FAITH EFFICIENCIES PROGRAM OVERVIEW
Delaware Interfaith Power & Light (DeIPL) has been contracted by Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU)/Energize Delaware to administer an energy audit, remediation and education program geared to faith communities throughout the state of Delaware. That program is titled Faith Efficiencies.
The mandate of the SEU is to foster a sustainable energy future for the state of Delaware.
The mission of the DeIPL is to rally faith communities to address causes and impacts of climate change. Our shared goal is to empower religious institutions and their individual members to adopt creative, effective and affordable energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy strategies.
To that end, religious institutions are offered a comprehensive energy audit, with 90% of the cost being covered by the SEU. DeIPL coordinates the process, offers consultation on repair and upgrade strategies and provides information on available financial incentives.
- DeIPL meets with the faith community team to review the Faith Efficiencies program, services, resources and costs and secure a signed agreement.
- DeIPL works with the faith community to schedule an energy audit with a certified energy auditor/assessor.
- DeIPL works with faith community to identify or enlist an Earth Care/Stewardship team. This team will assist in data collection on historic utility usage (bills), facility use, and layout information to inform the energy audit and determine the cost.
- DeIPL will invoice the faith community for 10% of the cost of the audit, to be paid upon receipt. The total cost of the audit is estimated to be $1,000-$2,500, depending on the size and characteristics of the facility. The SEU covers 90% of that cost.
- DeIPL coordinates with the faith community to schedule a home energy forum for members of the congregation to share energy conservation tips, tools and financial resources, featuring SEU’s Home Performance with Energy Star program.
- Energy audit is performed on-site in the company of faith community staff and/or available team members familiar with the facility.
- Auditor provides a hardcopy/electronic report, including suggested remediation priorities, projected costs and anticipated savings, and return on investment information. An additional copy of the report becomes the property of the SEU, which is funding the program and monitoring its effectiveness.
- DeIPL provides a spreadsheet and instructs assigned individuals on monthly tracking of utility costs/usage and savings identified with upgrades and repairs.
- DeIPL works with faith community to prioritize the audit recommendations based on estimated savings, budget considerations, and available financial incentives.
- Faith Community agrees to track and share information on energy usage and completed repairs and upgrades for one year. (cont’)
Earth Care Display
This year, DeIPL is offering, and SEU is funding, an additional service: design and establishment of an Energy/Environment/Earth Care display and coordination of the systems to support it.
Participants in the Faith Efficiencies program are encouraged to identify a location within their facility for a “permanent” Energy/Environment/Earth Care display. This would require not only commitment of space but some minimal financial and/or creative resources to construct and equip the display, as well as a team to maintain it. It would serve as a focal point to 1) inform and engage the membership in the energy and environmental initiatives undertaken by the institution; 2) provide ongoing education and resources to the membership to reduce their own energy use, expand the use of renewable energy systems, and inspire environmental stewardship; 3) make energy education, resources and referral information available to community members and 4) share news, activities, events and wish lists of other participating faith communities and partners; expanding the potential impact and building a shared sense of mission and accomplishment.
Our experience has been that a growing number of faith communities are establishing formal Earth Care/Creation Care/Stewardship teams, reflecting a shared commitment to addressing issues of energy, environment and climate change. While economic factors contribute to this interest, both from personal and institutional perspectives, we’ve also seen an increasing concern for the broader implications relating to the health of their families and communities and the natural world.
To support such a project within the faith community, DeIPL would offer to:
- introduce and champion the display concept.
- help identify a team to take ownership of the project.
- offer guidance on location and design of the display, reflecting the unique character and resources of the institution.
- provide an ongoing supply of educational materials on issues related to energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy and updates on activities, programs and resources to support taking action.
- collaborate with partners and service providers to access updated program information, resource materials and community events.
- explore community outreach strategies.
- connect participating faith communities to foster sharing of experiences and collaboration.
- collectively evaluate the value and effectiveness of the project.
If you are interested in exploring these opportunities, please contact Lisa Locke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 616.914.1597.