Earth Ministry / Sustainability

Energy

The Earth Ministry team promotes and is involved with many programs involving green energy.  Did you know that UUCW has solar panels on its roof?  Or that UUCW was the first church in Milwaukee to purchase 100% "green power" from WE Energies?

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UUCW Solar Power Project

As of March 1st 2014, UUCW's 8.4 kW solar system (42 panels 200 Watts each) has produced 57,260 kWhs of electricity since it was installed June 3rd, 2008. Through our buy-back agreement with We Energies, the solar system has earned UUCW $12,311.  

You can learn more about UUCW's Solar PV project on the Solar Energy page.

Read the UUCW solar site assessment report  (PDF document)

UUCW was the first church in We Energies service territory and the first in SE Wisconsin to be a solar power generator. One of our goals was to demonstrate that such an installation was feasible and attract other churches to follow our lead. That has happened. On October 9, 2010 Rev. Lynch helped dedicate First Unitarian Society’s solar installation. Lake Country UUs decided on December 5, 2010 to move forward with their solar project. 

Go to We Energies website to view information about these other installations and the institutions. Click on individual sites, especially congregations, to enjoy seeing the trend towards solar that we helped stimulate.

Indeed, the light that shines on UUCW continues to generate power, in a number of ways.

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EnAct:  Steps to Greener Living Program

This is an activity for people who would like to be a part of a hands-on effort to live more sustainably. Are you interested in taking steps in your own home and around your own daily routine to reduce your environmental impact?  The “enact” program is a chance to do just that with a group of like-minded UU’s. Each group would meet about a half dozen times to learn more ways to conserve energy, waste less, save water, drive less, and eat well.  The “enact” curriculum provides a framework to follow, but each group can pursue their own interests, and do what UU’s love to do:  motivate each other, and take action!!

The EnAct program was developed in Madison and has run successfully there for a number of years. John Bahr of UUCW is currently implementing the Enact program in Wauwatosa.

You can purchase the enact book at: www.enactwi.org, Amazon Books or Little Read Book Store in Tosa.

There is a Pre-Enact Survey that you can download at www.enactwi.org that should be complete before getting started with the program. The idea is to compare your habits before and after you learn about how your choices affect the environment.

Contact Jerry Strom of the Earth Ministry Committee if you would like to participate in a future Steps To Greener Living program.

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Green Power

UUCW was the first church in the metropolitan Milwaukee area to purchase 100% "green power" from the WE Energies "Power For Tomorrow" renewable energy program!

Read the press release "Church Energized By Clean, Renewable Electric Power"  (PDF document)

In conjunction with the purchase of clean, renewable energy, UUCW is recognized as an “EPA Green Power Partner” by the Federal Government Environmental Protection Agency. Click to see the EPA certificate.

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Church Lighting Upgrade

In 2002 through 2010, UUCW upgraded the church fluorescent lighting for improved efficiency and lower energy costs. Funding was provided by the UUCW Endowment Fund and the Energy Stewards Program. Energy savings of over $600 per year have been achieved.

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Energy Stewards Program

Energy Stewards is a We Energies sponsored program for religious congregations, non-profit organizations and private schools that want to take action to improve their building energy efficiency, reducing financial and environmental costs. UUCW is a participant in this program. Through introductory workshops, expert advice, special incentives and shared learning, Energy Stewards Non-Profits has assisted over 450 organizations in cutting financial and environmental costs with energy efficient furnaces, lighting, insulation and more.

The program is supported through a collaboration of Interfaith Earth Network, Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light and We Energies. Earth Ministry members have been involved with the Interfaith Earth Network Core Team.

UUCW Campus Committee will be considering the creation of an Energy Stewards team to monitor electric and gas consumption patterns in order to uncover energy savings opportunities.

Energy sources are one of the gifts of which all are called to responsible stewardship as we discern what actions are appropriate. While stewardship of creation varies in practice and language among our faith communities, it shares a common thread. All religions honor the gifts that the creator provides and urge us to use these gifts wisely.

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