SACO — A new gas-fired boiler has decreased maintenance hours and increased heating efficiency for the First Parish Congregational Church in Saco.

According to a press release, Unitil, a provider of natural gas and electricity, partnered with First Parish Congregational Church to conduct a gas conversion project.

Replacing what was once an old-fashioned cast-iron boiler with a high-efficiency gas-fired boiler. the church’s heating system is now equipped with two boilers as opposed to one single, large boiler.

For efficiency purposes, as demand increases, the second boiler turns on automatically saving energy and holding down heating costs.

“We are thrilled about our recent collaboration with Unitil,” said John Brockington, facilities chairman for First Parish Congregational Church. “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.”

Brockington said that by making the conversion from oil to natural gas, the church also will reduce the equivalent of 45,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year, an amount equal to the annual emissions of four residential homes.

Volunteers at the church say they’ve noticed a signifcant difference with the state-of-the-art, reliable gas-fired boiler.

They said that in previous years, the castings would often fracture on the church’s cast-iron boiler, costing thousands of dollars to replace and resulting in frequent maintenance hours.

Unitil has assured the church volunteers that the new boiler will be fully functional for decades 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.”

Unitil Corporation provides energy for life by safely and reliably delivering natural gas and electricity in New England and is committed to the communities it serves and to developing people, business practices, and technologies that lead to dependable, more efficient energy practices. 

It is a public utility holding company with operations in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, which serves more than 104,300 electric customers and 79,900 natural gas customers.

For more information about Unitil’s people, technologies, and community involvement, visit

The First Parish Congregational Church is at 12 Beach St. in Saco and is affiliated with the United Church of Christ.

Deborah Breault is serving as the church’s interim minister and Heather MacLean is moderator of the church’s council.

For more information about First Parish Congregational Church, visit

— Executive Editor Ed Pierce can be reached at 282-1535 ext. 326 or by email at [email protected] 

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: