For its work in becoming NetZero and leading others not only in Oak Park but also in the Northern Illinois Conference, Faith in Place has awarded Euclid Avenue UMC the Chicago Region Green Team of the Year award during their annual Rooted Together Green Team Summit in Fall 2022. Faith in Place works with over 250 Green Teams throughout the region.
Faith in Place in giving this award said, “when people of diverse faiths and spiritualities engage with a well-coached Green Team, they are empowered to take action to address environmental and racial injustices within their communities”
Oak Park’s Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church has taken the lead in this decarbonization in 2014 when first it installed a geothermal heating and cooling system that reduced its carbon footprint by 80%. Following geothermal, Euclid installed a 99-panel solar photovoltaic system on its roof that reduced electricity usage from the grid by 27%.
Not only has Euclid decarbonized its energy that is saving the planet but is also saving its budget. In 2009 Euclid was paying $13,000 for gas and $7,000 for electricity. By 2014 gas and electricity had gone from $20,000 to $11,500. By adding new solar panels in 2014, electricity came in at $5,300 and gas $1,500. Now they are adding community solar which will further reduce the energy bill.