Renewable Energy Marketing Board Announces Two More Bay Area Churches Vote to Buy Green Power
SACRAMENTO, CA — April 21, 1999 — As the perfect continuation of this week's Earth Day celebration, two more San Francisco Area Episcopal churches have switched to 100 percent renewable electricity — another sign that religious institutions are leading the way in California's competitive energy market.
Seven other Bay Area churches have also made the switch.
Trinity Episcopal Church, a 107-year old French Gothic Church, and St. John's Episcopal Church in Clayton, a relatively new church just east of Walnut Creek, have switched to a 100 percent renewable energy product — generated from a mix of geothermal, biomass and small hydro power sources, instead of dirtier fossil fuel sources.
"We need to be better stewards of our resources," said Al Potter, treasurer of Trinity Church. "Buying renewable energy instead of burning fossil fuels is one way to demonstrate our commitment to the environment — it really is pretty simple. We just send our bill to a different place."
Trinity Church consumes large amounts of electricity, much of it used to run one of two remaining pure Skinner pipe organs left in the country, which features 52 sets of pipes.
"I am concerned about environmental issues in general, and switched my home to green power last year," said Steve Bonn, who presented the proposal to St. John's vestry last week. "Global warming, nuclear waste, acid rain, the destruction of eco-systems rendered by large hydroelectric projects — these are all good reasons to switch."
Both churches will reduce their energy bills by roughly five percent by using "green" rather than "brown" power — thanks to rebates provided to consumers of certified green power products by the California Energy Commission.
"We applaud these churches for their environmental responsibility, and for exercising their freedom to choose green energy," said Steven Kelly, Executive Director of the Renewable Energy Marketing Board. "We hope this agreement becomes a model for the rest of the country — to encourage more consumers to go green."
In 1998, the Commission for the Environment of the Episcopal Diocese of California adopted a resolution instructing all 87 Episcopalian church in California to buy clean, renewable power.
To date, nine churches have signed up for green power — the other seven are St. Aidain's of Diamond Heights, All Souls Church of Berkeley, St. Holy Innocence, St. Luke's and Christ Church of San Francisco, St. John's of Montclair, and St. Christopher's of San Lorenzo.