MONROE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH ANNOUNCES “WE’RE GOING SOLAR”
November 8, 2018
(Monroe, NY) Thanks to the innovative Solarize Our Congregation program in the Hudson Valley, Monroe Presbyterian Church is transitioning to renewable energy. Their solar system, consisting of 84 SunPower panels, was installed during the week of November 5 by New York State Solar Farm. The panels will create approximately 37,844 kilowatt hours of clean energy in the first year alone. The panels have an expected useful life of 40 years.
By installing solar, Monroe Presbyterian Church will not only save on its electricity bills, but also will take a substantial step towards greater eco-friendliness. The church is affiliated with the Hudson River Presbytery, whose sustainability committee, HRP Green, launched the Solarize Our Congregation program in spring 2018.
Monroe Presbyterian Church’s system will generate enough electricity to cover about 82% of the church’s entire electricity bill, saving them an estimated $535 per month. The solar panels are part of an ongoing greening project at the church, which is also raising awareness around recycling, composting, energy efficiency, and other sustainable practices. Pastor Robert “Bronc” Radak said, “For the church, and for individuals, it is part of the stewardship of creation. We give thanks to God for the gift of the world, and help create a better future for everyone.”
This Solarize program is not only for churches. Homeowners can also participate and receive the benefits of the program, which include discounted Solarize pricing in addition to substantial federal and state tax credits and incentives. There is no cost for a solar assessment to determine if your home is suitable for solar.
Kathy Dean, coordinator of HRP Green, said, “The partnership of HRP Green with Solarize Our Congregation has helped us to continue our mission of sharing best practices in earth care – including ending dependence on fossil fuels. For some of our congregations the conversion to solar has made good sense financially. The reason I promote solar power is that I want to preserve some of the world as I know it for my grandchildren and for all of Creation; I believe clean energy is one way to do that.”
Prior to the program launch, the HRP Green team and Solarize Our Congregation program team competitively vetted and selected a single solar installer for the campaign serving Orange, Ulster, Columbia, Dutchess, Putnam and Sullivan counties. That company is New York State Solar Farm, a family owned company with a long track record of participation in Solarize programs. The company is based in Modena-Gardiner, NY.
The 2018 Solarize Our Congregation campaign is drawing to a close, but members and friends of these congregations installing solar systems will still be eligible for the program’s exclusive discounted pricing for a limited time. Homeowners may submit an inquiry at www.SolarizeOurCongregation.org (click on the “North” button) or call New York State Solar Farm at (845) 255-0610. To proceed, contracts must be signed by the end of February, 2019. Every solar installation completed through this program by a member or friend of a congregation will result in a $240 donation to the referring church/congregation.
Solarize Our Congregation is a new program developed and administered by Abundant Efficiency, a clean energy consultancy that has run the Solarize Westchester program since it began in 2015. This pilot campaign was launched in partnership with Sustainable Westchester, a community non-profit that implements sustainability initiatives in its 43 Westchester member municipalities. Technical support is provided by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative, a $1 billion investment in solar power through 2023 to significantly expand solar installations. HRP Green has conducted extensive outreach to area churches and congregations and has provided guidance on tailoring the Solarize program for its members. For more information, see www.SolarizeOurCongregation.org and www.SolarizeWestchester.com.