A local church is serving as an inspiration to other houses of worship that want to delve into solar energy and other environmentally friendly projects.
When members of Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic Parish and School decided to improve efficiency and lower energy costs a few years ago, they began to implement different programs such as upgrading lighting, installing new windows and building a large solar energy system in the parking lot.
Hank Krzysik is a member of the church. He also happens to be an architect, and he says he explored different possibilities when he met with Kevin Koch, a principal with Technicians for Sustainability.
Together they were able to create a plan for renewable energy using solar power.
"The reality is that these systems really do work, that they are offsetting some of our electrical usage ... this is real technology, and should be common place on any building, let alone, on our house of worship," explains Krysik.
Krzysik says this is not an immediate solution because the purchase of this service is high. However, he says, the benefits will be seen in coming decades.
As utility rates increase over the years, Krzysik points out that the property will be locked into its current rate, while also generating 111 kilowatts of service, or 60 percent of total electricity usage.
Krzysik says other facilities have been contacting the church to learn about the projects and the steps that are involved in making them happen, as they consider their own systems to capture energy from the sun.