The Trustees of the Diocese and the Creation Care and Environmental Task Force (CCEJ) have awarded the first three diocesan Energy Efficiency grants. The grants, in the amount of $10,000 each, will go toward improving energy efficiency in buildings, reducing operating costs, and lowering emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.
Every congregation of the diocese is eligible to apply for this funding. Applications will be accepted through Dec. 31, 2022. The sooner we act to reduce our collective carbon emissions, the greater the contribution we will make to limit the havoc of climate change throughout the world.
On July 1, 2021, the Trustees of the Diocese initiated this new energy efficiency incentive program to offer grants up to $10,000 and loans up to $10,000 to diocesan parishes who submit applications for energy efficiency improvements (see eConnections, June 8, 2021). The new Creation Care and Environmental Justice Task Force is acting a technical advisor to the Trustees by establishing guidelines for projects suitable for application and by evaluating the technical merit of projects submitted by parishes to the Trustees for funding.
Christ Church, Dayton, has the honor of submitting the first application, followed soon after by St. Philip’s, Circleville, and Ascension and Holy Trinity, Wyoming. Christ Church plans to upgrade their heating and air conditioning controls in part of their facility by installing digital thermostats, electric damper actuators, and CO2 sensors for high occupancy areas.
St. Philip’s proposes to upgrade the HVAC systems in their rectory. Their current system poorly controls building temperatures and is highly inefficient. The proposed project will create four separate control zones and install two new, more efficient furnaces and A/C units with variable speed capability, and four new smart thermostats.
Ascension and Holy Trinity will replace the existing sanctuary cooling and hot water heating system with a new higher efficiency condenser and air handling unit. The new heating and cooling coils in the air handler will be optimally-sized for the loads in the Sanctuary, improving the efficiency of transferring heat to the space.
All three parishes were awarded the maximum grant amounts of $10,000. All grantees are also required to join the Energy Stewards program for two years (at a cost of $120 a year) in order to track energy use and demonstrate the amount of energy saved and pollution reduced by the Energy Efficiency Program.
The Creation Care and Environmental Justice Task Force encourages all parishes in the diocese to consider and apply for this grant, since it provides significant funding to reduce operating costs and improves our care of creation. The grant application can be found at: https://episcopaliansinconnection.org/energy-efficiency-grant-application/. If you need ideas on what to apply for, or any technical advice, please contact the Task Force at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ken Wright is a member of the diocesan Creation Care and Environmental Justice Task Force.