A New Avenue for Creation Care in EDSD
“Net Zero Energy” – what is it?? And how does it apply to the Diocese?
Earlier this month, Convention approved a resolution on “Creation Care through Clean Renewable Energy for EDSD Churches”. This Resolution formally created the “Future Bound Solar Initiative”. The Initiative began in 2019 under the auspices of the Diocesan Property Committee and launched for 2020 in April. With this Resolution, the Initiative is now officially available for all parishes, missions and congregations.
Join St. Luke’s North Park, the Episcopal Church Center in Ocean beach – these campuses both have new solar systems already installed. Earlier this week, the Standing Committee gave final approval to solar projects at St Alban’s in San Diego and at All Souls, Point Loma. There are five more congregations well along in the process, and another near-dozen that have taken the first step. All of these will join the seven other congregations that already have solar. Can we make EDSD the first 100% solar-powered diocese in the country?
Creation Care charges us to consider the impact of our actions on the environment on which depend, and on the planet, our irreplaceable Island Home. The “Future Bound Solar Initiative” provides each congregation an opportunity to explore solar energy and energy efficiency for their campus. The program provides facilitated technical and financial exploration, leading to campus-specific proposals for energy efficiency, solar and/or advanced energy management upgrades. Best of all, congregations just need to step forward to participate – there is no cost, no obligation and financing with no upfront cost required, for the resulting projects.
The Diocese partners in this program with national partners Fellowship Energy Finance, the Episcopal Church Building Fund and San Diego-based Energetic Management Associates (EMA). EMA brings industry expertise and facilitation support to church-based teams, tailoring the steps from energy audit, solar, energy efficiency and advanced energy management options to the needs of each church.
Creation Care is an essential and ever-growing imperative, one that confronts us all with increasing urgency every year. Moving to energy efficiency, renewable energy and smart energy systems is a significant near-term step we can all take. The “Future Bound Solar Initiative” has been designed to enable every church – big, small and in the middle, in any part of our Diocese – to do take near-term, cost-saving and planet-saving actions.
Finally, “Net Zero Energy (NZE)” is an aspirational target for us. In 2020, however, this target already applies to new residential construction statewide. NZE simply means that a building or campus generates as much electricity as it consumes over a year. Step 1: reducing the amount of energy the campus needs. Step 2: producing that energy onsite – whether on a rooftop, carport or canopy. By setting NZE as an aspirational target, we challenge ourselves in two ways – to take immediate steps and to keep working at it over time.
Stewardship of Creation is a long-term responsibility and one we embrace. Fellowship and ECBF will assist over time, by identifying new carbon-cutting opportunities as these make sense economically and environmentally.
Please join the “Future Bound Solar Initiative” as we work to keep our environment as healthy, vibrant and diverse as the Creation over which we were given dominion. To participate, please contact Erika Morgan at email@example.com.