As we head into the warmer months of the summer season, many congregations will be turning on their air conditioners and electric fans to keep church members cool.
While these efforts help us beat the heat, the increased usage of ACs and other cooling systems contribute to the 13% of carbon emissions that commercial and residential buildings are responsible for in the United States, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
So, what can communities of faith do to steward the environment better?
In addition to working with Disciples Church Extension Fund (DCEF) on a green loan, adopting creation care best practices from New Church Ministry, and becoming a Green Chalice congregation, faith communities in the U.S. can take advantage of a new funding opportunity from the Biden administration. The Department of Energy recently announced a first-of-its-kind investment to help non-profit organizations reduce energy usage in their buildings, including places of worship. The Renew America’s Nonprofits program will provide US $50 million for efficiency projects, reducing carbon emissions and lowering utility costs, allowing critical funds to be redirected to mission-focused work.
To find out more about this opportunity, Disciples can join various educational webinars:
- On June 15, from 5:00 to 6:15 PM EST, Green Chalice and ecumenical partners will be hosting Get Green to Go Green: Apply for up to $200,000 for Congregational Energy Efficiency. Sign up to hear from Environmental and Energy Study Institute President Daniel Bresette, who will inform participants on how they can take advantage of the grant and the grant process.
- The Office of State and Community Energy Programs will host informational webinars from 2:00 to 3:00 PM EST on June 6 and from 3:00 to 4:00 PM EST on June 8, one of which you can register to attend.
DCEF will continuously update this page as more details about the grant become available.
Is your congregation located in Canada? You can still keep your facilities environmentally friendly by adopting creation care best practices and becoming a Green Chalice congregation.