Ann Arbor, MI
Genesis of Ann Arbor house of worship is shared by Temple Beth Emeth and St. Clare’s Episcopal Church. These two congregations formed a joint green team with the goal of reducing the carbon footprint of their facility. The Genesis Green Team supported the installation of solar panels that cut their carbon footprint by 20% saving 64 tons of emissions and $9,000 a year in energy costs. Because the building is closed due to COVID, they are putting 30,000 kWh/yr back on the grid. Without COVID, they estimate putting 8000 kWh/year back to the grid.
The two congregations formed an LLC with 20 investors from their congregations to fund the project. These investors will be able to take advantage of the tax credit on their taxes and receive a monthly income for the power generated. Working with Solar Faithful of Ann Arbor and Michigan Interfaith Power & Light, Genesis has been able to share the success of their well-designed financing model. 35 people from Michigan and the Philadelphia area attended their Solar Investor Model Workshop on Zoom, and already three more houses of worship have started investigating the model to fund their own solar projects. Click here to read their detailed description of their financing model.
While energy cost savings and increased property value were part of the motivation, both congregations find protecting the environment for future generations deeply rooted in their religious traditions, and feel the biggest return on investment is knowing their efforts help others and protect God’s Creation. They hope that the example will inspire many of their congregants to investigate reducing their own energy footprint at home.