Seventh Bay Area Episcopal Church Votes to Go Green
BERKELEY, CA — March 2, 1999 — In a showing of how people of faith are awakening to the need to take action on environmental issues such as global climate change, All Souls Episcopal Church of Berkeley voted unanimously last month to purchase power for its church facility from Green Mountain Energy Resources (GMER).
The church becomes the seventh Episcopal church to vote to switch to green power. Last October, California's Episcopal Diocesan Convention adopted a resolution entitled Episcopal Power and Light put forward by Sally Bingham, chair of the Diocese's Commission for the Environment. It instructs each of California's 87 Episcopal churches to buy clean, renewable power.
Bingham negotiated an arrangement with GMER whereby each church that signs up for GMER receives a $250 donation; for each parishioner, the church gets another $20.
"God's purpose for us is to love and to live in harmony with all that God has made. We invite people of all faith to join with us in cutting greenhouse gas emissions by investing in energy efficiency and by buying renewable energy resources generated from God's gifts, the wind and sun," said Bingham.
Nancy Snow, chair of the All Souls environmental committee, said all 12 members of the committee voted for going green, and was delighted the decision was so easy. The church will not choose a specific product until an energy audit is completed.
"There is a strong expectation that we would want the highest level of renewable energy which would be the 'Wind For The Future' product," said Snow. "Wind For The Future" is comprised of power from new wind and existing geothermal, biomass and small hydro power sources.
Snow also noted that the church is encouraging its parishioners to perform energy audits and GMER has provided a CD-ROM that will be available at services whereby they can calculate how much money they can save through energy efficiency and then how much renewable energy they could buy with the savings.
"We're pleased to see Bay Area churches taking advantage of California's growing renewable energy market," said Lori Jablonski with the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT). "We hope that churches, businesses and individuals statewide will follow their lead."
To date the following Bay Area Episcopal churches have also voted to switch to GMER: St. Aidain's of Diamond Heights; St. Holy Innocence, St. Luke's and Christ Church of San Francisco; St. John's of Montclair; and St. Christopher's of San Lorenzo. Another goal of Bay Area Episcopal Churches is to sign-up 3,800 parishioners. When that goal is reached, GMER will erect a new wind turbine that will have exclusively been supported by members of the Episcopal faith.
CEERT Contact: Lori Jablonski (916) 442-7785