GREENING the Faithful
Pullen Baptist Church
in Raleigh, N. C., recently received Interfaith
Power and Light’s
Green Energy Leader
award for its new chapel, fellowship hall,
and playgrounds. Energy-efficient features
heating and cooling
(saving an estimated
$6,000 per year in
Congregations cut energy costs while working toward
a more sustainable future.
By RICHARD CRUME
Richard Crume works as an
environmental engineer and
teaches a college class on air
pollution and climate change.
A frequent contributor to
SOLAR TODAY, he lives with
his family in Chapel Hill, N.C.
He has no connection with
any of the organizations mentioned in this article. You can
reach Crume at thecrumes@
If you were to single out the most energy-wasteful building in your neighborhood, chances are it would be your local house of worship. With high ceilings, old doors and single-pane windows, many churches,
synagogues, mosques and temples are anything but energy
efficient. Fortunately, congregations across america are
greening their facilities — and educating local communities
about energy conservation in the process.
The buildings belonging to many congregations are particularly inefficient to heat and cool. among the 370,000
houses of worship in the United States, many are old, built
at a time when energy was cheap and the global warming
52 May 2010 SOLAR TODAY solartoday.org
Copyright © 2010 by the American Solar Energy Society Inc. All rights reserved.
problem unknown. These structures, although old and inef-
ficient, provide necessary space for worship and congrega-