Eco-Journey is the blog of the Environmental Ministries Office of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It includes a wide array of environmental topics: upcoming environmental events, links to interesting articles and studies, information on environmental advocacy, eco-theology topics, and success stories from churches that are going “green.”
Author Rebecca Barnes is the Associate for Environmental Ministries at the PC(USA). She is a graduate of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary with an MDiv and Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) dual degree.
Are you interested in what financial resources are available for doing energy efficiency or renewable energy at your church? There are a few options you might be interested to know.
Through the Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program (PILP), an endowment loan is made possible by the generosity of faithful Presbyterians who give a portion of their own resources to support the growth of mission and ministry of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). If your church is doing other upgrades and can add energy efficiency or solar panels into the project, this kind of fund might be right for you. Currently, the interest rate of an endowment loan is around 3.8%, but fluctuates with the market. Please be sure to check the interest rate before locking in to a particular loan.
Also, there are special incentive loans, available through PILP, like the energy conservation loan. These loans have a 5% interest rate. This specific loan is used to improve the conservation of energy resources such as more energy efficient HVAC systems, water heating, water conservation, lighting and insulation (Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Investment and Loan Program, Inc.: Building Together through God’s Abundance April 2011).
To figure out which loan is best for you, visit the PILP website to learn more: http://pilp.pcusa.org/loan-options/
In addition to these loans from PILP, don’t forget to check with your local governing bodies as well. Your presbytery or synod may have loans available.
Also, some grants are state-by-state. Check your local resources and if you have a chapter of Interfaith Power and Light, ask for their assistance. They have some great resources and connections to help with projects like this. [http://www.interfaithpowerandlight.org/]
Listed below are other resources to help you find grants:
For national, state, and local programs for green building check out: http://www.epa.gov/greenbuilding/tools/funding.htm
If you are looking to find other resources for finding renewable energy government grants, go to:
http://www.renewableenergygrants.net/Renewable-Energy-Government-Grants.html. This link will provide you other avenues and websites to further your search.
The National Council of Churches of Christ Eco-Justice Program’s link to Green Building resources: http://nccecojustice.org/resources/index.php#greenbuildingresources
If you live in the San Francisco area, this could be a great resource for you: http://www.sff.org/programs/core-program-areas/environment/. They have a few grant opportunities through the Great Communities Collaborative, and the Mohrardt Grant Program-Preserving the Redwoods.