James Snead at Michigan Interfaith Power & Light
James Snead 211sc

James Snead's activity stream

  • published Energy Resources in Resources 2021-01-11 10:07:35 -0500

    Energy Resources

    A sustainable congregation starts with energy efficiency


    EPA ENERGY STAR Action Workbook for Congregations

    This 79-page workbook provides detailed, practical advice to help congregations implement energy efficiency changes in their houses of worship and start saving money (2019). 


    Our FREE Energy Efficiency Programs (really)

    Congregations save energy, save money, and protect Earth through free energy upgrades. 


    Let us be a resource in your energy saving journey! Learn about the many ways to get discounts and rebates on your energy saving projects. 

    Solar Resources

    Going Solar: Michigan IPL's Guidebook for Houses of Worship (2015)

    Solar Guides

    Solar Stories

    Solar Webinars

    Solar Summit: A Webinar with Haslett Community Church (March 2020) 

    Haslett Community Church, the Islamic Center of East Lansing, and Ozone House (Ann Arbor) present about their experiences installing solar energy on their facilities.  

    Solar Faithful: Using Investors and Power Purchase Agreements
     (May 2020) 

    Solar Faithful was launched in late 2017 as a partnership between the City of Ann Arbor and Michigan Interfaith Power & Light with a grant from the Department of Energy. The goal was to come up with a scalable model for solar for houses of worship and nonprofits. Several solar installations have been completed in the Ann Arbor area primarily using an investor model to take advantage of the Federal Investment Tax Credit for energy efficiency improvements. 

    In this webinar, houses of worship who have gone solar with investors and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) in Ann Arbor share about their process and experiences.

    Need help with your solar project?

    A message from the Solar Faithful team:

    "We would like to make you an offer you can’t refuse! You can help save the planet from climate volatility!

    Ann Arbor Solar Faithful will guide you (yes you, the volunteer or professional associated with any non-profit building in the U.S.) through the process of getting a solar panel installation for your building at no upfront cost to the organization (the non-profit need only pay for periodically solar electricity generated, at a lower rate than is paid to their utility). Solar Faithful is focused on reducing the carbon footprint of Houses of Worship (HoWs) and non-profit buildings.

    Solar Faithful was launched in late 2017 as a partnership between Ann Arbor and Michigan Interfaith Power and Light with a small Department of Energy grant. The goal was to come up with a scalable model for solar for HoW and non-profit buildings. Several solar installations have been completed in the Ann Arbor area primarily using an ‘Investor Model’ to take advantage of the Federal Investment Tax Credit for energy efficiency improvements. Ordinarily, non-profits cannot benefit from this tax credit because they do not pay taxes. Our Investor Model overcomes this drawback. 

    The investor model process for getting solar is described in this guide, created by the Genesis team. 

    Recent solar installations Genesis of Ann Arbor and Ozone House (also Ann Arbor) were funded by altruistic investors at no cost to the non-profit organizations. This is a true win-win. The non-profit saves money on their power bills and the investors profit from their ownership of the solar panels, via periodic payments from the non-profit for the solar energy generated." 

    For guidance on your solar project, contact Murray Rosenthal at [email protected]

    Solar Congregations in Michigan

    As of May 2020, nearly 30 Michigan congregations use some form of solar energy. Here are the ones we're aware of: 

    Ann Arbor Seventh-day Adventist Church Ann Arbor
    Campus Chapel Ann Arbor
    First Congregational Church Ann Arbor
    First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor Ann Arbor
    Genesis of Ann Arbor Ann Arbor
    Congregational Church of Birmingham, UCC Bloomfield Hills
    Gesu Catholic Church and School Detroit
    Lord of Lords Ministries (solar exterior lights) Detroit
    Pilgrim Baptist Church (solar exterior lights) Detroit
    St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church (solar water heater)  Detroit
    St. Peter's Episcopal Church Detroit
    Edgewood United Church East Lansing
    Islamic Center of East Lansing East Lansing
    Journey House Community of Christ (community solar) East Lansing
    The Peoples Church (community solar) East Lansing
    Ferndale First United Methodist Church Ferndale
    Church of the Servant Grand Rapids
    Plymouth United Church of Christ Grand Rapids
    Haslett Community Church Haslett
    Emmanuel Episcopal Church Hastings
    People's Church Kalamazoo
    Capital Area Congregation Community of Christ (community solar) Lansing
    Grace Lutheran Church Lansing
    Madonna University Livonia
    Congregation of St. Joseph Nazareth
    First Presbyterian Church of Saline Saline
    Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship St. Joseph
    Keswick United Methodist Church Suttons Bay
    Hope Lutheran Church Warren

    If your solar congregation would like to be added to this list, email Jennifer.  Faith communities that have installed solar are usually pretty excited to tell others about it, so if you'd like our help reaching a solar congregation, let us know and we'll do our best to connect you. 

