Solar for Faith Communities
United Christian Church, Levittown, PA
The founders of Exact Solar had a clear vision in mind – They decided to go beyond regular community participation in a way more enduring than simply offering time or money. Once a decision was made to gift a midsize solar electric system to a deserving charity, the Bortman’s immediately realized they needed to look no further than their own customer list.
With years of experience installing solar energy systems and solar water heating systems, the company was fully aware of the financial challenges communities of worship face. Many faith groups also value the non-financial benefits of proactively protecting the environment. Choosing The United Christian Church (UCC) was easy. Exact Solar had installed a small solar water heating system in the past. So UCC was on the company’s radar for its deeds.
UCC is a progressive faith community. While their facility is modest, the community outreach and the church’s positive impact are large in comparison. Some of the most important ways the members honor the Progressive Christian mission:
Practicing “extreme hospitality”. All are accepted regardless of her or his beliefs, skin color, sexual orientation or economic status. For example, the church helped found the Interfaith Housing Development Corporation.
Regular participation in peace and justice work. As a testament to this credo, the church affiliates with The Peace Center in Langhorne, PA.
Continuously care for the earth. Members take seriously their role as stewards of the planet. In addition to advocating for large, perhaps global initiatives, the members also find ways to help at every scale. Recently they have been handing out reusable shopping bags to help reduce the need for plastic waste.
About the Gift
The solar energy system is ideal for a church that provides community meeting space as needed in addition to hosting Sunday meeting and worship services. It is about the size needed for a small home to offset a good portion of year round electricity needs.
Solar Panels — 24 high efficiency black solar panels
Size — 7.165 kW
Projected production — Approximately 9,000 kWh (over 12 months)
The system is freshly installed. First year estimates are as follows:
- Offset – the system is expected to produce approximately half of the electricity the church currently purchases throughout a year.
- Savings – this offset will save as much as $750 in direct electricity costs the first year, and potentially more if the church is able to reduce demand charges. This is money the church can immediately put to use serving the community.
- Environmental impact – this system will help the church displace the equivalent emissions from burning approximately 7,000 pounds of coal each year. A great contribution for a small church. (as calculated using EPA methods)
- Intangibles – The system is visible to all church members and passersby alike. For members, the regular reminder has not only increased their gratefulness, but it has also energized them to find other projects to pay it forward to the community. For those who walk and drive by, the living testament to the church’s mission can be equally inspiring.
See the Solar Installation Happen in a Day
With this one gift, Exact Solar to display the company’s own values and priorities:
Rewarding a vital community member with something more valuable than a simple donation. It will give the church years of reduced costs while enhancing its community image.
Helping those that help others. Each year as the savings mount, the members are free to select new and creative ways to minister to their local community.