Is People’s Church ready to be a Cool Congregation ?

Cool Congregations is a stewardship program developed by Interfaith Power and Light that provides certification for congregations that achieve different levels of greenhouse gas reductions in their facilities. It offers a structured approach and support resources, and also includes a challenge to individual congregants to engage in lowering their personal carbon footprints. There is an annual Cool Congregations Challenge with prizes worth $1000 in each of 5 different categories. The Green Sanctuary Committee has initiated an application on behalf of People’s Church to become a Cool Congregation.

Certifications are awarded to congregations as they achieve 10, 20, 30, 40, 60, 80, and 100% reductions in their greenhouse gas emissions. We believe that we can easily achieve the 10% mark, and may even be able to hit 20% on our first try, based on the installation of our solar panels, efficiency improvements we have made to the heating system, modifications that Building & Grounds have made in previous years, and others that we have uncovered over the past year of energy sleuthing.

There is, of course, much more to be done to reach higher percentage reductions. The Net Zero Task Force has developed a 10 year plan to wean ourselves from fossil fuels, but because the pandemic has postponed the in-person Annual Meeting, congregational approval of the first year budget request is on hold. In the meantime the NZTF is working out designs for prototypes of window coverings and ceiling insulation to maximize energy conservation in our church. We will keep the membership informed of our progress through

Green Spot and Climate Corner articles

If you are interested in working on the People’s Church climate change efforts, the Green Sanctuary Committee would love to have you join in on the fun. This project will involve establishing and tracking People’s Church carbon footprint under Cool Congregations standards, providing documentation of our efforts toward Net Zero carbon emissions, promoting similar efforts among individual households within the congregation, and possibly even entering the national challenge. If you would like to join the GSC efforts (no regular committee meetings required!), contact Tom Hackley at

To see more information about the Cool Congregations program go to:

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