St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Cleveland, Georgia 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.
The long-term goal of the Pilot Project is to reduce each parish or school’s carbon footprint and increase energy and water efficiency and conservation. For each location, the near-term goal was to conduct a Power Wise energy audit and water conservation assessment, and to create improvement plan. The ultimate goal is to reduce their negative impact on creation.
In 2017, in partnership with the Southface Energy Institute and the US Green Building Council (USGBC) Georgia Chapter, GIPL provided energy and water audits for 11 facilities. GIPL then helped each location to review the audit reports and develop energy efficiency and water conservation improvement plans for 2018 – 2020.
St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church completed a Power Wise energy audit in May 2017. The report recommended four Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs): ECM 1 – LED bulb retrofit for the sanctuary and parish hall, (ECM 2) – four-foot lamp LED retrofit for parish hall and OLG building, (ECM 3) – blown-in attic insulation for parish hall and the OLG building and ECM 4 – install HVAC building automation system. If St. Paul the Apostle does implement all four ECMs, annual energy savings for the 22,514-square foot facility could reach $10,551.
During this grant cycle, the church applied for their first GIPL grant. They requested $3,460 (50% of the $6,920 full cost) to upgrade 288 incandescent light bulbs with 18 watt LED bulbs in the sanctuary and parish hall (ECM 1) and retrofit 254 four foot fluorescent lamps with 18 watt LED bulbs for the OLG Building and Parish Hall (ECM 2). The GIPL grants committee viewed the project favorably at their December 7, 2017 meeting and awarded the church their full request. Brian Savoie, GIPL’s project manager for the Pilot Project, presented the award check to the church leadership on March 18, 2018.
They have already begun to evaluate their energy and water conservation measures and will continue to do so throughout the remainder of the year. They are proposing to inform the congregation about the energy conservation measures the church is undertaking.
In 2018, help your congregation save money through energy efficiency. If your congregation completed a low-cost energy audit through GIPL’s Power Wise Program, you are eligible to apply for a matching grant. Recommendations in the audit are eligible for up to $10,000 in matching grants. The deadline for grant applications is November 15, 2018. Make this the year to help care for creation at your church or school!