Cleaner. Greener. Cooler.
What can your religious congregation do to help create a healthier and more sustainable world?
If your congregation is not currently using 100% renewable energy, we invite you to join with Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church and a growing number of other Houston congregations who are making the shift to renewables. Together we can create a cleaner, greener and more environmentally just future. As the world embarks on a historic transition to less ecologically destructive forms of energy, religious congregations can serve as leaders-by-example, working together across diverse faiths to care for creation and safeguard the climate we leave to future generations.
You can go renewable in any of 3 ways:
• Change your current utility contract to one that supplies electricity from 100% renewable sources such as solar or wind farms or waterpower. Renewable plans are now price-competitive in many regions.
• Buy voluntary Renewable Energy Certificates proportional to your power usage (1 MWh of usage = 1 REC).
• Install solar panels or other clean energy generators on-site. New energy financing makes this option increasingly affordable for many.
To reduce your net carbon footprint further—even to zero—you may consider compensating for additional emissions (e.g., natural gas, heating oil, travel-related fuel) with well-verified carbon offsets.
By purchasing renewable energy while at the same time improving energy efficiency and reducing consumption, your congregation can realize a net savings in total utility costs. At Emerson, we’re challenging our own members, and the leaders of other congregations in the Houston area, to make the transition to 100% renewables. You can do the same in your own denomination or community. Together we can spread the powerful idea that energy choices are moral choices, reflecting the ecological values of the faith traditions we represent.
Help spread the word.
Please share, post or forward this page to all who might be ready to step up and support a Renewable Congregations Campaign in their own religious communities.
To add your name to our growing list of renewable congregations, or to start a similar campaign in your own city or region, please be in touch at the email address below. Together we can re-energize the world!
Some Tips on How to Shift to Renewable Energy in Greater Houston
Now that renewable energy is price-competitive with traditional energy in the Houston area, there’s never been a better time to make the shift. If your household or congregation is considering a shift to renewables, you have at least three options.
- The simplest option is to switch your utility contract to a 100% renewable provider. Visit the Public Utility Commission’s www.powertochoose.com and/or CenterPoint Energy’s www.mytruecost.com websites and follow the instructions to find providers who offer 100% renewable electricity at competitive prices. To get your best deal, you may wish to consult one of the many energy brokers in the Houston area who can help you navigate the complexities of our electricity market. We are working with fellow UU Elisa Kaplan of Lantern Power.
- If you are currently locked into a traditional energy contract but would like to subsidize the production of a quantity of renewable energy equivalent to your own usage, you may buy Renewable Energy Certificates (1 REC = 1 MWh or 1,000 KWh of usage) for approximately $1 per REC. This gives you legal claim to the renewable sourcing of the energy produced by the solar or wind farms you are voluntarily subsidizing. We have purchased inexpensive RECS directly from TriEagle Energy Store, which sells RECs in blocks of 50 for about $50.
- The most ambitious way to go renewable is through on-site generation of energy, such as by installing solar panels. If you would like to explore this option, we recommend you contact Solarize Houston, a non-profit project that advises prospective solar buyers and helps them get the best value for their money through group discounts.
Congregations contemplating on-site solar may contact John Miggins at Texas Solar Outfitters to discuss fundraising ideas, including inviting members to personally sponsor the purchase of solar panels (or fractions thereof) as a way of helping to finance the congregation’s solar project.
For further information, feel free to email us at email@example.com.
100% Renewable Congregations in Greater Houston (known to us as of January 2018)
Houston Zen Center
Access Evangelical Covenant Church
Houston Mennonite Church
Society of Friends (Quakers)
Live Oak Friends Meeting
Bay Area Unitarian Universalist Church
Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston
– Copperfield Campus
– Museum District Campus
– Thoreau Campus
Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church, The Woodlands
Unitarian Fellowship of Houston
Do you know of others? Please let us know!
Ann May and Daniel Rigney
Ministry for Earth, Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org