• Advantages of Solar Power on our Roof

    South Church in Andover, MA

    “[In the face of devastating climatic changes] let our Faith Communities be bold and courageous as we address one of the greatest moral challenges that our world has ever faced. Let us begin a new story, one that is not dependent on fossil fuels…”

    —Rev. Dr. Jim Antal, author, public theologian and national spokesperson on climate change for the United Church of Christ (UCC)

    Since the fall of 2017, the Green Congregation Taskforce (GCTF) in collaboration with the Facilities Ministry and others, has labored to help our church become a faithful witness in combatting environmental degradation – while remaining sustainable in the face of spiraling utility costs.

    Using the MACUCC sponsored Green Congregation Challenge, a number of cost-effective and environmentally conscious changes have been successfully instituted including last year’s LED conversion that has reduced FCC’s electric bills by 20-25%. Summoned to be bold and courageous in reducing our dependency on fossil fuels, GCTF recommends that FCCW consider Solar Power.

    In contrast to using fossil fuels, Solar Power is highly abundant, renewable and pollution free. Economically speaking, solar power is absolutely free and available for all.In the face of increasing utility costs each year and the escalating climate crisis, GCTF recommends that FCCW consider installing solar panels – be it on the south-facing sanctuary pitched roof or on south-facing flat roof areas. 

    More Good News: Solar panels on the market today are efficient, reliable and cost effective.On the basis of its investigation, GCTF recommends the highly efficient SunPower panels. They are one of the most highly rated panels on the market today.Their efficiency at 22.4% puts it at the top this year and all equipment is warranted for 25 years.SunPower guarantees the efficiency of the panels after 25 years to be 92% of new or better.The expected life of the panels are 40 years.

    Temple Beth Shalom, Needham

    Opting to use the sanctuary roof, a SunPower installation would generate about 60 kWh a year.This would provide 108% of the church’s current electric usage.Cost wise, the sanctuary roof installation would cost approximately $208,000.The payback period would be 10 years.A state-sponsored SMART program would pay us $66,000 over 20 years.The aggregate cost savings over the 25-year warranty period (projecting a 4% yearly increase in commercial electric rates) would be $525,000.

    Opting to use the flat roof areas, a SunPower installation would generate about 25 kWh a year.  This would provide 45% of the church’s current electric usage.  Cost wise, the flat roof installation is estimated at $108,000.   The payback period would also be 10 years.  A state-sponsored SMART program would pay us $36,000 over 10 years.  The aggregate cost savings over the 25-year warranty period (again assuming a 4% yearly increase in commercial electric rates) would be $205,000.

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