blog

Solar-powered Mormons

No doubt, you’ve heard stories about the evangelical “creation care” movement, and perhaps even efforts by Jewish and Islamic groups to incorporate environmental practices and teachings into the practice of their faiths. But the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka the Mormons)? Well, they do ride bicycles when knocking on doors…

Turns out the Mormons have been thinking green in terms of their meetinghouses and buildings for quite some time… and a new pilot project involves putting solar panels on churches.

Late last month, The Presiding Bishopric introduced the Church’s first solar-powered meetinghouse in Farmington, Utah. This is just the first of five: others are under construction in Eagle Mountain, Utah, Apache Junction, Arizona, Logandale, Nevada, and Pahrump, Nevada. Presiding Bishop H. David Burton characterized the Church’s motivations as being “about creating a place of worship that works in harmony with the environment,” and claimed that organization has a relatively long history of “[looking] for innovative ways to use natural resources in our meetinghouses that reflect our commitment as wise stewards of God’s creations.” This will also help with the Church’s utility bills: “The roof-mounted solar panels are projected to generate enough electricity to completely power the structure, saving an estimated $6000 in energy costs annually.”

This is a big deal on a number of fronts. First, the Church is growing rapidly, and builds or expands a facility every day of the work week. Furthermore, they plan to use the new technology not only to do their part for the environment (and their utility spending), but also to teach Church members about greener energy options. They’ll use energy monitors, for instance, to show families “what energy use looks like.”

Green Mormons? Looks like they’ve actually been at this for a while. It’ll be interesting to see how this takes off, and if existing structures will eventually get solar treatment.

MORE FROM SUSTAINABLOG:

  • Scott Sabin’s Tending to Eden documents creation care efforts to fight poverty and deforestation.
  • Take a small step towards solar: check out our selection of outdoor solar lights.



Image credit: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints