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September 2014

Dear MIP&L members and friends,

People's Climate March

climate march

Marchers from Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light joined the hundreds of thousands of people participating in the People's Climate March. Among them was Danielette Horton, a resident of a Far Rockaway housing project hit by super storm Sandy. "The community was devastated. We had to walk around with flashlights because all the lights were gone and there was no food," she said. "We had to get food from handouts." Without decisive action to prevent further climate change and protect Far Rockaway, she predicted that it would not be the last time that she and her neighbors experienced such a storm.

The disproportionate impact on the poor makes climate change a justice issue. The World Council of Churches joined the interfaith organization Religions for Peace to sponsor an Interfaith Summit on Climate Change at Union Theological Seminary on September 21st. "With more than 85 per cent of the human family embracing a religious tradition, the role of faith groups in helping articulate a moral and ethical response to climate change is not only important, but essential", says Stephen Bede Scharper of the University of Toronto. We pray that the attention focused on this issue can yield results at the substantive UN conference in Paris beginning in November 2015. To continue providing a religious response to climate change, join Mass. IP&L.


SAVE THE DATE: What's Hot in Mass Public Policy?

When: Thursday, October 23rd from 7-9 PM

What: What's Hot in Mass Public Policy?

Where: Temple Beth Elohim, 110 Bethel Road, Wellesley MA 02481

Cost: $10


November is SHOW time!


MIP&L has three Sustainable House of Worship Workshop (SHOW) coming in November. These half-day workshop provides practical information and useful tools to guide you in evaluating 24 areas where you can reduce energy use, save money, and reduce carbon emissions at your house of worship or your home.

Members of all faiths are welcome to come to one of these workshops this fall:


Energy Management for Seminaries & Large Houses of Worship

green faith

WHAT: GreenFaith in collaboration with Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light is hosting an Energy Management Seminar for those involved in managing large religious facilities and their energy systems. Learn about efficiency rebates and incentives and advanced conservation and efficiency strategies. Network with others to share challenges, ideas and solutions!

WHEN: November 3, 2014; 9am-4pm

WHERE: Andover Newton Theological School
210 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA 02459

FOR: Facility Managers, Sustainability Directors, CFO's and everyone involved in energy management.



COST: $50 per person, or $75 total for multiple representatives of any one institution.

To register contact Colby May at


Interfaith Power & Light's Story of Hope Profiled on 24 Hours of Climate Reality

IPL logo

On September 16th, Interfaith Power & Light was featured to a worldwide audience as a story of hope in the face of climate change. The event sponsored by the Climate Reality Project highlighted examples of how communities around the world are mobilizing to curb global warming.

Two IPL congregations were profiled as models of faith in action for a safe climate. Watch them installing solar panels, inviting youth leaders into the pulpit, planting vegetable gardens, holding a Native American blessing, and greening their facilities, here.


Get Ready for an Efficient – and Lower Cost – Heating Season


We've already had some chilly nights and you might even have seen some leaves turning. That means we'll soon be turning on our heating systems. So now is the time to make sure your system is as efficient as possible. Here are five small investments in time and effort that will yield big savings as it gets colder!

  1. Make your windows winners. Many houses of worship have stained glass windows. Unfortunately they are designed for beauty and inspiration, not to keep cold air out. Old single pane windows have the same limits. The solution is interior storm windows, either built as a workday project with volunteers, or purchased from companies like MIP&L partner Advanced Energy Panels, which gives MIP&L members 5% off. Read more in MIP&L's Everyday Environmental Stewardship brief.
  2. Match heat to use patterns. Most members we speak to have programmable thermostats that help avoid one of the biggest energy wasters: heating a room that nobody is using. But with the ever changing schedules at houses of worship, the schedule you set last year probably isn't right this year. Use the MIP&L Space Use Form to document when different rooms are being used.
  3. Get your thermostats with the program. Now that you know when each space is being used, program the thermostat in each room to greet people with a cozy warmth, then return to a low setting when they leave. Don't have programmable thermostats? They're an easy do-it-yourself project, taking only 10–15 minutes each. Look for "smart" or "adaptive recovery" thermostats for extra savings. More about these options in the MIP&L Everyday Environmental Stewardship brief on thermostats.
  4. Get your system in tune. Have your heating contractor come, and ask him to measure the efficiency of your system. New oil systems have efficiency in the 85 – 90% range, gas systems can be as high as 97%. If your system comes in substantially below this, it is time for an upgrade
  5. Ban the drafts. If cold air is leaking into your building, the money you spend to heat it is going to waste! Sealing around doors and windows with caulk or weather stripping is another easy project that can save you money. Also check electric switches and outlets on outside walls. If they feel cold, remove the plate and install foam insulators, like those available through EFI.

Take these five actions and you'll feel good in three ways: you'll be warmer, the check you write to your energy company will be smaller, and you'll have taken steps to lower your house of worship's contribution to climate change!


power plantsOctober 16th Deadline to Comment on the EPA Power Plant Carbon Pollution Rule

Existing power plants are our country's single greatest source of the carbon pollution that is hurting our neighbors and communities. If implemented and carried out, EPA's draft standards would cut carbon emissions from industrial power plants by a sizable 30%. We need to let the EPA know that the faith community will stand strong in support of these safeguards!

To see EPA's video overview of the Clean Power Plan go here. Specific instructions for submitting public comments are here.

View an excellent presentation by Rachel Cleetus, of the Union of Concerned Scientists explaining why Power Plant Pollution is so important.

The public comment period will be open until October 16th, 2014 SO PLEASE ACT TODAY.


Boston Carbon Risk Forum — September 29th at Harvard Law School

Boston Carbon Risk ForumIn the last year, over 30 local governments have moved to divest from fossil fuels. The forum will provide a unique opportunity for local governments and the institutional financial sector to connect on the components and implications of fossil fuel divestment.

Where: Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA

When: Monday, September 29, 8am - 6pm

Intended For: Municipal officials; government and non-profit staff; investment professionals

Meals: Registration includes, breakfast, lunch and refreshments at reception.

Cost: $100 for government staff and nonprofits, $200 for financial professionals. Scholarship assistance may be available for mayors and local government staff. Scholarships are available. Please email James Irwin.

Topics: Emerging research into carbon risk; divestment strategies; reinvestment options; addressing fiduciary duty; portfolio risk management. View agenda here.

Registration: Register online here.

Convened by the Mayors Innovation Project and the Better Future Project.


Interfaith Action on Climate Change - A Conference for RI Clergy & Laity

interfaith action


Sheldon Whitehouse, United States Senate
Timmons Roberts, Brown University
Art Handy, RI House of Representatives

October 15th
From 8:30 to 11:30 AM

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
15 Hayes St, Providence
Directly across from Providence Place parking garage

Registration (including a light breakfast) is only $15
Register online at before October 8th.


make a donation

Please Donate to Mass Interfaith Power & Light Today!

Whether you chose to respond to the climate change crisis by marching with us in New York City, attending one of our SHOW workshops this fall, exploring solar power for your faith community, or joining our prayers for wisdom and strength in our efforts to preserve creation, we hope you'll also take a moment to make a secure, fully tax-deductible donation to Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light by going to our website and clicking on the Donate button on our homepage.

Peace and blessings,

Your friends at MIP&L


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