Greener parishes

By on March 1, 2006

Four parishes in the diocese of New Westminster will be tapping alternative energy sources – the sun and the wind – after receiving a $50,000 Green Building Grant from the Real Estate Foundation of B.C. and the VanCity Credit Union. “This is really positive news for the diocese,” said Paige Dampier, a member of the Diocesan Environmental Unit, which applied for the grant. The unit has been urging parishes to participate in an energy audit program to evaluate their energy consumption, with the goal of making them good stewards of the environment and to help them save money. About 20 community groups applied for the grant and only two were selected. The grant received by the diocese will be used to purchase two $5,000 solar panels to help heat water in two church buildings, a $15,000 solar panel (with battery backup) to generate power for one church building and one $19,000 wind generator (2.5 kilowatt) for another church building. The devices will be installed in 2007. Ms. Dampier said the unit has yet to choose which parishes would receive the installations. “We will be finding out who is interested, and who has a commitment to making sure it will work,” she said.

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