Power Wise FAQs

Getting Started

Q: How do I request a Power Wise Energy Audit?

A: Enrolling in Power Wise can be done online. Click here to sign up for the program and for access to enrollment forms. You can always contact us at info@gipl.org or by calling 404.377.5552

Q: Why do you need 12 months of our past electric and natural gas energy bills before my congregation can receive a Power Wise Energy Audit?

A: The most recent 12 months of energy data that you send us before scheduling your Energy Audit will allow our professional energy auditor to calculate your baseline energy usage. He will also be able to analyze the efficiency of your heating and cooling system before arriving on site. Later, if you continue to track your energy use your baseline will help you see how the energy improvements you make to your facilities are decreasing your energy usage.

Q: Why do I have to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)?

A: The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a good-faith agreement between your congregation and GIPL. It is not however a legally binding document. This document details what is expected of each party when your congregation signs up for Power Wise, including how much your congregation has agreed to pay for the Energy Audit and what GIPL will provide in return.

Q: How long does it take to schedule my Energy Audit?

A: Once we have received all the requested information, including the background data sheet, the MOU, and the past 12 months of your congregation’s natural gas and electric bills, an Energy Audit can be scheduled in about a week or two. Regions along the coast or southern Georgia may take longer, since we try to obtain at least four energy audits in the region before sending the auditor. This saves on travel costs and reduces our environmental impact.

Q: Who needs to attend the Energy Audit?

A: It is important that one or more persons who have access to all areas of the buildings and who are familiar with the history of your congregation be present at the audit. Other interested congregation members are also welcome to come along on the Energy Audit. Some congregations have made the walk through energy audit a learning opportunity for their leadership, green teams and youth classes.

Q: What materials need to be available at the energy audit?

A: The most important document that should be available at the audit is a blueprint of your facilities. They make it easier for determining the correct number of lighting fixtures throughout the facility. The blueprints also provide useful information on other relevant structures. The blueprints are very helpful to the auditor for obtaining accurate square footage figures. The square footage is critical in determining kwh of electricity and therms of natural gas use per square foot. These ratios serve as useful benchmarks in estimating your overall energy use and efficiencies.

Q: How long does the Energy Audit take?

A: Generally, the on-site portion of the Energy Audit will be completed in two hours and consists of an evaluation of your attic and insulation, lighting needs and upgrades, heating and cooling unit operation and efficiency, and other items requested by the leadership.

Q: Who performs the Power Wise Energy Audits?

A: Gary Gabriel PE, CEM and LEED-AP performs all of our Power Wise Energy Audits.   To date, he has performed over 150 Power Wise Energy Audits for GIPL. He has 26 years experience working on energy systems for schools, hospitals and houses of worship, and has been a licensed mechanical Professional Engineer for 21 years. His specialty is heating and cooling systems.

All About Money

Q: How much does a Power Wise Energy Audit cost?

An audit costs $100-300, depending on the size of your congregation. Here’s the breakdown:

  • $100 (1 – 200 members)
  • $200 (201 – 500 members)
  • $300 (> 500 members)

Q: What is Pay It Forward (PIF) Contribution?

A: The Pay-It-Forward (PIF) Contribution is a means to sustain Power Wise. GIPL pays $1,000 for each Energy Audit, but we are able to offer this service to congregations for only $100-300 because our funding organizations and contributions from our partners subsidize the remaining amount.

We ask that your congregation contribute to GIPL an amount equal to the cost of your audit ($100-300) for a period of three years. There are over 15,000 communities of faith in Georgia that could use an Energy Audit, and our hope is that you will help continue this program through your PIF contribution.

Q: When will I be billed for PIF?

A: Your congregation will receive your first PIF invoice 15 months after you receive your Energy Audit Report or you can contribute to GIPL annually as a portion of your congregation’s stewardship giving.

After Your Audit

Q: Can I apply for a Power Wise Energy Efficiency Grant after receiving a Power Wise Energy Audit? 

A: The Power Wise Energy Audit serves as a “roadmap” to help you identify energy efficiency opportunities along with their associated implementation costs and annual energy savings. GIPL’s Power Wise Energy Efficiency Matching Grants (1:1 funding up to $10,000) are the most effective means for receiving funding to assist you implement the Energy Conservation Measures in your audit report.

Power Wise Energy Audits can be completed at anytime throughout the year, but there is only one Power Wise Energy Efficiency Matching Grant cycle each year. Applications are due November 15 of each year. Request must be for Energy Conservation Measures identified in your energy audit report. Exceptions for other projects are rare and the applicant must provide detailed justification. Decisions by the Grants Committee will be made within six weeks after the application deadline. Click here for additional information about the Power Wise Energy Efficiency Matching Grant Program. 

Q: Are there other resources available?

A: Once you have completed the Power Energy Audit, you can download Creation Wise resources in Power Wise element. There are four other elements that your green team can work on to become Creation Care certified: Water Wise, Waste Wise, Buy Wise and Dirt Wise (sustainable gardening). More information on this program can be found at Creation Wise.

GIPL also offers classes in green team development, rain barrel making and Home Energy Audit Training (HEAT) for your congregation. More information on GIPL resources can be found on our website. Take some relaxing time exploring it all.

If you have any questions, please contact us at info@gipl.org.