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Dear MIP&L members and friends,
Buddhist, Jewish, Catholic and Protestant houses of worship will avoid 6,607 metric tons of carbon pollution over the expected useful lives of energy upgrades at their facilities and the homes of residents of Boston Cambridge, Somerville and surrounding communities. Those results were obtained through the CARES (Congregations Acting to Restore Earth's Sustainability) program run by Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light (MIP&L), in partnership with HEET of Cambridge.
Through CARES, members of the community worked together at volunteer energy work parties where they learned weatherization and energy-saving skills they could use at home by applying them at houses of worship (HOWs). HOWs also hired professional contractors to perform a variety of energy upgrades. A $50 donation was made for every home energy assessment recruited through the HOW. 29 faith communities have completed or contracted for $1.3 million of energy upgrade work that will result in 4,381 metric tons of avoided carbon dioxide emissions over the expected useful lives of the projects. We estimate that the 236 home energy assessments done will avoid 2,226 metric tons of carbon dioxide over the EULs of resulting home energy upgrades.
CARES donated $1,050 to the Mission Church in Mission Hill for home energy assessments. That amount offset more than 25% of the out-of-pocket cost of their LED lighting upgrades largely subsidized through Mass Save's Small Commercial Direct Install Program. Those upgrades will lower the carbon emissions from electricity use by 10% and avoid 246 metric tons of carbon dioxide over their EULs. The 90% cost sharing that the Renew Boston program provided to owners of 2 and 3 family homes was a strong incentive in Mission Hill.
Home energy assessments recruited through Congregation Eitz Chayim in Cambridge helped to pay for an insulation project that will avoid 63 metric tons of carbon dioxide over its EUL and significantly increase the comfort of its members during cold months. At Hope Central Church in Jamaica Plain, volunteers from the church and community weatherized doors, installed interior plexi-glass storms, sealed up an unused fireplace and installed low-flow faucet aerators. Hope Central also completed an air-sealing and insulation project, and has contracted for a $377,000 upgrade of their heating system from oil-fired steam to gas fired hydronic that will avoid 419 metric tons of carbon dioxide, and dramatically lower its energy costs.
Cambridgeport Baptist, First Church of the Nazarene, Cambridge and St. Bart's Cambridge all installed Solar photo voltaic (PV) systems. CARES also helped folks access low-income fuel and efficiency programs, and provided training on The 5 Practices of Leadership and Organizing, conducted with The Better Future Project. Energy efficiency and solar energy are important parts of maintaining economically and environmentally healthy communities. CARES congregations have the know-how to share what they've done to demonstrate their lived commitment to caring for creation. The CARES project was funded by a generous grant from the Barr Foundation.
MIP&L Working With the ClimateXChange for a Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax in Massachusetts
A revenue-neutral carbon tax is the best comprehensive, concrete policy to address the climate change crisis. By revenue-neutral we mean that all revenues taken in by taxing carbon will be paid back to taxpayers through adjustments to sales, income and corporate taxes. Thanks in large part to the leadership of State Sens. Michael Barrett (D-Lexington), Tom Conroy, (D-Wayland), and the folks at the Climate XChange (formerly known as Environmental Tax Reform), a rapidly growing movement is working to adopt such a tax in Massachusetts.
The ClimateXChange (formerly known as Environmental Tax Reform), commissioned REMI, a well-respected economic modelling firm to model the effect of 3 carbon emission reduction scenarios on the state economy. It found that all 3 scenarios result in economic gains, namely:
Most importantly a carbon tax will enable Massachusetts to meet its stated goal of lowering carbon emissions by 80%.
MIP&L is teaming up with The ClimateXChange and other non-profits in Massachusetts and Vermont to educate the public on this critically important policy initiative. Read MIP&L's public policy brief Do We Need a Carbon Tax in Massachusetts? to learn more.
Fossil fuel production has long been subsidized by the tax code and the government. It's time to finally include the social, public health and environmental costs of carbon in its price. To read more about why a national carbon tax makes sense from a risk management perspective, read former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulsen's compelling NY Times Article The Coming Climate Crash: Lessons for Climate Change in the 2008 Recession.
More Workshops Coming to SHOW Faith Communities How to Lower Energy Use and Costs
Our SHOW (Sustainable Houses of Worship) workshops provide the tools and knowledge to achieve reductions in energy use, carbon dioxide emissions and costs.
More SHOW workshops are coming this fall. Check our web site www.MIPandL.org for information on a SHOW workshop coming in September 27th and another being planned for early November in central Massachusetts.
As the above articles demonstrate, we promote financially viable solutions to high energy costs and the climate change crisis. We need your help to maintain the finances we need to sustain our work. Please make a fully tax-deductible contribution today by go to www.MIPandL.org and click on the Donate button on the upper right corner.
Peace and blessings,
Your friends at MIP&L