How to Enter the Cool Congregations Challenge

The Cool Congregations Challenge, is an annual national contest to recognize “Cool Congregations” that are becoming energy efficient and sustainable role models within their communities. The contest is brought to you by Interfaith Power & Light, a nonprofit organization working to inspire and support a religious response to global warming. Get ready to enter the Challenge in 2018!

DOWNLOAD FULL 2018 ENTRY GUIDE  or go directly to the Entry 

Download Guide by page:
Table of Contents  
• What Is the Cool Congregations Challenge? 
Entry Directions and Criteria
Green Team Flyer
Project Ideas
25 Steps Under $25
25 Steps Over $25


First place prizes for each category ($1000 each)
Runners-up and honorable mentions will receive certificates


Cool Congregations Planner

Audits • Planning Reports • Fundraising

Energy Saver

Lighting • Insulation • Windows & Doors • Heating & Cooling Systems

Renewable Role Model

Solar • Wind • Geothermal • Solar Water Heating

Sacred Grounds Steward

Native Landscaping • Organic Gardening • Water Conservation • Bike Racks • Wildlife Habitats • Recycling & Composting

Community Inspiration

This includes congregations that inspire congregants to save energy at home.
It may also include congregations working within their communities to assist in adapting to and coping with climate change.

Judging Criteria

Winners will be chosen by an interfaith panel of faith and lay-leaders, including others with expertise in congregational energy efficiency and sustainability. Each entry will be judged on a combination of factors:

• 40% — A well-defined project, measurable objectives for climate benefit

• 20% — Creativity and resourcefulness in executing the project

• 20% — Congregant and/or community engagement in project

• 20% — Inspiration factor.

The percentage awarded in each category will serve as a guideline and the judges will apply their knowledge and experience to evaluate and select the finalists and winners.

All entrants will receive an email notice around the end of February 2019.

Entry questions not answered here can be sent to Please allow up to 48 hours for an answer.

The contest is open to congregations of any size or denomination interested in becoming more energy efficient and sustainable.

Projects can take place anywhere as long as they are run through a congregation. That means inside the sanctuary or other buildings, on the grounds, in congregants’ homes, or in the community.

Prize money will be awarded to congregations only, and not to individuals.

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Cool Congregation.



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