    Legal Templates

    As a part of the Solar Faithful initiative, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and the City of Ann Arbor, we have four legal templates that may be useful if your faith community endeavors to finance solar using a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) or investor-owned LLC. Templates include:

    ☼ Solar Installation Agreement
    ☼ Power Purchase Agreement
    ☼ LLC Investor Operating Agreement

    Enter your contact information here to receive the links to the legal templates.


    Sign up

  • donated 2020-11-23 07:22:19 -0500

  • donated 2019-04-03 13:34:16 -0400

  • pledged $100.00 2018-12-20 12:16:06 -0500

    2019 Pledge!

    Your support is vital to our mission: to inspire and equip people of faith to exercise love for all Creation.

    This year, your donations helped us:

    • Lift up the voices of faith leaders calling for water protection and water justice.
    • Offer 5 solar workshops and host 6 solar celebrations around the state.
    • Support the greening of Detroit houses of worship by connecting them with the US Green Building Council’s 2030 District initiative.
    • Collaborate with the City of Ann Arbor to help 12 congregations explore and figure out how to finance solar energy.
    • Install free energy efficiency upgrades in 160 houses of worship (goal: 200 by the end of the year) through Light the Way.
    • Gather thousands of signatures to advocate for strong Clean Car Standards.

    ...and there's so much more to be done!

    As always, you can make a gift today on our Donate page. You may also print the 2019 Pledge Form and return it by mail. 

    $1,200.00 pledged
    Pledge now

  • endorsed 2018-04-13 11:57:11 -0400

    Shut Down Line 5

    The Line 5 Pipeline poses an unreasonable risk to our Great Lakes and should be decommissioned. For lots more information, check out Oil & Water Don't Mix.

    Faith leaders hand delivered this letter to the Governor's Office on April 23, 2018. 

    PRIVACY NOTE: We ask for your address only so that we can identify you as a Michigan resident. We won't send you unsolicited mail.

    Dear Gov. Snyder and Attorney General Schuette,

    As people of many faiths, we are called by the Creator to guide and lead others to love and care for each other and all of creation. Therefore, we ask that you respond carefully and quickly to an issue which is of grave importance to the entire Great Lakes ecosystem and our communities within the Basin.

    Members of our faith communities have indicated growing concern over the lack of adequate upkeep and question the necessity of continuing operation of the Enbridge Pipeline 5. This 65-year-old pipeline, which runs over and through the entire State of Michigan, is showing signs of decomposition and has a history of 29 documented leaks totaling over 1 million gallons. The line’s rising potential for rupture jeopardizes the future water quality, ecosystem health, commercial fisheries, tourism, and livelihood of those across and beyond Michigan.

    We call upon you, our elected leaders, to uphold the principle of the Public Trust Doctrine, wherein the people of Michigan have the inalienable right to the preservation, use and protection of the waters of the Great Lakes. This doctrine affirms that no private, public or commercial use shall harm the waters of the Great Lakes by materially reducing the flow, changing levels, or polluting the waters of the Great Lakes Basin. This principle aligns with our call as people of faith and citizens of the world to assure the right stewardship of our waters. Simply put, it is our belief that the Great Lakes are not an appropriate place to transport crude oil and it is our right as citizens to demand that this practice cease.

    We share with scores of Michiganders their concerns about a growing threat of a spill, vague safety tests, and piecemeal repair each time pipe degradation is observed. These are not solutions to the problem, but a band-aid at best. For all the risk that Line 5 poses to Michigan and the Great Lakes Region, the benefits are few. The public has been crying out for this Line to be closed for almost a decade and easements across tribal lands expired in 2013.

    As representatives of thousands of voices across Michigan we demand that you:

    • Initiate decommissioning of the pipeline NOW and decline the building of any more underwater lines in the Great Lakes Basin.
    • Stop using the “loss of propane” as a scare tactic and make arrangements for land-based transportation for the small amount of propane that is needed in the Upper Peninsula currently coming from the pipeline. Trains and tankers are proven alternatives and viable options.
    • Demonstrate proper governmental oversight to protect the people and state resources!
    • Show compassion for others and the planet. Consider the legacy you intend to leave for all our children and grandchildren and the earth.

    We will continue to pray over this issue and voice our concern everywhere we can. We will pray that you, our elected and appointed representatives, will experience a change in heart and mind, and that you stand with the majority of people who lovingly show compassion for this planet – our island home – we only have one.