Through a generous grant from the Asheville Merchant Fund, the support of Duke Energy and Lime Energy, and congregational efforts and financing, the Creation Care Alliance has been able to support the work of 6 congregations while reducing energy bills, the energy load in Western North Carolina and supporting a healthier environment. This pilot project if replicated has the potential to transform communities across WNC and the U.S. as it saves money, supports the economic viability of neighborhoods and helps improve the environment.
The project lasted about 9 months while supporting six properties hosting seven congregations, Trinity United Methodist Church, Jubilee! Congregation, Land of the Sky United Church of Christ, Skyland United Methodist Church, Black Mountain Presbyterian Church, Circle of Mercy United Church of Christ, and Trinity Presbyterian Church.
LED Light Renewal Project by the Numbers
15 Congregations received Energy Assessments
6 congregations received grant assistance
3170 people directly impacted
1296 replacements (772 fixtures changed, 524 LED Bulbs)
$14,760 Saved Annually ($200 per month on average)
147 metric tons of carbon saved
207,276 KwH total saved annually (equivalent to energy for 17 homes,
160,000 lbs of coal or 31 cars driven for 1 year)
$103,204.93 – Total Value of Lighting Upgrades Delivered
3170 people directly impacted
Download the Graphic by Caryn Hanna Here. The Jubilee! Congregation in downtown Asheville was one of the partners and on January 13 when the community sang sacred songs, read from scripture, and took in the sermon from their Rev. Howard Hanger something different happened: when the pastor repeated the beloved sacred passage “Let there Be Light,” the sanctuary filled up with beautiful LED light.
As one of the pilot congregations for the Creation Care Alliance’s LED Renewal Project, Jubilee! was celebrating the completion of their LED lighting upgrades. By replacing 160 bulbs and nine light bays in their church building with LEDS, Jubilee! will save an estimated $2,119 and reduce their estimated energy consumption by 14,250 kilowatt hours in this year alone. That’s the equivalent of 10 metric tons of carbon or offsets, and about the same as planting and growing 167 trees for ten years.
With the generous support of the Asheville Merchants Fund, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of WNC, and Lime Energy, the LED Renewal Project is supporting six pilot congregations as they care for the planet through energy efficiency. These congregations are not only changing light bulbs – they are saving money, caring for the planet, and offering an example of stewardship and health to their communities. The project will allow each congregation to save an average of $200 per month each, and a total of 207,276 kWh of energy combined. And by providing hope at a time when so much of the news about the environment is not hopeful, the effort is having a spiritual impact beyond the walls of each place of worship. “Let there be Light” indeed!