Hoosier Faith Communities Awarded Solar Power Grants

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Six Indiana congregations will install solar panels and plan to reduce their energy use by 25 to 40 percent under a $150,000 grant awarded by the Indiana Office of Energy Development, Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light (H-IPL) announced today.

The six congregations in Bloomington and Indianapolis will also engage a third of their members to reduce their household energy use by one seventh (14 percent) under H-IPL’s Seventh Day Initiative, which is based upon the Judeo-Christian call to use the seventh day as a day of rest – a day to conserve energy.

The congregations and H-IPL also will offer a series of Using Energy Prudently workshops in 10 locations throughout Indiana, with a goal of helping leaders of least 225 congregations with 27,000 members reduce their energy use as well.

The six congregations that will install solar panels and participate in the Seventh Day Initiative are Episcopal, non-denominational Evangelical Christian, Jewish, Lutheran and Unitarian.

Each of our faith traditions has issued an urgent call to act on behalf of God’s creation, the poor, and future generations. Our efforts to conserve energy have tremendous potential to help us avert a climate catastrophe. When congregations from a number of faith traditions all cut their energy use significantly, they help us all see what is possible. We can do this together—now.

Each of these congregations had already taken steps to reduce energy use and encourage conservation among their members. In three congregations, more than a third of members already have taken actions to cut home energy use by at least a seventh. The congregations also have already cut their own natural gas use by 39 percent, on average, and electricity use by 18 percent.

The goal of the energy conservation workshops is to help congregations throughout the state reduce their energy use and support their members as they do the same. Congregations that participate in the workshops will be eligible for a discounted energy audit by the firm Goals2Green and free energy assessments for their members.

Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light, an affiliate of the national Interfaith Power and Light, seeks to inspire and equip Hoosiers of faith to respond to climate change. Its mission is to “call together Hoosiers of faith as stewards of creation in order to promote energy conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy and related sustainable practices.”

Individuals and congregations of all faiths are welcome to join H-IPL in this effort. To learn more about H-IPL and the Seventh Day Initiative, go to www.hoosieripl.org.

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