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A Clean Energy Crossroads for First Parish Congregational Church

The First Parish Congregational Church in Saco, Maine, is located at a major town crossroads, symbolic of its welcoming atmosphere — its doors are open to every age, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, family structure, and background. The church sought Unitil’s assistance with a system upgrade that would allow the parish to burn cleaner fuel in a more cost‐effective manner.

church pew
Stat Grid Items
natural gas boilers installed
lbs. of carbon emissions eliminated annually
homes’ worth of carbon emissions eliminated annually
First Parish church logo

We are thrilled about our recent collaboration with Unitil. Our dedicated volunteers who keep the church afloat no longer have to worry about an inconsistent boiler. By converting to gas, we are burning cleaner fuel while saving money. It was well worth the investment; we really lucked out.

John Brockington
Facilities Chairman, First Parish Congregational Church

Main project details

The church replaced what was once a cast iron boiler with a high efficiency gas-fired boiler. The apparatus is equipped with two boilers as opposed to a single, large boiler. As demand increases, the second boiler turns on automatically.

By converting from oil to gas, the church saved the equivalent of 45,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year, an amount equal to the annual emissions of four residential homes. This conversion was undertaken as part of Unitil’s innovative Targeted Area Buildout of the downtown Saco region. This three-year plan, approved by regulators in 2015, gave residents and businesses an opportunity to convert with a lower up‐front cost to bring gas to their properties.

Church volunteers have noticed a substantial difference with the state‐of‐the‐art, reliable gas fired boiler. In past years, castings would fracture on the cast iron boiler, costing thousands of dollars to replace and an abundance of maintenance hours. Volunteers have been reassured that this new and improved boiler will be fully functioning for years to come.

“It was a pleasure working with the First Parish Congregational Church on its gas conversion project,” said Alec O’Meara, Unitil media relations manager. “Making upgrades to one’s heating system has exponential benefits including reliability and longevity. At Unitil, we strive to ensure that our customers are optimizing efficiency in their daily lives.”

Steeple at First Parish in Saco, Maine.