St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Kennesaw is one of 11 members 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.
This past Sunday, we welcomed over 125 participants at our first annual Green Team Summit. We’re celebrating that at least 57 congregations were represented at the event! We were inspired by the Keynote Presentation by Veronica Kyle and the many workshop leaders who covered engaging topics on sustainability. We are grateful to The Temple for hosting us and the Rothschild Social Justice Institute. We are convinced this was the perfect way to launch GIPL’s 15th Anniversary this year! Plans are underway for the 2019 Green Team Summit, and we hope you’ll join us.
The shortest day of the year has just given us the longest-running nightmare of an energy project here in Georgia. On this Winter Solstice, the Public Service Commission voted unanimously to continue the Plant Vogtle nuclear project despite billiions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule.
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
Sightings from the Treehouse is an investigative blog series on climate change and the environment, from GIPL’s Power Wise Director Bob Donaghue. You can read all the blogs from the series here.
Is there a comprehensive, strategic approach to reverse or stall climate change? Not according to Paul Hawken, author, entrepreneur, and environmentalist. The author of Ecology of Commerce and Blessed Unrest and a coauthor of Natural Capitalism has recently edited a book containing a compilation of over 100 strategies to reverse global warming. 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!
This summer GIPL launched a new initiative that seeks to best serve African American churches in Georgia. The hope is that GIPL can learn how these particular faith communities can inform and participate in the shared responsibility to steward the earth through their particular cultural and theological perspective. We are excited to announce that Valerie Hill Rawls has joined the GIPL team to coordinate this initiative. Continue reading
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!