40 lamps. These produce tangible heat, requiring use of the chiller to keep the building comfortable. The fellow proposed switching the bulbs to CFLs or LEDs to reduce the heat load and use of the chiller, as well as increase the area lit by each fixture. This project alone could cut energy use by about 37,000 kWh.

Potential Impact

If all of Farver’s projects are implemented, First Presbyterian Church could save $11,900 in annual energy costs, a 23% reduction. It could also reduce electricity usage by over 170,000 kWh and cut carbon emissions nearly 50 metric tons per year.

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