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Interfaith Power and Light Recognizes First Church

Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) has announced that First Church is among 26 churches recognized nationwide in ?its Cool Congregations Challenge, a ?united effort by religious congregations across the country to address global warming by reducing their carbon footprint and by becoming inspirations to their members and communities.?

Churches were recognized in five categories across 18 states: Cool Planner, Sacred Grounds Steward, Energy Saver, Renewable Role Model, and Community Inspiration.

First Church was a runner up as a Cool Planner for the work undertaken in connection with the Paris Pledge, which the Church Council adopted last November. The Pledge commits First Church to reduce our carbon footprint 50% by 2030 and for us to become carbon neutral by 2050. With the support of the SF&A ministry, several
initiatives are currently underway to help us meet that goal. They include:

? Energy efficiency
?? Lighting upgrades through the SmartLights program?
? Solar renewable power?
? HVAC efficiency upgrades
? Carbon ?offsets? (investments in wind power and methane gas reduction)

As Rev. Canon Sally Bingham, founder and president of IPL, observed, ?It gives me great pleasure to see the US faith community showing that carbon reduction is possible. It is creating jobs, saving money and saving Creation. These congregation winners are serving as examples for their communities and leading the way to a clean energy future.?