Thanks to a grant from the Harris Fund of the East Tennessee Foundation & a grant from the Episcopal Province IV Environmental Ministry, GINI is offering incentives to area congregations in the amount of $500 to be applied toward energy efficiency and resource management.
Savings from those energy efficiency measures will be used to "pay it forward." Congregations are asked to return the $500 incentive to GINI within one year so we can jump-start another congregation/organization.
Four churches in the TriCities have received incentives from GINI's "Cool Congregations" project so far. St. John's Episcopal Church, St. Mary's Catholic Parish, Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church, and Holston Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Gray have implemented strategies and already returned their incentive money. This process enables GINI to jump-start even more faith groups in our area.
Non-Profit Organizations may also request GINI to conduct an energy and environmental assessment, followed by a formal application for the $500 financial incentive to implement their energy conservation projects.
Application Instructions for GINI's "Cool Congregations" project provide the details of participation.
Energy and Environmental Assessments
The Green Interfaith Network offers an on-site energy and environmental assessment of a congregation's or non-profit's physical plant. Within a few weeks of completing the on-site review, GINI's comprehensive report outlines possible energy conservation activities. In return for the free on-site energy assessment, GINI requests that the organization review the report and put together an action plan to implement one or more recommendations to save energy and conserve natural resources. This constitutes an application for the $500 incentive. If the organization accepts the incentive, GINI requests that the $500 be returned within one year, based on the realized cost savings, so GINI can offer support to other congregations in our region.
Recent GINI Energy Assessment reports:
Remember, congregations and non-profit organizations outside Washington County can also apply, since our successful congregations have renewed our available funds from their energy-related savings.
If you would like to learn more, please contact us!
Energy Assessment conducted at Summit Leadership Foundation
We also encourage households to take steps to improve their energy efficiency, since this is the most direct way that we can affect our budget through changing patterns of energy use. More information is provided below to help homeowners, renters, and leasing agents improve their daily energy use.
Documents for households to participate in energy efficiency efforts
Feel free to download and print these documents. Begin with the home energy evaluation (online) from TVA. It is helpful if you have an idea of your current usage (to observe the effects of your actions). The table used to record your household's utility use (#8 below) can be completed by hand. This table is also available as an Excel spreadsheet (downloadable at the link below this list of documents) if you wish to input and save the information on your computer. Please feel free to ask questions at GreenInterfaith @ gmail (dot) com.
To complete the data table (#8 above), you can access the records of your household energy use online. Here are links to register for or to use "SmartHub" from the Johnson City Power Board, the online site for the Elizabethton Electric company, and for Appalachian Power Co. (APCO) for Kingsport residents.
A spreadsheet (an Excel file--link below) can also be used to record your household's monthly utility bills on your computer:
Additional resources that can help households become more energy efficient are also available.
This is our "Bakers' Dozen + 1" list of strategies for households to become more energy efficient.
Carol Landis, President of the GINI Board of Directors, initially led our Energy Assessment services as part of GINI's "Cool Congregations" program. She was a professional climate change educator with the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center at The Ohio State University. She was an active part of Ohio Interfaith Power and Light from 2006-2009. During her time there, OH-IPL worked with the US EPA to undertake the first energy stewardship program to gather energy use data from places of worship. They advised 300 churches on how to become more energy efficient!! She brought that experience to east Tennessee and southwest Virginia, and joins with members of GINI's Energy Stewardship Team to conduct assessments for local congregations and organizations.
St. John's Episcopal was the first church to receive GINI's $500 jump-start for energy efficiency.
In the picture above, GINI members are shown how the congregation has
cut their energy use. Jon Lau, facilities manager at St. John's, also shared ideas for managing efficiency upgrades.