The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh is making available to its parishes $300,000 over the next three years to help them become more energy efficient.

It's an opportunity to take steps as simple as sealing windows and doors, adding insulation, or replacing costly lighting and appliances; the diocesan energy grant will also help defray the cost of more serious undertakings such as revamping heating and cooling systems or using solar, wind or geothermal energy.

The diocese will cover up to 80% of the cost, with a maximum grant of $25,000 per parish each year. There is no minimum amount.

"We hope this will be a very beneficial way of supporting all of our congregations, especially those with aging facilities," said Bishop Price. The diocese will fund the grants from several sources available to the bishop. A review committee will advise him on the grant requests.

To apply, parishes need to write a letter describing the project and how it will improve their "energy footprint," including a specific estimate of the savings to the parish operational budget. The letter must include a cost quote for each part of the project.

Application letters must be submitted by May 15 for 2011 projects. Awards will be announced in June.

Mail to Energy Grants, Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, 4099 William Penn Hwy., Suite 502, Monroeville, PA, 15146 or by e-mail to jrgunder@episcopalpgh.org

The Church and the Environment

Mike Schut, the Environmental Affairs Officer for the Episcopal Church, will speak on TEC's collaboration with GreenFaith¸ when the diocese hosts the Episcopal Urban Caucus national assembly. He will lead the final plenary session on Saturday, February 26, from 9:00 a.m. to noon.