Earlier this year, GIPL received a grant to provide direct support to selected parishes of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta for their Creation care efforts. A pilot project was developed to help nine parishes and three schools increase energy efficiencies and water conservations while helping to reduce their overall environmental impact by 25%.
This project is part of a larger effort by the Archdiocese to respond to Pope Francis’s 2015 Encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si. In 2016, the Archdiocese published its Climate Action Plan as a hopeful response to the Pope’s encyclical.
As part of this pilot project thus far, GIPL has completed energy audits at nine sites. If all energy conservation measures are implemented by these congregations, total annual energy cost savings are estimated at $65,243. This is an average of over $8,000 in savings per parish each year! That means more money for mission and community outreach in each of these parishes and schools.
GIPL’s Power Wise Director, Bob Donaghue, has coordinated the energy audits while Gary Gabriel, PE, has performed the audits. Our new project coordinator, Brian Savoie, has worked closely with the parishes throughout the process providing additional support to ensure parishes incorporate findings and recommended actions into their respective ministries and facilities management. Brian is now helping each parish and Catholic school receive water assessments to determine water conservation opportunities.
This pilot project is possible because of a collaboration among GIPL, Southface Energy Institute, and the U.S. Green Building Council. Plans are underway to expand the program to reach even more Catholic parishes in 2018. Stay tuned for more details!Tags: archdiocese of atlanta, catholic pilot project, energy savings