Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Our changing climate is one of the most serious and urgent challenges that humankind currently faces. For people already affected and our children and future generations alike, we need to take action now. It is true, we have endless global problems to deal with, but the environmental crisis is at the center of our very existence.

The most important action we can take to mitigate climate change is to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, which trap heat and make the planet warmer. Human activities are responsible for almost all of the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the last 150 years. According to the EPA, the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the United States is from burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat, and transportation.

For congregations, increasing energy efficiency is the cheapest, cleanest, smartest and most readily available way to reduce emissions. Increasing energy efficiency, will both save money and lower carbon footprints. Particularly in older buildings, insulation or structural problems that allow huge energy loses need to be identified and corrected. Problems like this can be found by arranging for an energy audit of your facility. In North Carolina, contact NC Interfaith Power & Light (NCIPL) to schedule a no cost, professional level energy audit (Energy Savings Analysis). For more details see Bruce Hunn’s article below. Completing an audit is just the first step. The next steps are up to congregations and their creative genius.

In 2012, NCIPL conducted an Energy Savings Analysis at Nativity and since then we have monitored our energy use and taken many steps to increase our energy efficiency. In January 2018, we will take a major step in reducing our carbon footprint by installing a 31.80 kW Solar PV system on the south facing roof of Curry Hall, our Education Building. This system has the capacity to generate about 35% of the electricity utilized on our campus. As determined by using the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalence Calculator, the environmental impact for the Nativity Solar Project over 30 years will be 1,729,641 pounds of carbon offset, which is equivalent to 20,117 tree seedlings being planted or 1,867,981 miles not driven.

As people of faith, we are clearly called by our Creator God to the ministry of reconciliation and to bring Creation care from the periphery to the center of our parish and personal lives. Through our faith, work of reconciliation, and the love of God, we will find hope and transformation.

ARTICLES

Community-Funded Solar Installation

By Gary K. Smith and Community United Church of Christ Justice in a Changing Climate Task Force.  In October of 2015 Community United Church of Christ (CUCC), 814 Dixie Trail, Raleigh, installed 28 SunPower 327 watt Crystalline PV Modules.  The installation of this 9.2 kW […]

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Restoring God’s Earth: The Nativity Solar Project

By: Carl Sigel “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2) For the past several years, […]

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January- Increasing Energy Efficiency

” For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light.I am the world’s Light”       John 9-5   January’s ACTION is INCREASING ENERGY EFFICIENCY . Commit to one Action each week this month.  Contact  zerowastechurch@gmail.com  for more information. Let’s ACT […]

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ENERGY EFFICIENT CHURCHES: Central to Creation Care

Bruce Hunn St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Raleigh and Diocesan Committee on Environmental Ministry   Renewable energy as applied to houses of worship goes hand-in-hand with energy efficiency; however, energy efficiency should always be done to the greatest extent feasible before investing in renewable energy since […]

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