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Greening America's Congregations: TXIPL Goes to the White House

Texas Interfaith Center and Texas Interfaith Power & Light staff joined faith leaders from across the nation for the “Greening America’s Congregations” event at the White House on September 13, 2012. The program was sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) ENERGY STAR program and the White House’s Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and highlighted the work of the faith community on improving energy efficiency in houses of worship.

During the one-day program, senior administration officials called on faith-based organizations to do more to save energy and strengthen stewardship of the environment by improving the energy efficiency of their houses of worship with help from the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program. In addition, religious leaders from different religious traditions shared best practices and success stories about how congregations across the country are already achieving significant carbon reductions by incorporating energy efficiency into their broader mission.

According to the EPA, if America’s houses of worship cut energy use by 20 percent, collectively they would save nearly $630 million, cut electricity use by more than 3.6 billion kilowatt hours, and prevent more than 2.6 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to the emissions from about 480,000 cars.

One useful online tool for tracking and managing congregational energy use is the EPA’s Portfolio Manager program. Click here to access slides from our August webinar about Portfolio Manager.

When your congregation enters information about its facility and its energy and water use, Portfolio Manager will enable you to measure efficiency improvements as you make them. When you click to share your congregation’s data with the Texas Interfaith Power & Light account (our account name is TexasIPL), you’ll help us track efficiency improvements state-wide! The more we’re able to document the efficiency improvements of the Texas faith community, the more effective we’ll all be in calling for a new way forward on energy use.

Bee, Josh, and Amanda were delighted to be invited to the White House, and we’re eager to work with more congregations in Texas to improve the energy efficiency—and environmental stewardship—of our houses of worship. If you have questions or ideas, or would like more info on how your congregation can be involved, please e-mail Amanda.