First Church in Cambridge, Cambridge
As a result of a cooperative task force between their Green Team and Investments Committee, First Church has developed Sustainability Investment Principles, to be applied every year. This year, they are divesting from one of their more fossil fuel-heavy funds and reinvesting sustainably.
Eliot Church of Newton, UCC
Eliot Church recently voted on a resolution which stated in part "The Fossil Fuel Divestment Ad Hoc Group proposes that The Eliot Church of Newton, UCC, aspire to divest its financial holdings in fossil fuel companies. We propose that divestment proceed in a gradual and fiscally prudent manner guided by the wisdom of our Investment Committee." The resolution went on to include specific suggestions about ways to increase the portion of our funds that we have divested. This effort is meant to limit the ways their congregation's financial resources are dependent upon the profits of the fossil fuel industry. More about their commitment to address climate change:http://www.eliotchurch.org/eliot--climate-change.html
West Parish Church’s decision to install power generating solar panels is consistent with their goal to be a beacon of sustainability and live in harmony with the environment. In 2015, the church entered into a Power Purchase Agreement with Bright View Energy LLC that included design and installation of solar panels by Sunbug Solar and the purchase from Bright View of the solar generated power over a 15 year term, with an option to purchase the system beginning in year 7.
SunBug Solar designed and installed a photovoltaic system located on the Parish Hall Roof. The 21.84 kW solar array generates 26,300 kWh annually, nearly 56% of the West Parish Church Andover’s annual consumption. Power production over 30 years is estimated at 763,000 kWh. Web monitoring provides continuous monitoring of the system with 24-hour service response to any performance issues. The church has access to the website and is able to use it for community outreach and educational purposes. SunBug has worked with over 600 homeowners, houses of worship, schools and local businesses in Massachusetts and has a great deal of experience in Houses of Worship going solar. Its on-going Solar Power for Faith Communities program is done in partnership with Massachusetts Interfaith Power and Light, the state’s leading organization supporting energy efficiency for faith based organizations. Bright View Energy LLC is a family owned clean energy provider, enabling churches, other non-profit organizations and small scale commercial operations to reduce their carbon footprint and their energy costs.
An environmental audit was done on their meeting house and they implemented many of the recommendations. They undertook a major renovation in 2017 which included window replacements, a new energy-efficient entryway, and solar panels.
United Church of Assonet
Photovoltaic solar panels were installed in the fall of 2012 on the Sanctuary roof, producing around 20,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. Their future goal, when funding permits, is to install panels on the other third of their roof, then install heat pumps to heat their Fellowship Hall. Presently, all credits of unused electricity are transferred to the pastor.
Central Square Congregational Church, UCC, Bridgewater
Solar panels have been installed on the parsonage roof, and it generates enough power to cover the electrical demand of the parsonage. They would love to install solar panels on the church roof, but it is in a downtown historic district.
First Congregational Church, Brimfield
Solar panels were added to the church at the end of 2016. After all testing and inspections were completed in January 2017, they went live. Simultaneously, they have begun changing out some of our windows and other energy saving projects which hopefully will both reduce the energy footprint and also long term costs.
First Congregational Church, Stoneham
This congregation voted in December 2014 to use their large south roof to generate 100 percent of its electricity for the church and school. After a series of open meetings, they decided to have 108 voltaic panels installed. The Rev. Meredith Allen, First Church pastor, said: “When we make baptismal promises on behalf of our children, we pledge to provide a community for them where they can grow up loved and healthy. We keep the integrity of those promises as we take steps to reduce carbon emissions that damage our Earth.” News article:http://stoneham.wickedlocal.com/article/20151214/NEWS/151218213
Townsend Congregational Church, UCC
In August of 2013 the Townsend Congregational Church installed solar panels on the roof of their Fellowship Hall. They worked with SunBug Solar on this project and were extremely happy with the experience.
The church announced in fall, 2015, plans to become one of the first churches in the nation to create a permaculture garden. “The West Parish Church permaculture garden will demonstrate our potential as a faith community to positively impact our world and the environment,” said the Rev. Mark Seifried, interim senior minister. “The garden will be a shining example of community and sustainability in the town of Andover, in the United Church of Christ and beyond.”The project will be under the guidance of Ryan Harb, a food system specialist, permaculture designer and 2008 Andover High School graduate. The article below describes more details about permaculture gardens. New article: West Parish Church to build permaculture garden, Eagle-Tribune, Oct. 20, 2015
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