For the 350,000 churches, synagogues and mosques in the country today rising energy costs is driving many houses of worship to search for green alternatives like solar energy. And just as residents and businesses have their own drivers for choosing solar, so do faith-based organizations: protecting the planet and keeping coffers full for their spiritual programs.
Heal the Earth
While a key tenet of most faiths, protecting creation is no small task. Many church leaders believe they have a spiritual commitment to preserve the environment and are spreading the message that protecting the earth is a religious value.
Renewable energy non-profits such as Interfaith Power & Light are dedicated to helping churches be “faithful stewards of Creation” through energy conservation and renewable energy programs. With over 18,000 congregations across 40 state affiliates, IPL conducts education and advocacy campaigns to harness a religious response to global warming.
Fill the Coffers
Simply put, running a church costs money. Churches are putting their often large and shade-free roofs to good use by installing solar panels to lower their electric bills and turn their assets into profits. With some solar investments offering financial returns ranging between 10 and 15 percent, churches are turn to solar power as a means to cut costs and protect against energy inflation.
But there are complications. Because churches are classified as non-profit entities, they can’t take advantage of the state and federal tax credits that exist to make solar cheaper for individuals and businesses. Without the solar incentives that are only available to organizations with tax liability, the upfront cost of going solar is often cost-prohibitive for churches.
This is where solar financing companies like SDC Energy come in.
SDC Energy Helps Churches Benefit From Clean Energy
SDC Energy makes investing in local churches possible. Proven financing provides attractive returns to private investors with measurable tax bills – while churches reduce operational utility costs and gain clean power.
This type of socially-minded investment enables investors to fund solar projects instead of simply donating money to non-profits, benefiting their investment portfolio while furthering the cause of charitable organizations.
“Funders can double their Impact with socially-minded solar financing: they get tax benefits and a cash return on their investment while helping non-profits provide much-needed services to their communities,” said Charles Schaffer, President, SDC Energy.
Church of the Good Shepherd Saves Money with Solar
SDC Energy’s diversified solar investment portfolio consists of small to mid-sized commercial and non-profit organizations, including Church of the Good Shepherd in Salinas, California.
Just completed in October of this year, the 19-kilowatt installation is a testament to the benefits of solar investing for all parties involved: SDC Energy partner RC Cubed connected an installer with the church and shepherded the project to fruition so that the church can divert money saved on its electric bill towards its parishioner services.
“We are thrilled to have participated in this valuable project for Church of the Good Shepherd. This solar investment opportunity reflects the value that RC Cubed creates for its customers by using financing provided by SDC Energy.” Says James Rector, CEO of RC Cubed.
Church of the Good Shepherd Project Highlights:
Location: Salinas, California
Capacity: 18.9 kW DC
Annual Production: 27,609 kWh/Year
Number of Panels: 60
Panel Type: REC 315 watt
Inverter Type: SMA
Mounting: Fixed tilt roof mount
Now 60 solar panels gleam atop the Church of the Good Shepherd’s roof, covering 100 percent the church’s electricity needs, saving $192,000 in operating costs and offsetting 990,000 pounds of CO2 and other emissions over the life of the equipment. That’s equivalent to planting over 116,000 trees!
Priding itself as a “user-friendly” church that values community and a commitment to truth, the Church of the Good Shepherd is now an environmental steward as well. Something it can feel good about.
“At Church of the Good Shepherd we are passionate about the sacredness of life in all of its forms. That’s why we are proud of our new solar system and the benefits it brings to both our environment and our community here in Salinas.
Thanks to the financing from SDC Energy we are able to generate clean solar power, honoring our planet and saving money for our beloved church.” Says The Rev. Linda McConnell, Rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd.