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Contact Us

You can contact us by phone, email or post. Our contact information:

Mass. Interfaith Power & Light
POB 590564
Newton Centre, MA 02459

Phone: 617-244-0755

MIPandL@MIPandL.org

 

Frequently Asked Questions

conservation

#1: What Can I do?

#2: How much is membership in Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light (MIP&L)?

#3: What are the benefits of membership in MIP&L?

#4: Is there anything else that MIP&L can provide to members?

#5: I've heard that our congregation can get a cheap energy audit from the utility companies. Aren't MIP&L energy audit fees steep?

#6: I've heard that individuals in most Massachusetts towns can receive free home energy audits from their utility companies. If so, what is the advantage of getting the energy diagnostic survey for each congregant's home through an MIP&L referral?

#7: This sounds great. How does my congregation sign up for membership?

#8: Once our congregation is a member, what do we have to do? What are our obligations?

 

#1: What Can I do?

Stewardship is what we do and cost is the consequence of our actions. So the question is, what are YOU going to do? Sign up for a Home Energy Audit, track your Utility Use and Cost, support Clean Energy, buy energy efficient products – these are just a few of the things you can do to ensure that you have done all that you can for environmental stewardship. Find out more about these here at our web site and then ... tell your friends.

Click the links below for a handout that you can take to your house-of-worship, workplace, school, day care center, etc:
What You Can Do (pdf)
What You Can Do in Central/Western Mass (pdf)

Back to Questions

 

#2: How much is membership in Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light (MIP&L)?

The initial membership fee depends upon your congregation's annual operating budget. If your annual operating budget is $150,000 or less, your initial membership fee will be $50. If your annual operating budget is more than $150,000 but less than $350,000, your initial membership fee will be $150. If your annual operating budget is more than $350,000, your initial membership fee will be $250.

Membership no longer includes the energy audit and Environmental Stewardship Report, which will now be done on a fee-for-service basis (see #3 below). You can download a basic MIP&L brochure by clicking here.

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#3: What are the benefits of membership in MIP&L?

We believe that any congregation that is serious about stewardship of the earth should become a member of MIP&L and work with us to help the earth and its inhabitants. Your membership directly supports the work of MIP&L and helps to encourage environmental stewardship within your own congregation.

MIP&L members will also receive general help and advice with energy and environmental questions. MIP&L members will be able to attend special programs including workshops and membership meetings. Also, members will receive the MIP&L newsletter/e-newsletter to learn about upcoming events, success stories, tips, and faith-based ecology news. Finally, in most locations (subject to the rules and regulations of the local energy utility), MIP&L will offer referral for a free energy diagnosis survey of each congregant's home. Those are all standard membership benefits.

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#4: Is there anything else that MIP&L can provide to members?

MIP&L members may choose some optional services, paid for separately (or free in some cases). These additional services include:

  • A comprehensive energy audit and Environmental Stewardship Report with follow-up help. For small members (operating budget up to $150K), the fee is $295; for medium members (operating budget $150K > $350K ), it is $495; and for large members (operating budget over $350K) the fee is $695 with adjustments for special or complicated facilities. (See more details below at #4). Want to see some sample Environmental Stewardship Reports? Click here.
  • The opportunity to participate in an oil-buying aggregation group, reducing the cost of purchasing heating oil - this group is through MassEnergy.
  • The opportunity for assistance and advice in purchasing clean, renewable energy for congregational facilities and congregants' homes.
  • The opportunity for Capital Needs Assessments and 20-year Capital Plans for congregation facilities.
  • Access to technical assistance, including the use of MIP&L as the provider for turnkey implementation of energy efficiency measures.
  • Access to professional maintenance services with special sensitivity to the needs of congregations.
  • Access to utility rebate programs.

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#5: I've heard that our congregation can get a cheap energy audit from the utility companies. Aren't MIP&L energy audit fees steep?

Actually, no. MIP&L's fees are a bargain. Why? Because the MIP&L energy diagnosis is much more thorough and far-reaching than the energy audit provided by the utilities. MIP&L will do a thorough analysis of what a congregation should do to be good stewards of the earth, starting with the congregation's own facilities. For the depth of the report that MIP&L will provide, our fees are, in fact, very low. If your congregation hired a commercial engineer or company to do the level of energy assessment for their facilities that MIP&L is offering, it would cost thousands of dollars.

