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Episcopal House is saving money and helping the environment – and your church can too

Episcopal House's A/C units, which date from the 20th century, will be replaced with energy-efficient 21st century models thanks to a state program that churches can also utilize. NINA NICHOLSON PHOTO
Episcopal House's A/C units, which date from the 20th century, will be replaced with energy-efficient 21st century models thanks to a state program that churches can also utilize. NINA NICHOLSON PHOTO

A recent improvement in New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program (NJECP) provides a prime opportunity for congregations to save money and help the environment, by implementing an energy efficiency upgrade at very little cost.

Currently Episcopal House is using the program for its own energy efficiency upgrade and is ready to provide guidance to congregations that would like to follow suit.

These three resources make an energy efficiency upgrade an affordable goal for churches:

  • Effective July 1, NJECP increased to 80% the amount of eligible expenses it will cover for an energy efficiency upgrade, up from 70% in prior years.
  • The upgrade process begins with an energy audit by an NJECP-authorized contractor – and Episcopal House has identified one such contractor willing to perform free energy audits for religious organizations.
  • Low-interest loans from the diocese’s Green Revolving Fund are available to help finance the remaining upgrade costs, up to $10,000 per congregation.

Episcopal House had an energy audit performed in July that recommended upgrading all lighting to LED lights and replacing its A/C units with energy-efficient models. NJECP will cover all but about $19,000 of the cost of this upgrade, which will save Episcopal House an estimated $8200 a year in energy costs.

To help finance its share of the upgrade, Episcopal House will borrow $10,000 from the Green Revolving Fund. Diocesan CFO Sam Reckford calculates this loan can be paid back within two years, using future savings.

Diocesan Property Manager Jim Caputo says the Episcopal House upgrade will be completed by late September or early October – within three months of when it started. He also points out that when the upgrade is complete, Episcopal House will have new A/C equipment and lighting – and will save money on energy costs every month going forward.

All of this is available to churches – but it’s also time sensitive, as NJCEP funds are likely to be claimed quickly. Therefore, congregations who want to take advantage of this opportunity should act soon.

To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Jim Caputo at jcaputo@dioceseofnewark.org or 973-430-9979.