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Georgia Interfaith Power & Light Launches Power Wise: Grants available for congregations of every faith to save money by saving energy


Every religion can agree on this. Protecting creation by saving money just makes good sense. Thanks to an innovative use of federal stimulus funds, Georgia Interfaith Power & Light launches Power Wise, greatly increasing its capacity to help congregations of every faith save energy.
Almost 50 congregations have already enrolled in Power Wise to receive energy audits and track their improved performance over several years. Georgia Interfaith Power & Light, known as GIPL, (pronounced gipple) was awarded $400,000 in a two-year contract from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the Federal Stimulus Program) administered by the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA) with an additional $200,000 match from The Kendeda Fund.
Among those singing their praises are Christians, Baptists, Jews, Muslims, Presbyterians and Unitarians. “We are not an environmental group,” says Alexis Chase, GIPL’s executive director. “We are a nonsectarian faith organization that helps all communities of faith be responsible stewards of our shared natural resources.” Over time, Chase’s goal is to assist every one of Georgia’s 15,000 places of worship to reduce their power bills and put those savings to better use. “Every congregation we have ever worked with is spending too much on energy,” she goes on. “That’s money that could be spent to feed the hungry, house the homeless and advance their mission.” Using less energy also reduces air pollution which protects air and water quality. The end result is healthier habitats for every species, not just people. Noah would be proud.
Overview of Power Wise:
  • for a modest fee in the $200 range, Power Wise energy professionals will conduct an Energy Audit to establish each congregation’s current energy performance and find opportunities for improvement;
  • Power Wise will help create an energy efficiency plan customized to each congregation’s buildings, working directly with facility managers and congregation members;
  • provide grants up to $25,000 per congregation and project management to actually make recommended energy efficiency upgrades;
  • individual congregants will also be trained on how to save energy at home and in their daily lives.
  • and the Power Wise team will analyze data in ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager to show congregations how much energy they are saving every month in easy-to-understand reports.
The Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) movement began in California and has grown to 38 state affiliates. Yet, Georgia Interfaith Power & Light’s Power Wise is the most comprehensive energy savings program out there. “No other organization in the country is offering congregations of every faith a detailed road map to systematically reduce their energy use,” Chase explains.

Demand for Power Wise assistance is expected to be tremendous. Join the effort! Register here or call GIPL at 404-588-9978.

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