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.
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. Peter Claver Regional Catholic School completed a Power Wise energy audit in April. The report recommended three Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) for recommissioning the building automation system, 4-foot lamp LED lighting upgrade in classrooms, and LED upgrade for gym lights. If St. Peter Claver does implement all three ECMs, annual energy savings for the 52,716-square foot facility could reach $6,877.
During this grant cycle, the church applied for their first GIPL grant. They requested $4,500 ($12,500 full cost) to replace 32-watt T-8 bulbs with 13-watt LED in some classrooms. This would result in a 44% annual energy savings when fully implemented (ECM 2). The GIPL grants committee viewed the project favorably at their December 7, 2017 meeting and awarded the church $2,500. Susan Varlamoff, GIPL board member and a UGA coauthor of the Laudato Si Action Plan, presented the award check to the school on March 16, 2018.
The school has a Green Thumb Student Club established to develop conservation plans and educational opportunities at the school. They will also evaluate how to integrate energy conservation into their plans. They have also created a student garden.
St. Peter Claver Catholic School is eligible to apply for a GIPL matching grant next year, if desired, to implement the other ECMs. In 2018, help your congregation save money through energy efficiency. The first step is to obtain a low-cost energy audit through GIPL’s Power Wise Program. A professional engineer with over 25 years energy management experience will conduct the audit and prepare the audit report which will serve as your road map to energy efficiency. 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!