Capital Campaign Update: Solar Panels Win National Award, Have Their One Year Anniversary, and Help Us Meet Our Genesis Covenant

In 2014, members of our congregation committed their hard earned dollars to St. Andrew’s vision of our future facility; one that included a 9.66 kWh solar panel array. The solar panels were installed in February 2015 and went online in April 2015. They take up one-quarter of the available roof space. In designing the solar panel project, two of St. Andrew’s ministries, Buildings & Grounds and Creation Keepers, went beyond simply finding a cost effective way to generate “green” power.  Our solar panels are domestically sourced. The local vendor, A & R Solar, provides parishioner discounts on home solar projects and matching donations to St. Andrew’s. Our vestry voted to use these donations to purchase carbon offsets through our diocese’s Carbon Offset Partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Philippines, a community already experiencing the impact of climate change.

All of this amazing work, care and vision have resulted in St. Andrew’s first place finish and $1,000 prize as a Renewable Role Model in Interfaith Power & Light’s 2015 Cool Congregation Challenge. This national competition for houses of faith recognizes congregational leadership in the areas of energy and climate. This is the second time that St. Andrew’s solar panel project has been recognized. In 2014, St. Andrew’s received a $500 green grant from the Bishop’s Committee for the Environment for this project.

This month, there is even more to celebrate about our solar panels. Prior to installation, we anticipated that our array would produce approximately $1,200 of electricity a year; offsetting about 19% of St. Andrew’s annual electricity costs. During our first year of operation, our panels have produced $1,370 of electricity which was approximately 29% of our April 2015 to March 2016 electricity costs.  These new numbers put us even closer to our Genesis Covenant goal of reducing our facility’s carbon footprint 50% by 2019!

Thank you, St. Andrew’s ministries, for working so hard to make the dream of solar panels a reality and St. Andrew’s Vestry and members, for your belief in what we could do given the funds and opportunity!