Diocese of California announces new solar program

The Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, bishop of California has announced a new diocesan-sponsored program to enable all churches in the Diocese of California to obtain solar panels at no upfront cost to the individual churches. The goal is to eventually have 100% of the churches in the diocese move toward being good stewards of our earth by switching their energy use from fossil fuel generated energy to renewable solar energy.

All rectors and vicars in the diocese have now received information on this new program, and are being encouraged to request a free estimate of the savings in energy costs to be realized by each congregation under this program. The diocesan program is being offered in conjunction with American Solar, a local solar panel company in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The benefits to each church are twofold: (1) switching the church’s use of electricity away from fossil fuel generated power, and (2) reducing the cost of the church’s monthly energy bills. There is no initial cost to the church under this program, which is based on the use of a “power purchase agreement,” whereby a third party owns the solar panels, and the church simply purchases the energy produced by the panels from the third party at a price lower than that charged by their local utility company.

The Rev. Canon Sally Bingham, canon for environmental ministry, supports this program enthusiastically, and is encouraging all of our congregations to understand the benefits of moving towards the use of renewable energy at our churches and in our communities. There are currently nine churches in the diocese that have previously installed solar panels, and are realizing cost savings for their congregations.  


The Episcopal Diocese of California serves a diverse community of faith encompassing the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Approximately 27,000 people form 80 congregations in six counties. More information about the Diocese of California can be found at www.diocal.org.

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If you’d like more information about this topic or to schedule and interview with Joseph Peters-Mathews, please call him at 415.869.7820 or email him at josephm@diocal.org.


photo: Dietrich Krieger (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)],
via Wikimedia Commons