Newtown Congregational Church
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE IN ACTION
HOW CREATION CARE INSPIRED A UCC CONGREGATION TO GO SOLAR!
How many solar champions does it take to help a church go solar? Based on Newtown Congregational Church’s model, it may take nine members of a Solar Committee!
Watch our July Nonprofit Solar Spotlight webinar with featured nonprofit, Newtown Congregational Church, and learn about their solar process – Environmental Justice in Action – How Creation Care Inspired a United Church of Christ Congregation to Go Solar.
” IT ACTUALLY GAVE ME AN ADDED LAYER OF COMFORT, KNOWING THAT THE [SOLAR] PANELS WOULD BE LEASED FOR THE FIRST 6 YEARS. WORKING WITH COLLECTIVESUN, HAVING THE INFORMATION FROM ENERGYSAGE, AND KNOWING THAT WE WOULD GET THIS DISCOUNT OFF THE TOP “
– BARBARA DONAHUE, CONGREGANT AND SOLAR COMMITEE MEMBER
AT NEWTOWN CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
This month’s Nonprofit Solar Spotlight webinar was unique in that it featured three different organizations committed to clean energy that all played a role in helping Newtown Congregational Church (NCC) go solar. These organizations included the United Church Congregation, champion of renewable energy for churches across America, Energysage, a collaborative partner with CollectiveSun and vital resource in the solar industry, and CollectiveSun.
In the webinar we heard from CollectiveSun’s Vice President of Sales, Matt Brennan, who discussed the benefits of working with us as well as Spencer Fields, Manager, Market Strategy and Intelligence at Energysage. Most importantly, the webinar highlighted NCC’s solar journey as told by their congregant and solar committee member, Barbara Donahue.
Spencer of EnergySage, whom NCC used in their initial search for installers, started by describing how they help houses of worship and other nonprofits go solar by providing online educational content and tools like a solar calculator and a comparison shopping platform for comparing quotes and individual pieces of solar equipment.
Next, Matt talked about how CollectiveSun works with nonprofits and tax-exempt organizations to make solar a reality by monetizing a 12% solar tax credit that goes towards the installation cost. He walked through a description of our Solar Power Agreement (SPA), a prepaid service contract that allows partners like NCC to take advantage of the investment tax credit that they normally miss out on. Additionally, Matt looked at the various options for funding the remaining 88% of the project cost, should a nonprofit want that.
Barbara stepped in to talk about NCC’s mission and focus, then moved on to how they chose their installer and financing and what they learned throughout the process regarding savings, incentives and equipment. As a former certified public accountant for KPMG, She happily pointed to the benefits of working with EnergySage and CollectiveSun and walked through the specific statistics on energy generated, savings projections and actual results. In the extensive Q&A all three speakers discussed subjects such as savings, loans and incentives, availability of CollectiveSun services, and details about using EnergySage.
Reverend Berndt, National Minister of Environmental Justice for the United Church of Christ, the umbrella organization of which Newtown is a member, recorded a special video that discussed environmental justice and how it relates to congregations going solar. This video is available for viewing here.
If you are a Nonprofit organization interested in learning more about solar, or are looking to launch a solar project with a Nonprofit organization, please contact our VP of Sales, Matt Brennan who can answer any of your questions.
Matt can be reached at [email protected] or 619-838-7363.