Interfaith Power and Light has been working with churches and other houses of worship in Ohio to help them become more energy efficient. As a result of the non-profit’s work, three churches have received the Energy Star certification from the EPA, a high achievement. Churches such as St. Edward Episcopal Church have started putting in LED lightbulbs, replacing boilers with tankless water heaters, and more.
Craig Foster, an Episcopal Deacon in Ohio, runs a company called Energility. It partners with Interfaith Power and Light to audit houses of worship on energy usage, and help them improve their efficiency through grants, loans, and fundraising. “For a house of worship, budgets are always tight,” Foster said. “Our goal as part of Interfaith Power and Light is to know where the money is.”
While the up front costs are high, the long term savings are great, and can be put to use in other forms of stewardship. Rev. Rob Martin, pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Athens invested in a tankless water heater several years ago, and reckons the church has saved more than $30,000 over the years, money which goes back into the church’s outreach programs to help those in need buy food and pay bills. But caring for the earth and reducing our carbon footprint is faithful stewardship in its own right. “It’s just a part of my call to help find ways to take care of God’s creation and leave something for our grandkids and our great grandkids,” Foster said.