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Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility offers religious communities energy conservation opportunities

Eli Chen/Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s faith-based institutions could now be eligible to participate in a new program to save on energy costs.

Earlier this month, the Sustainable Energy Utility and Delaware Interfaith Power and Light began a partnership to provide opportunities for the state’s religious communities to conserve energy use. Now, they’ve announced a new initiative, called “Faith Efficiencies,” which will allow eligible churches, synagogues, mosques and other institutions to receive energy audits, remediation and energy education resources.Lisa Locke, executive director of Delaware Interfaith Power and Light, says they’ve already received a lot of interest from churches, even though the partnership has only just begun.

“So we’re just a couple weeks in, but we’ve already signed up 3 or 4 faith communities for the audits,” said Locke.

Delaware faith communities with annual utility bills under $20,000 are eligible for this program. The Sustainable Energy Utility will cover 75 percent of the audit. Participating religious institutions will be advised on a range of financial incentives and could be eligible for low-interest financing or grants, if that institution pays the state utility tax.

Delaware Interfaith Power and Light has worked with state agencies, faith-based institutions and Wilmington city officials in the last three years to communicate environmental issues. Lisa Locke, executive director of Delaware Interfaith Power and Light, says joining forces with the Sustainable Energy Utility is vital to carrying out their mission.

“Our mission is to address climate change, so we’re looking at ways to offer energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy programs through houses of faith.”

The cost to participate in the program, which costs $175 dollars, not including remediation.