Together we can power Indiana forward to a clean energy future starting with our congregations! We are Hoosiers of faith working together to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency, as a response to climate change.
H-IPL wants to support you in reducing your carbon footprint, reducing your energy usage and using clean energy – renewable energy. Through H-IPL, you have access to a variety of workshops, information, and programs from both our National IPL organization and H-IPL. National IPL offers Cool Congregations and a carbon footprint calculator. H-IPL offers Using Energy Prudently and other workshops to support your congregation in reducing energy use. H-IPL’s Energy Stewards program allows your congregation to keep track of its energy usage through the EPA Energy Star Program for Congregations.
Calculating your carbon footprint whether it is for you personally or for your congregation takes time and requires the gathering of information. We know! When you have a clear understanding of where you are, it is easier to understand what to do next. It is also wonderful to look back and have a precise measurement of the positive changes you have made.
- Use the calculator for homes and congregations.
- Create a baseline of where you are now and then can see how much you have improved.
For a carbon footprint calculator for your home and your congregation from National Interfaith Power and Light, Click Here,
Reduce Energy Costs
H-IPL encourages congregations to reduce their energy use by 25%. A good place to begin is with some free or low-cost items. Turn off the lights as you leave a room. Turn down the thermostat in winter and up in summer. Cut phantom energy use by unplugging devices and chargers that are not being used.
Attend or host a Using Energy Prudently Workshop for more ideas on how to reduce energy costs.
Track your congregation’s energy usage and compare your energy usage with similar congregations by signing up for H-IPL’s Energy Stewards, sponsored by the EPA Energy Star program for Organizations and Congregations.
For information on how to participate in Energy Stewards and the Energy Star Program for congregations, Contact us.
Go Solar! Go Clean Energy!
Over 50 of Indiana’s congregations are now solar congregations. One of our favorite solar congregations is Irvington Presbyterian Church on the Eastside of Indianapolis, and whose solar panels were installed in 2017 thanks to inspiration from H-IPL, and whose panels and roof are featured above with Senior Pastor Robert Heimlich.
Receive acknowledgment for your congregations hard work!
Become an H-IPL Acclaimed Congregation
- Reduce electricity and gas use by at least 25% over the course of three to five years through energy tracking tools and conservation measures.
- Cultivate active environmental commitment in the congregation, collectively and individually, shown by having 1/3 of member households reduce their energy use by one-seventh on the household energy survey.
- Partner with H-IPL by serving as site host for an H-IPL workshop or event.
Earn an Energy Star Certification for Your Building
The EPA’s Energy Star program likewise offers your congregation the opportunity to earn the Energy Star for your worship building—the same star that is found on an increasing number of energy efficient products. Here you can find ten reasons to pursue Energy Star certification. The Energy Star website for congregations offers an action workbook for congregations as well as many more tools and resources. It also describes how your congregation can earn the Energy Star as these congregations have by earning an Energy Star score of 75 or higher in Energy Stewards.
Become an Interfaith Power & Light Cool Congregation
Our parent organization Interfaith Power & Light offers certification as a Cool Congregation for groups that have reduced their energy use by 10% to 40%. You can read about the certification here, and apply here.
Enter the Cool Congregation Challenge through National Interfaith Power and Light. National winners win $ 1000. The five Categories are;
- COOL CONGREGATIONS PLANNER Audits • Planning Reports • Fundraising
- ENERGY SAVER Lighting • Insulation • Windows & Doors • Heating & Cooling Systems
- RENEWABLE ROLE MODEL Solar • Wind • Geothermal • Solar Water Heating
- SACRED GROUNDS STEWARD Native Landscaping • Organic Gardening • Water Conservation • Bike Racks • Wildlife Habitats • Recycling & Composting
- COMMUNITY INSPIRATION This includes congregations that inspire congregants to save energy at home. It may also include congregations working within their communities to assist in adapting to and coping with climate change.
Click here for more info on how to enter the Cool Congregation Challenge.
Our sister organization GreenFaith, based in New Jersey, reaches faiths across the U.S. with its own certification program, a two-year environmental leadership program for houses of worship. They provide resources, coaching, support, and networking opportunities to help congregations do holistic environmental planning. To learn more about their program and how to become involved, go here.
Some faith groups and denominations have their own congregation-based environmental certification programs and resources, including the following. Go to their websites or contact a denominational official to learn more:
- Presbyterian Church (USA) Earth Care Congregations
- Unitarian Universalists Green Sanctuary Program
- Disciples of Christ Green Chalice Program
- Muslim Green Ramadan
- Jewish Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) and Aytzim Ecological Judaism for sustainable Israel
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Lutherans Restoring Creation
- United Church of Christ Creation Justice Churches
- Mennonite Creation Care Shades of Green Congregations
If you are aware of other denominational programs that should be listed, please let us know.