Gary Garrett is a GIPL Board member and attends Kirkwood United Church of Christ in Atlanta. In honor of Earth Day, the GIPL blog features Gary’s reflection on the impact of his own church’s commitments to stewardship and sustainability. Kirkwood UCC won the GIPPY Light award in 2014 for excellence in worship and education for implementing their denomination’s Mission 4/1 Earth program. Continue reading
Congratulations to St. Peter Claver Regional Catholic School in Decatur for receiving a GIPL Energy Efficiency Matching Grant! This Catholic school is one of 11 members the Catholic Pilot Project. The “Laudato Si’ Action Plan Pilot Project,” came to life when the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta decided to run a pilot project to support this group of parishes and schools in making environmental improvements. “Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home” is Pope Francis’ encyclical about caring for the earth and each other. Continue reading
St. Mary’s Catholic Church and St. Mary’s Catholic School in Rome are two of 11 members of the Catholic Pilot Project. This project, whose full name is the “Laudato Si’ Action Plan Pilot Project,” came to life when the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta decided to run a pilot project to support this group of parishes and schools in making environmental improvements. “Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home” is Pope Francis’ encyclical about caring for the earth and each other.
Saint Anne’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta Awarded $10,000 GIPL Matching Grant for Energy Efficiency Project
During the December 2017 grant committee meeting, the committee was very impressed with the completed and on-going energy efficiency projects Saint Anne’s Episcopal Church and Preschool had completed within the past couple years. Two projects in particular are its solar panels and upgrading its insulation. 10 kWh solar arrays became operational in 2016 and its projected energy savings in 2017 are expected to be $1,600. They have also upgraded insulation in its administrative offices and day school. The insulation in the administrative offices was assisted by a $2,500 matching grant in 2016 from the GIPL Power Wise Program. In their 2017 grant application, they requested $10,000 (the maximum award) to upgrade all preschool lighting to LED as recommended in their April 4, 2016 Power Wise energy audit.
Every year, GIPL awards grants to fund energy efficiency projects for faith communities across Georgia. To date, we’ve awarded close to $1 million dollars in matching grants and is having a huge impact on the reduction of energy footprints of sanctuaries, temples, mosques and religious schools statewide. This program intends to give hope to congregations embarking on the sustainability journey and inspire even bolder Creation care action.
This year, 23 grant applications were received totaling over $148,000! The GIPL Grants Committee met last week to review and make final decisions on the awards. Despite the large number of submissions, the committee was able to offer awards totaling $68,000 to 15 congregations and 2 religious schools. Most of the awards were for LED lighting upgrades, while some were for WiFi thermostats, insulation and re-commissioning of existing building automation systems. Continue reading
The Rev. Dcn. Leann Culbreath presents the grant check to Senior Warden Nikki Yarbrough (left) and Rector Rev. Dave Johnson (center).
Christ Episcopal Church in Valdosta was awarded a GIPL Energy Efficiency Matching Grant to support in-house energy efficiency upgrades. After receiving a GIPL energy audit, the congregation learned that there was significant energy loss in one of the oldest and most used buildings on campus. By adding insulation to the attic, the congregation is expected to save $1,000 per year in energy costs, and the payback time of the project will only be two years. Christ Episcopal was awarded $1,000 to complete the insulation upgrades.
The matching funds for this project were raised from church pledges, and the parish pledge drive dinner served as an opportunity to begin discussing Creation care as a means of expressing love of the Creator. The congregation hopes that this project will provide a concrete way to continue this discussion. In addition to the insulation upgrades, Christ Episcopal minimizes disposable dinnerware products, supports the development of a diocesan ecology center, and has dedicated green space with public access.
Congratulations to Christ Episcopal Church on their commitment to energy efficiency and Creation care! We look forward to seeing this congregation continue to grow in their efforts. The next matching grant application deadline is November 15, 2017. If your congregation has not yet received a GIPL energy audit, visit our website to sign up today!
Athens First United Methodist Church was awarded a GIPL Energy Efficiency Matching Grant to support lighting upgrades in the sanctuary to LED fixtures. They received $3,964 for these upgrades. This project will save approximately $1,000 per year in energy savings, and more when factoring in the savings on light bulb purchases.
After receiving a GIPL energy audit in the summer of 2016, Athens First UMC decided that upgrading their lighting fixtures would allow them to have more money to serve the community and church members. They also applied for a Georgia Power Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate to help fund the project. The congregation is hopeful that these upgrades will demonstrate the financial and environmental benefits of using less energy.
Congratulations to Athens First UMC on their commitment to energy efficiency! We look forward to seeing how this congregation continues to increase their Creation care and energy efficiency efforts. The next matching grant application is November 15, 2107. If your congregation has not yet received a GIPL energy audit, visit our website to sign up today!
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in LaGrange was awarded a GIPL Energy Efficiency Matching Grant to fund a foam attic insulation project completed in March 2016. From the energy usage data already collected since the installation, the church is projected to have an annual energy savings of $600. St. Mark’s was awarded $2,748 for this energy efficiency project.
St. Mark’s incorporates Creation care into their weekly congregational prayers, and from that commitment, actively engages in other Creation care efforts. They recycle, encourage the use of reusable dinnerware, and open their facilities to environmental groups. The congregation has also committed to sharing cost savings with parishioners, and talking about how energy efficiency can save money and the environment both at home and church.
Congratulations to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on their insulation project, and we look forward to seeing what further Creation care and energy efficiency efforts come from this congregation! The next matching grant application deadline is November 15, 2017. If your congregation has not yet received a GIPL energy audit, visit our website today to sign up!
First Baptist Church in Blakely, Georgia, was awarded its fourth GIPL Energy Efficiency Matching Grant to upgrade their lighting to LED fixtures. Many energy efficiencies have been incorporated already at this historic church in South Georgia following their GIPL energy audit a few years ago. Now the church is upgrading the old lighting in their kitchen, office and foyer to energy efficient LED fixtures. They received $1,191 in order to implement these lighting upgrades.
First Baptist Church of Blakely has committed to an ongoing LED project to upgrade all of the lighting in the church buildings. Last year, the church converted all of their lighting in the sanctuary to LED fixtures. Their next step is to install LED lights in the education building, and this year to the office, foyer and kitchen. This church has received 3 GIPL grants in the past to help with insulation, LED lighting upgrades, and WiFi thermostats for their buildings. Continue reading
Trinity Episcopal Church in Statesboro was a awarded a GIPL Power Wise Energy Efficiency Matching Grant to support their in-house energy efficiency efforts. Following their energy audit in July 2016, they applied for a grant to install new WiFi thermostats in their church building. This should reduce annual energy costs by $1,850 with a simple payback of 1.6 years. Trinity Episcopal Church was awarded $595 to support half the project costs. GIPL’s Leeann Culbreath presented the the check to Jim Bastarache (former Junior Warden) and Rev. Joan Kilian (Rector). Continue reading