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ARC Home > Projects > Sacred gifts :
Interfaith Power and Light

Interfaith Power and Light

Update: January, 2011

In the past two years, the Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) campaign has been going from strength to strength. The number of participating congregations has more than doubled in just two years, from 3,400 to 10,000. It is also now running programmes in 38 states, educating thousands of congregations about energy efficiency, conservation and a moral responsibility as people of faith to address global warming and model clean energy solutions.

Interfaith blessing of solar panels in Tennessee
Apart from the congregation’s individual work, IPL has also been trying to influence public policy. An example of this involved the defeating of Proposition 23 in IPL’s home state of California, which would have stalled the implementation of the only state global warming bill in the USA.

They are also fighting mountain top removal for coal, we are helping to reforest in Africa and starting a climate and food campaign.

The organisation has grown from humble beginnings, going on to win numerous awards and gain recognition by the US EPA, Grist magazine and Oprah.

IPL President and Founder, the Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham has also been invited to be on President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships.

Further information can been found on the IPL website.

This programme was designed to help the 8,000 Episcopal churches in the US to assess their energy consumption with the idea of switching to more renewable forms of energy and encouraging their parishioners to do the same.

Sometimes they have discovered unexpected savings: for example when thousands of parishioners in northern California switched to green power in their homes the power company donated money to the church. This illustrates:

• the benefits of aggregating purchase power to obtain lower rates for green power

• the importance of building incentives into a green energy program

• the power of numbers

This initiative developed a previously unimaginable knock-on effect when the Episcopal Power and Light leadership joined with the California Council of Churches (which represents 3,400 congregations of different faiths) to set up California Interfaith Power and Light.

Now the National Council of Churches of the US comprising 340,000 congregations, and the World Council of Churches are starting to develop similar programmes.

Churches, mosques, synagogues and other houses of worship do not usually use as much energy as factories or businesses. But as religious congregations increasingly emphasize the connection between their faith and the threat of global warming, there emerges the possibility of a new and powerful force for change.

The National Council of Churches in the US (with 340,000 congregations) and the World Council of Churches are developing their own environmental audits.


A Message from Rev.Sally Bingham for 2011

Inspiring interview on YouTube with Rev.Sally Bingham of Interfaith Power & Light: 2007

Interfaith Power & Light and The Regeneration Project

Interview about Wind Farms on Sioux Reservations

California Interfaith Power & Light

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Related information

What is a Sacred Gift?
Every religion believes the gift of life itself is sacred. This shared understanding led WWF and ARC to create a special term of recognition for significant new projects.
Christian eco network promotes eco-awareness
The Church of England and the Conservation Foundation have established a network of more than 5000 parishes in the UK to promote environmental awareness and action
South China Morning Post, 29 July 2003:
Church heads can help environment: Prince Philip
In a recent interview, Prince Philip said religious leaders had an important role to play in educating the masses about environmental protection.