To battle low energy my doctor tells me that I need to exercise. There’s no pill or magic to circumvent the hard work of building muscle and changing food choices. The same can be said in the church. An energized church has done the work of going door to door looking for people who need Jesus and his disciples.
So why do we expect to fix our energy bills by turning down the heat? That plan is only going to make the church staff cold. Instead, your Conference NetZero Task Force would like you to make a series of investigative steps with the benefit of being energy sustainable with a Net Zero Carbon Footprint by 2040.
Step One: Self Audit. What is currently being done to save our planet from too much plastic, from CO2 emissions, from contaminated water & air, and from over consumption? Celebrate this and teach the whole congregation why more should be done.
Step Two: Professional Energy Audit.
Part one: get a free audit from Com Ed or Faith-in-Place. You will learn how to change light bulbs and switches, work on drafts, make plans to change water heating systems and get rid of the boiler.
Part Two: Elevate Energy or Energy Star Audits. This thorough evaluation is a prerequisite for the grants and loans now available from the Federal Government.
Step Three: Researching the Who and the How.
Choose either/and: 1) Community Solar reduces electric bills by 20%; 2) Solar panels pay for themselves within 10 years, less if DOE grants are available; 3) geo-thermal heats water to 55 degrees naturally and reduces cost of hot water and heat.
Websites: find NIC stories at ECONETNIC.ORG; find trusted professionals at Illinoissolar.org
Interview prospective installers & make plans for location and budget.
Submit concept plans to Department of Energy funding offer. They loan you the money and then if you show completion, the money becomes a grant.
Reap the benefits. Ask your congregation if they want to be energy efficient, energy sustainable or simply energized. The above investigative steps will bring the cost of energy down and inspire our people to do more for the environment. This is God’s call to us “take care of the planet!” All we need to do is find the energy.