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First Diocesan-wide Solar Power Plan Sweeps the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego

The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego and its partners, Episcopal Church Building Fund and Fellowship Energy Finance, are excited to announce the first diocesan-wide program to equip all its churches with solar panels.

With 13 churches currently enrolled in the program, Bishop Susan Brown Snook is excited about bringing the Diocese and its churches into the green movement. “I am so glad for our diocese to use the abundant resource we are blessed with here in Southern California and Arizona – sunlight – to meet our needs for energy,” said Susan Brown Snook, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego.

“Helping our earth remain sustainable is our way of caring for God’s creation and conserving resources for future generations. We are blessed to have this technology available to us, and I look forward to our diocese and congregations entering into this initiative,” said Brown Snook.

Fellowship Energy Finance, a lead partner in the endeavor, is focused on providing churches with the financing options for solar-powered energy solutions. Fellowship Energy Finance is providing zero-down financing so that churches can start saving on their energy costs.

“Bringing solar panels to our churches serves a dual purpose: reducing utility costs to the congregations and being good stewards of God’s creation,” said the Rev. Kirby Smith, CFO of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego. “We are all called to be responsible for maintaining our environment so it may be a healthy and safe place for those who come after us.  We are temporary custodians of all that God has provided. Money that congregations spend on electricity can’t be spent on mission and ministry.  In light of that, it is incumbent for congregations to seek ways of using power more efficiently,” said Smith.

The Episcopal Church Building Fund, a partner in the solar program, is helping churches thrive through the investigation of strategic, resourceful, and creative uses of church buildings. “ECBF loans are available to Episcopal Church congregations for building and renovation projects for churches, schools, directories, and expansions of ministry projects.”

The steps associated with participating in the initiative–going solar–are low-contact activities. Local church solar teams can meet virtually. Even when church campuses are closed due to COVID-19, this program can still move forward.

For more information about how to get involved with the EDSD Solar Initiative, please contact the Rev. Kirby Smith at ksmith@edsd.org

Update on Batteries for Solar

Our solar project financing partner Fellowship Energy Finance (FEF) has identified a state grant with the Bishop’s blessing.  We hope ALL EDSD properties to pursue this funding opportunity, even if you do not currently have a solar power system.  There is no obligation at this point; it’s just an application.

It’s super-simple to apply – FEF does ALL the work.  For you, just one simple step, below. If a grant is awarded, it would be free money to support an energy storage system.  Such a system enables operation during power outages, the use of stored energy at night, and significantly enhances total savings from solar.

Please do this soon. The more applications we submit, the better the odds that some EDSD projects will get approved.

All we need from you is updated electricity data, known as the Green button data, which is readily available from your utility provider.

1)  FEF has set up a tool that simplifies securing your electricity usage data.  It allows FEF to gather the data on your behalf and complete the remainder of the application process.  Click here —


2) Answer the two questions.  “Customer email” means the email account associated with your church’s online utility account.   This might be your admin, treasurer, or other – in most cases, these are the same folks who helped us secure Green Button Data last summer/ fall.

Feel free to forward the API link to them.

After you’ve answered the two questions, that’s it.  The data goes directly to FEF’s account.  With this, they design an energy storage system to complement your usage patterns.  They also complete and submit the application for your church.

Rest assured, there is NO obligation here.  Even if your property is awarded a grant (and of course, there are no guarantees) you do NOT have to go forward with the project. Only if you like the project economics — whether with solar or not, and assuming a grant award –and choose to do so, would any project move forward.

Again, please call Erika with ANY questions.  Here is her contact information:

Erika Morgan, Energetic Management Associates


Category: #Finance

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