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 Membership 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. 

We also offer members discounts on energy efficiency products and services

What difference does it make?

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– 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.

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?

Grants that fund solar or energy efficiency improvements are exceedingly rare, and you should not count on getting  grant funding for these projects.  Your tradition or denomination may have funds available for hardship situations or special projects. 

Financing is available for building energy improvements (including solar) through Michigan Saves, a non-profit green bank. They have financed projects– with rates as low as 0% interest– at dozens of houses of worship to date.

The Federal climate legislation passed in 2022-- the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)-- also makes nonprofits eligible, for the first time, for rebates on clean energy implementation and brings the Solar tax credit back up to 30%.  There are still many unknowns about how the IRA will work (as of 3/2023), but check out this blog post from the Friends Committee on National Legislation to learn more

How can I learn more about solar?

Check out our Energy Resources page

We can also put you in touch with individuals from congregations who have done solar projects.  Email Jennifer 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 2023, our funding was primarily from an energy efficiency contract and from a mix of religious and secular foundations.  We also rely on contributions from congregations and individuals like you