In this issue
- Coming Event: Interfaith Voices for the Earth: Our Common Home
- Report: Youth Empowering Sustainability: A Statewide Environmental Kickoff
- Useful Information: Getting the Right Price for Your Solar Panels
- Support Our Cause: Consider a Donation
Interfaith Voices for the Earth: Our Common Home
At 1:30 PM on Saturday, March 12, people of faith from across Indiana will gather at Christian Theological Seminary (CTS), 1000 W. 42nd Street, for a powerful dialogue on Indiana’s environment entitled “Interfaith Voices for the Earth: Our Common Home.” Bringing clarity to what diverse faith traditions share in common, as well as those features that are distinctive, will foster a powerful unity of spirit to care for creation.
Organized by Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light (H-IPL), the conversation will be moderated by Rev. Dr. Matthew Myer Boulton, president of CTS. Panelists will include Archbishop Joseph Tobin of the Indianapolis Archdiocese; Rabbi Paula Winnig, executive director of the Jewish Bureau of Education; Hazem Bata, General Secretary of the Islamic Society of North America; and H-IPL board member Annette Johnson, who is a member of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.
Musicians performing original environmentally themed music are scheduled from 1:30 – 2:00 p.m. The panel conversation is planned for 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served following the panel conversation with time for networking from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Please register for event at www.hoosieripl.org/interfaith_voices_for_the_earth. Registration is free but required. A $10 donation is suggested to offset costs, and will be welcomed at check-in. Attendance is expected to be over 400 people, perhaps the largest gathering of faith-rooted environmentalists in Indiana history. There will also be ample time for networking, tabling, and meeting others from across Indiana.
When: Doors open at 1:00 PM, Saturday, March 12, 2016
Where: Christian Theological Seminary, Shelton Auditorium, 1000 W. 42nd Street, Indianapolis
Who: Sponsored by Christian Theological Seminary, the Sisters of St. Francis of Oldenburg, and Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light, major speakers include Rev. Dr. Matthew Myer Boulton, president of CTS. Panelists will include Archbishop Joseph Tobin of the Indianapolis Archdiocese; Rabbi Paula Winnig, executive director of the Jewish Bureau of Education; Hazem Bata, General Secretary of the Islamic Society of North America; and H-IPL board member Annette Johnson, who is a member of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.
Why: 2016 is a landmark and critical election year for Indiana’s environment and climate. With Pope Francis’ groundbreaking environmental encyclical, more and more people of faith are becoming vocal advocates for the care of creation.
Youth Empowering Sustainability (YES!): A Statewide Environmental Kickoff
Report from ICEY: In an event organized by the Interfaith Community of Environmentalist Youth, Fifty-two youth and twenty-one adults from across Indiana came to Indianapolis on January 18 for an overnight youth empowerment kickoff. We helped them think about how they can start environmental groups like ours in their hometowns, and we trained them in weatherizing. On MLK Day we split into groups and weatherized homes in Indianapolis. We're thankful to everyone who helped with and came to the event. We can't wait to see these kids take action on climate change in their hometowns!
Getting the Right Price for Your Solar Panels
Downey Avenue Christian Church Solar Installation
Over the past eight months, H-IPL has helped over a dozen congregations obtain solar panels. In the process, we’ve learned a lot – including that congregations sometimes pay much more for their panels than they need to – and consequently get fewer panels than they could have. We hope that the following suggestions might help you when you look into installing panels on your house of worship or home.
Get several quotes: prices for the same quality work, product, and job can vary enormously. Your preferred local contractor may lower his price if you can show that other reputable companies would do the same job for less.
For example, by using competing bids to negotiate their contracts, six of the congregations were able to install a quarter to two-thirds more panels - reducing their future electric bills by thousands of dollars more than they would have if they’d not negotiated and preventing tens of thousands more pounds of carbon emissions.
Don’t get quotes only from local companies – even if you ultimately hope to work with a local company – or only from companies that deal primarily with large clients. Some companies can charge high prices because they’re the only game in town. But numerous excellent companies will travel for a job. Too, companies with larger clientele may not give smaller customers a good price.
Don’t be seduced by a contractor’s detailed plans and analyses. Installing solar panels is not rocket science. Some excellent contractors make a quick visit and then provide a simple two-page bid that specifies the make, model and quantity of the equipment and the total price – and that’s it!
Do focus on what matters: a reputable company, solid quality panels, and a good price.
To compare prices, look only at the “price per watt”. To calculate this, divide the total cost - including everything - by the total number of watts to be installed. For example, if the total cost is $21,000 and the installation includes 28 250-watt panels (28 x 250 watts =7000 watts) then the cost per watt is $3.
A number of factors might increase the cost of a particular installation such as an unusually long distance from the solar panels to the main breaker panels, the need to place panels on different sections of the roof, or a roof that is unusually steep or high. Since these factors will be faced by any solar company that does your job, this is another important reason to secure several bids before accepting one.
Of the 13 congregations that procured panels in 2015, ten paid between $2.33 and $3 per watt. One of the other three paid nearly twice that rate - $5.50 a watt. The other two each paid a significantly higher rate than other congregations that used the same contractor. In short, prices can vary a lot. Negotiating with knowledge pays off!
Progressive Community Church Installation