Solar panels earn cash

Published November 1, 2012

The Rev. Cathy Miller has a passion for green and for the Marks of Mission, especially the fifth mark, to safeguard the integrity of creation and renew the life of the earth. The two come happily together in the Green Team, an initiative led by Miller, associate priest at 160-year-old All Saints’ Anglican Church in Collingwood, Ont.

The green campaign was galvanized by the arrival of two new parishioners, Rob and Sara Wilkinson, who were committed to greening All Saints’ quickly. When Sara died unexpectedly of cancer this past January, “people donated money and gave us the push we needed,” says Miller.

In the process of reroofing All Saints’ the previous summer, the group had providently applied to the local power authority, which issued them a contract. If they could install the panels, they would receive payment for the energy they produced under Ontario’s microFit program.

Now, All Saints’ will also earn about $1,000 a month, 10 months a year, for the power it supplies to the grid. That will help ease its own annual electricity bill of $20,000, and soon offset the $47,000 it cost to install the panels.

“This is about caring for creation and respecting the earth that God gave us a gift. It’s a win-win situation for churches,” says Miller. “I’d like to see dioceses across the country set up processes to make it easy for churches to do this.”

The church is also working toward zero waste, so that groups who rent the church must take away any garbage that is not recyclable or compostable, Miller says.


  • Diana Swift

    Diana Swift is an award-winning writer and editor with 30 years’ experience in newspaper and magazine editing and production. In January 2011, she joined the Anglican Journal as a contributing editor.

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