It's Not Too Late! Renew America's Nonprofits

August 21, 2023

Through this Federal financial assistance program, the Department of Energy is distributing $45 million for the first time to nonprofit organizations, including churches, for energy efficiency improvements such as new insulation, new windows, high-efficiency lighting, building controls, and HVAC systems. Learn more at  Renew America's Nonprofits | Department of Energy

The Department of Energy is distributing these funds in large block grants to between 5 and 15 national organizations that have applied as “Prime Recipients”.  The University of Colorado’s Building Energy Smart Technology (BEST) Center has applied as a “Prime” in partnership with the MSC of the United Methodist Church.  This application is for $8.3 million.  If chosen, the BEST Center will work to distribute grants in the range of $20,000 to $200,000 to “subrecipients” including MSC churches who have applied for energy-efficiency funding.  NOTE: All grants require each subrecipient church to secure a 20% match of cash and in-kind support. To date, 24 MSC churches have registered as potential “subrecipients” on the Department of Energy Teaming List. 

Bottom line:  if you are interested, you must: 

1.) Register officially on the Department of Energy Teaming List.  The registration hyperlink is on the homepage of Renew America’s Nonprofits|Department of Energy. Click Join The Teaming List!, highlighted in the center of the page and complete the short form. 

2.) Conduct an energy audit with your utility or private contractor to define what projects you need to do and estimate how much you can save on energy bills. Insulation?  Windows?  Doors? Lighting?  HVAC?  

3.) Begin to use EPA’s Energy Star's Portfolio Manager (a free tool that helps churches track their energy performance).  For more information use the Portfolio Manager Benchmarking Starter Kit, and see details in the Energy Efficiency Checklist for Churches. 

4.) Complete a one-page Letter of Commitment and return it to the Mountain Sky Conference Creation Justice Task Force.   LOC Template  LOC Sample

We will not know until early October if the University of Colorado/MSC application is selected. If it isn’t, then churches will still be well positioned to apply as a subrecipient to any other PRIME that is chosen.  At a minimum, these churches will be further along in discovering ways to lower their utility bills and operating costs.  However, if the DOE selects the BEST Center application, then MSC churches that have taken the above steps before October 1 have significantly improved their chances of receiving funds for their energy efficiency improvements.  

We hope you don’t overlook this unique opportunity.  For more information, contact these members of the MSC Creation Justice Task Force: 

Jay Vestal, 

or Todd Allen,