Interfaith Power and Light (IPL) is an affiliation of religious institutions and churches responding to climate change as a matter of moral and ethical purpose. In addition to working on public policy and education, IPL pioneered the “Cool Congregations” campaign to help churches respond to climate change by investing in efficiency, renewable generation and water conservation. To become a Cool Congregation, churches must invest in the leadership capacity of their members around energy planning and post 10% or more in energy savings within the house of worship and/ or within members’ households.
In 2012, IPL named Cool Congregation Challenge winners including the Mercy Center in Madison, CT, which used energy abatement programs offered by their utility to invest in solar-powered hot water heaters cutting reliance on oil and removing 6.5 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere per year. The Federation Church in Flagstaff, AZ, raised $40,000 from its parishoners to invest in 132 solar panels to power 96% of the Church’s use, saving $350,000 over 40 years. First Universalist Church in Rockland, ME,? helped low-income Mainers cut heating costs through community workshops to build thermal window inserts that are given away or sold at low cost. IPL provides start-up kits and other tools to help affiliates develop and implement their own strategies.