5 houses of worship using solar energy
Turns out that Madison, Wisconsin’s Benedictine sisters aren’t the only ones greening their house of worship: churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples around the US are implementing a range of green building and energy saving features. In most cases, they’re driven by religious imperatives; cost-savings likely play a role, too. The federal government’s even trying to encourage this behavior: Environmental Leader noted today that congregation buildings are now eligible for ENERGY STAR status.
Solar power is one of the first things most of us consider when trying to cut our energy costs and lighten our carbon footprints. Religious congregations are no different… here are a handful that have added solar features to their houses of worship.
- The First Presbyterian Church of Washingtonville, NY, has been heating the building with DIY solar systems for over 30 years!
- Bridgeview, Illinois’ Mosque Foundation added solar water heating in 2008, making it the first mosque in the US to adopt solar technology.
- Also in Illinois, solar-powered lighting is just one of many green features of Evanston’s Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation (which is LEED-Platinum certified).
- Christ Congregation in Princeton, New Jersey, isn’t just following its belief in stewardship with its solar panels on the roof… it’s also making a healthy return by selling excess power back to the local utility.
- Reno, Nevada’s Seventh Day Adventist Church took advantage of utility rebates to pay for the solar panels it added to its building.
- And a bonus “maybe” — the Chino Hills, California, Shree Swaminarayan Mandir and Cultural Center received a lot of press in the summer of ’08 for its plans to be totally solar powered… their website seems to have disappeared, so if you can confirm that they finished construction, we’d be grateful.
Know of other congregations going solar? Share them!