Greening Sacred Spaces
Many faith organizations today are looking for ways they can express their values through working to protect our environment. Greening Sacred Spaces is our way of helping you to do just that.
Unless we change the direction we are heading,
we might end up where we are going.”
- Chinese Proverb
About the Program
Greening Sacred Spaces is a joint program of REEP and another non-profit organization, Faith and the Common Good (FCG), an interfaith and non-profit network of religious communities who understand the Earth as a sacred gift. REEP’s role is to provide technological expertise and energy audit tools, while FCG provides outreach and education about how we can live more sustainably on the Earth, both in our worship spaces and in congregations and faith communities.
Our goal is to give faith communities the tools they need in order to make a positive, lasting impact on their relationship with the environment.
Greening Sacred Spaces Tools
To help your faith community reach its environmental goals, Greening Sacred Spaces offers:
- Energy audits for faith buildings
- Free quarterly networking meetings and training workshops
- Free quarterly e-newsletters (including information about upcoming events, new environmental funding programs, environmental projects, updates on other faith community environmental news)
- Free, downloadable educational materials
- An educational DVD to show to your faith community about how to green your faith community (available to borrow or purchase from the GSS office at 519-747-5139; this DVD can also be borrowed from the Kitchener Public Library)
Energy Audits for Faith Buildings
One of the key services we offer to faith groups is an energy audit of their buildings. Faith organizations often have energy and water requirements different from the residential sector. In many cases, large, older buildings that are often used only at certain times of the week can give rise to high utility bills which divert funds from other organizational activities and goals.
We use computer modeling to calculate the building’s heat loss and the energy used by the heating and cooling systems. Taking two or more days (for a full audit), the assessment includes:
- comprehensive electricity and water audits to identify potential savings
- utility bill data collection
- measurement and inspection of the building envelope
- inspection of the heating and cooling systems
- an inventory and measurement of the energy use of all electrical appliances and fixtures such as lighting
- an inventory and measurement of all water fixtures
- a blower door test to measure air leakage
We also have a one day walkthrough audit for faith groups interested in learning about saving energy in their building but are unable to participate in our full audit program.
A final report provides summary recommendations along with a financial analysis of the potential energy savings through retrofits. We believe that the greatest energy savings are achieved through a combination of technological, organizational, and behavioural changes. Our audit reports are designed to be used as a long-term energy management plan for your building.
Book an audit of your religious building
To learn more about how to get an energy and water audit for your faith community building in Waterloo Region, or to receive an information kit about the program, contact Jane Snyder at 519-747-5139 or email@example.com.
Additional Funding Available
Faith and the Common Good has suggestions for funding programs available to faith communities who have had energy audits completed, as well as some additional funding programs.
For more information, visit www.faith-commongood.net.
Grants may be available to help pay for energy audits; if your faith community is located in Waterloo Region or its environs, please contact Jane Snyder at 519-747-5139 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss funding possibilities.
Mennonite Initiative for Solar Energy (MISE)
Greening Sacred Spaces and the Mennonite Central Committee Ontario (MCC0)'s Creation Care program invite you to think about solar energy.
MISE is a solar bulk-buy program for MCCO constituents and other faith communities. If you are interested in purchasing solar hot water or photovoltaic panels for your faith community, home or workplace, don’t miss this opportunity!
Free water and lighting audits available to faith communities
Please consider having one (or more) of the free audits available to faith communities. The Power Savings Blitz program applies to faith communities across Ontario; the free water audits and water-saving programs are only available within the Region of Waterloo.
If you are located in Waterloo/Wellington of Dufferin Regions please email us email@example.com to let us know if you are having a free water or lighting audit done! We'd like to applaud your efforts!
Free lighting audits (Power Savings Blitz)
- Funded by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), the Power Savings Blitz provides free lighting audits and access to funding for free lighting retrofits to businesses (and faith communities fit under that umbrella)
- Contact your power authority first, to discuss whether the Power Savings Blitz is the best program for you
- Book your free lighting audit online at www.powersavingblitz.ca or call 1-866-932-8283
Free water audits, water-saving programs (Region of Waterloo, Water Efficiency)
- Water use review: quick, no charge, no commitment (a water efficiency staff member comes to your faith building, and does a quick and complimentary evaluation of your current water efficiency, and identifies possible opportunities for improvement)
- If you require a more in-depth water use audit, your building can receive partial funding to hire an independent, qualified consultant of your choice
- Toilet replacement programs are a valuable way to save water & money
REEP and Greening Sacred Spaces would like to thank the Trillium Foundation for their help to fund the Greening Sacred Spaces project.