A congregation in Ancaster, Ontario, has put its money where its talk is when it comes to environmental stewardship.
When Meadowlands Fellowship Christian Reformed Church built their new home, they decided to go with geothermal heating and cooling, rather than a traditional natural-gas-burning furnace.
Henry Brouwer, a professor of environmental science at Redeemer University College and a member of Meadowlands, explained that the heating system makes use of approximately 7 kilometers (4 miles) of fluid-filled, heat-absorbing pipes buried under the parking lot. “It involves taking heat out of the ground. The same system works in reverse in the summer for cooling,” said Brouwer.
Brouwer said that geothermal heating is cost effective, especially with government grants for building in energy efficiency under the Kyoto program. He noted that even though the installation involves a larger upfront price tag, the cost of using the geothermal system will be half that of conventional heating.
He emphasized, however, that the congregation’s chief motivation was a desire to minimize their impact on the creation. “When we decided to build, council appointed a committee to look at creation-stewardship issues. It felt natural gas was not sustainable in the long run,” he said.