We all want clear skies overhead; especially after the intense wildfire and hurricane seasons we are experiencing this year. And we’d all like clear skies AHEAD when it comes to climate action.
If your congregation has taken steps to clear the skies, enter by December 15 to win $1,000 in the IPL Cool Congregations Challenge, Interfaith Power & Light’s annual contest to award congregations for their efforts to care for Creation.
Normally only projects completed in the past year are accepted, but because of COVID things are different.
IPL recognizes the difficulties caused by COVID – plans to upgrade properties to save energy have been postponed, and congregational administrative offices have been closed making it difficult to access records. So IPL is expanding the project eligibility window to include 2018, 2019, and 2020. If you have applied for projects ending in those years before, you may enter again, as long as you did not win.
IPL congregations across the nation have already reduced their carbon emissions or engaged their communities in climate resilience. Some congregations have gotten an energy audit and are making plans; some are managing their grounds sustainably. IPL’s Cool Congregations Challenge supports and honors you, wherever your congregation has focused its’ efforts to care for Creation.
There are five entry categories:
Energy Saver: Lighting, Insulation, Windows & Doors, Heating & Cooling Systems
Renewable Role Model: Solar, Wind, Geothermal, Solar Water Heating
Sacred Grounds: Native landscaping, Organic Gardening, Water Conservation, Bike Racks, Wildlife Habitats, Recycling & Composting
Community Inspiration: Inspiring Congregants to Reduce at Home, Helping Communities Transition from Fossil Fuels to Clean Energy, Helping Communities Prepare for the Impacts of Climate Change
Cool Congregations Planner: Audits, Planning Reports, Fundraising – Consider applying for this category if your plans for 2020 were waylaid by COVID.
Projects can take place inside the worship space or other buildings, on the grounds, in congregants’ homes, or in the community.
So even if you have applied before – as long as you did not win – you may enter your projects completed in 2018, 2019, and 2020.
Click here to enter the Challenge or download your entry guide today. It includes all of the details, as well as a flyer to get your green team excited about entering, inspirational stories of past winners, and links to the entry form. Entry deadline December 15.
A BIG THANK YOU to the stellar line up of judges this year:
Jerry Lawson, National Manager of EPA’s ENERGY STAR Small Business & Congregations
Mikelann Scerbo, Research Manager, Alliance for Saving Energy
Hannah Bastian, Research Analyst, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
Ryan Snow, Director, Market Transformation + Development, U.S. Green Building Council
Jerry Bernstein, IPL National Special Projects Manager
Dara Bortman, Sr VP of Marketing/Sales of Exact Solar, and Board Director, American Solar Energy Society
Gregory Lopez, IPL National Board Member
Ashaki Scott, IPL National Staff
Carla Ellern, IPL DMV supporter, Registered Landscape Architect with Lila Fendrick Landscape Architects
Tim Darst, Retired Executive Director of Kentucky IPL