As our mission statement says: “PA IPL responds to climate change as a moral issue, through advocacy, energy conservation, energy efficiency, and the use of clean, renewable energy.” Put more simply, we want to help congregations think about energy usage as a matter of stewardship, and we carry this out in three ways:
PA IPL provides energy assessments at a reduced cost to our member congregations. Depending on the size and age of the building, the assessment can take from 2-4 hours and provides a report for congregations to understand the way that they currently use energy and identify specific options to start saving energy immediately and in the long term. Click here to become a member. Our Penn State student IPL also provides weatherizing services to local families, and the Weatherization First initiative helps local congregations reduce energy usage in our neighbors’ homes.
PA IPL serves as a clearinghouse for information on energy usage and climate change. On our newly expanded resource page we provide films and speakers for congregational events; we organize workshops and an annual meeting (for a list of past events, click here). To arrange for a speaker or film showing at your congregation, contact Executive Director Cricket Hunter at email@example.com.
PA IPL represents our members on the local, state, and national level to advocate for legislation that will increase energy efficiency and reduce our contribution to climate change. Our unique message is to focus attention on the moral implications of climate change. While big producers of greenhouse gases, such as the United States and Europe, are wealthy enough to adapt to anticipated weather changes in the short term, these same changes are devastating to poorer countries. Those who have contributed the least to global warming are those that will suffer the most from its effects. Because of the important of shale gas drilling in Pennsylvania, we also wrote this ethical analysis, discussing gas development in light of climate change.
How we do it
PA IPL depends on the work of its all-volunteer board, its hundreds of supporters, and its part-time executive director, and part time director of program and outreach. We are funded by individual and congregational memberships, donations, and the generosity of our partner organizations.
As a state affiliate, we have received four major grants from National Interfaith Power & Light. The first was to run our EERS campaign in the summer of 2010, and the second helped to support the hiring of an executive director. In 2012 we implemented regrants for our Clean Air Promise campaign and matched a $12,000 challenge grant. For 2013, National IPL has awarded us a $10,000 grant to help us create a circle of major donors.
The Rock Ethics Institute of Penn State has given PA IPL an annual grant of $5,000 in each of the past three years to promote ethics education on climate change. This grant has already helped to support several public events; we have also purchased several copies of the film Renewal to show in congregations across the State.
We have also partnered with local energy services company Envinity to provide subsidized energy audits for Pennsylvania congregations.