By Carmen M. Woodson-Wray, Gary Crusader
The idea for churches saving money on their electric bills is beginning to catch on especially after Pastor T. Brian Hill of New Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church of East Chicago applied for and received a $25,000 grant from the Office of Energy Development within the State of Indiana.
According to Pastor Hill there have been quite a few other churches throughout Northwest Indiana that have been applying for grants, but it was his church that was approved for 50% of the grant to install a solar system.
With the help of the $25,000 grant, a $14,000 pledge paid by members of the congregation and the church itself writing a check for $14,000 that made the total cost of the system $53,000.
Installed by Jefferson Electric out of Indianapolis the 20 kwh solar system has 80 solar panels located on the south facing roof of the church’s educational wing.
Pastor Hill said before they had the solar system the church was paying roughly $2,500 during a three-month period on their electric bill.
“Now for a three-month period we only paid $844. People across the country are starting to look at how to save within the environment especially when it comes to solar energy. That’s why if you have any type of church to invest in this is definitely something everyone should look into. The grant was truly a blessing,” he said.
According to Pastor Hill the system that they have installed has a 30 year or longer life span, for the next 30 years and they can expect a saving of at least 30% on their electric bills.
Pastor Hill said, “We have also put in place other cost saving measures within our church to reduce other energy costs like putting timers on machines within the church that need not run all night long, upgrading some lights to LED and using programmable thermostats.”
April 2015 $682.82
May 2015 $677.12
June 2015 $735.82
April 2016 $321.49
May 2016 $174.03
June 2016 $348.89