Also, the MIP&L energy diagnostic report includes follow-up advice and services. The MIP&L energy diagnostic is not a "hit and run" audit. This is a continuing relationship between MIP&L and its members to help, encourage, and support. It's not just the initial work, as the audits offered by utilities. Our assessment is a way to make energy conservation a reality for your congregation, today, tomorrow, and in the future.

MIP&L energy assessments offer a unique sensitivity to houses of worship. That is, we understand that houses of worship are unique spaces in many ways: the architecture, age, size, space use/hours of use, aesthetics, etc., are different from other types of large buildings. MIP&L offers an awareness and faith-based perspective that other commercial energy assessments do not.

Congregations should, by all means, take advantage of the low cost energy audits offered by utilities, in addition to the MIP&L energy diagnosis. There is no reason not to - and we at MIP&L are very much in favor of congregations conserving energy whether they become members or not!

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#6: I've heard that individuals in most Massachusetts towns can receive free home energy audits from their utility companies. If so, what is the advantage of getting the energy diagnostic survey for each congregant's home through an MIP&L referral?

First, it is true: individuals in most Massachusetts towns can receive free home (residential) energy audits from their utility companies even if their congregations are not members of MIP&L.

Member congregants who get the free residential energy audits through MIP&L referrals will be able to contact MIP&L for advice in following up on the recommendations. Also, for congregants belong to a utility other than NSTAR or NGRID for electricity, MIP&L will help you figure out how to access a free home energy audit.

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#7: This sounds great. How does my congregation sign up for membership?

Step 1: The first thing will be to have an authorized representative from your congregation complete the Declaration of Intent form (on the back of the MIP&L brochure, or see the "Become a Member" page). This is a straightforward statement that your congregation intends to become a member of MIP&L.

The good news is, the Declaration of Intent is a very simple form to complete. The bad news is, some congregations will have a fairly elaborate process for obtaining an authorized representative's signature!

Truly, it's not as hard as it might seem, even if your congregation is one with an elaborate decision-making process.

For many congregations, there is a board or committee that would be able to make this decision and sign this form. For some, it will be a Board of Directors, a Parish Council, a Vestry, a Property/Building/Grounds Committee, etc. Practically speaking, a congregant or congregants who want their congregation to join MIP&L will often decide to approach the appropriate committee to advocate for membership. Please keep in mind that MIP&L would be happy to send a representative to your congregation to talk to any appropriate committee or board, answering any questions that they might have. You don't have to advocate for this all by yourself if you don't want to!

Once the appropriate decision-making body decides to join, signs the Declaration of Intent, and sends it to MIP&L, the rest is very easy!

Step 2 (ours): After MIP&L receives the Declaration of Intent to join, we will ask you what your annual operating budget is so that we can determine your initial membership fee. We will then send you a letter with invoice.

Step 3: Your congregation will then send your membership dues to MIP&L. You will then be a full, formal member of MIP&L! You will receive notices of events, newsletters, general advice and help, etc., from that point onward. And you will also be able to boast that you're a member of MIP&L, putting your faith into action.

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#8: Once our congregation is a member, what do we have to do? What are our obligations?

Once you've paid your dues/initial membership fee, the "painful" part is over. You don't "owe" MIP&L anything aside from the membership dues, should you choose to join.

However, you do have other obligations. It's just that they're not to MIP&L. You effectively have the "good faith" obligation to try to become better stewards of the earth. This is an obligation to yourselves, your children, your planet, and your God, Creator, or "Higher Power", not an obligation to MIP&L.

We hope that your congregations will conserve energy, consider renewable energy, and do all you can to be stewards of the earth. We hope that congregants will do the same, in their homes, in their places of work, in their towns.

MIP&L wants to help your congregants and your congregation to fulfill this moral obligation for stewardship.

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Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light is a non-profit organization that provides a faith based response to climate change by promoting energy efficiency, environmental justice, green job training, and policies that will lead to a sustainable future.