MVUC Energy Task Force Formed
The month of December was relatively quiet for the CAT Circles with the exception of the Net Zero Circle, led by David Coakley. This circle has been working on evaluating the grounds of MVUC to determine what modifications could best move the church to significantly lower its emissions and to generate its own electricity at the least cost.
The analysis moved into high gear because funding from both Fairfax County and the federal government to support these modifications is starting to roll out. FACS (Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions) provided a tutorial on how to apply for the funding. The first step is getting an audit of the buildings, for which Fairfax County will pay half. This audit will help MVUC identify “low hanging fruit”, meaning easier and cheaper fixes that are the first steps and would lower energy use, as well as larger projects such as more solar or heat pumps. Another requirement to access the funds is creating an Energy Star account for the church. This is a database that will track the church’s energy use over time and compare it to other churches.
The audit gives the church a roadmap to plan with and to bring to the congregation. Federal funding will be available for most if not all of these upgrades, making moving towards lower energy use much more affordable.
David and others went before the Board at its December meeting to request approval to contract with Home Energy Medics and Tiger Solar to analyze the solar panels on the Meeting House roof for a total cost to MVUC, after reimbursement, of $2,339.50. The Board unanimously approved the request. Additionally, the Board set up an Energy Task Force to shepherd the follow-up work. The people serving on the Task Force are:
David Coakley, Chair
Kris Rosenthal, FACS liaison
Robin Roberts, Board liaison
Christian Reynolds, CAT liaison
John Speakman, Finance liaison
Charles Jackson, technical advisor
Heather Plank, documents
Please reach out to any of the members with questions, concerns, and offers to help. More information will be coming from the Task Force as it becomes available, but this is an exciting new chapter within the church of living our values in stewardship of the earth.