Membership FAQs - Michigan Interfaith Power & Light

Membership FAQs

Why should my congregation become a member?

Whether you’ve been a member in the past or you’re totally new, signing the Covenant lets us know that your faith community is committed to the work we’re doing together– from bringing energy efficiency to congregations to advocating for the systemic change we need to prevent catastrophic climate disruption.  By getting involved in our work, you help build the interfaith movement to protect Creation at a time of great urgency.

What difference does it make?

Though it may not feel like much, affirming your membership connects you with thousands of Michiganders and tens of thousands of others affiliated with 39 other state IPLs.  Our collective and coordinated actions– from advocacy campaigns to Earth Day activities– DO make an impact.

Your participation is also symbolic.  Congregations who publicly celebrate the actions they’ve taken to become better stewards of Creation, or who speak about the importance of Earth care as a part of their faith identities, show their communities what they stand for.  And by sharing your stories with us, you help inspire and equip other congregations to bring their energy to this cause.

How do I know if my congregation is already a member? 

Check our online member list.

If you thought your congregation was a member, but don't see it listed, it may be that your congregation signed up long ago and has been dropped from our roster. You can renew by signing the Covenant. (This helps us ensure that we have the right contact person, and it helps us better understand the needs and interests of your community.)

I need to bring the Covenant to my congregation’s governing body before signing.  How can I get a copy to print or email? 

You can access a printer-friendly copy of the Covenant here.  It may also be helpful to share our brochure.

What happened to the membership fee?

While we hope that you or your congregation will choose to support our work financially, we do not wish for our relationships with supporters to be or feel transactional in nature.  By asking supporters to sign a Covenant instead, we hope to build a relationship with you that grows from our shared values.

What about the membership benefits?

The benefits that existed previously, such as the discounts on energy efficiency products and services, remain intact and are available to all Michigan IPL member congregations. 

We also hope that you will find value in the intangible benefits you receive through your membership.  Joining Michigan IPL means adding your voice to the interfaith movement to protect the health of our communities and our Earth.  It means helping reverse the damage that’s been done to our climate, before it’s too late.

Can my congregation get a free energy audit?

Michigan IPL does not provide energy audits.  Instead, we contract with utilities to provide houses of worship with free energy analyses and upgrades in certain geographic areas (designated by the utility).  These programs vary from year to year.  Check out our current programs for details on what we’re currently doing.

Currently, utilities are required by law to provide some free efficiency products and services to their customers– both Residential and Commercial.  We suggest going to your utility’s website and checking out what is currently on offer.  If you decide to pay for a full audit, either for your home or your house of worship, remember that you are eligible for 10% off, as detailed on our Member Discounts flyer.

How can we get a grant to do energy efficiency upgrades to our building or put on solar panels?

We are not aware of grants that fund such projects.  However, your denomination may have funds available for hardship situations or special projects.

Financing is available for energy efficiency building improvements (but not solar) through Michigan Saves, a non-profit green bank. They have financed projects– with rates as low as 0% interest– at more than 20 houses of worship so far.

How can I learn more about solar?

Check out Going Solar: A Guidebook for Houses of Worship.

We can also put you in touch with individuals from congregations who have done solar projects.  Email Leah at [email protected], and she can make an introduction.

Where do you get your funding? 

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, our funding varies from year to year.  In 2018, our funding comes primarily from contracts with utilities and grants.  We also rely on contributions from congregations and individuals like you!

What if I don’t believe in climate change?

Climate change notwithstanding, Michigan Interfaith Power & Light’s mission is to inspire and equip people of faith to exercise stewardship of and love for all Creation.  We believe we all have a moral responsibility to conserve our precious natural resources by adopting sustainable practices.  We also believe that climate change makes this work especially urgent, but it is our responsibility to be good stewards of the Earth regardless.

Most denominations have official statements about Earth care.  If you haven’t already, you might be interested in learning about your denomination’s official position on these issues.  We have aggregated a few faith statements on the environment here.