Solar Champion Stories

St. Andrews Episcopal Church Embraces Solar

Imagine a church where the hymns are powered by spiritual community as well as the energy of the sun. That's precisely what's happening at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in New London, New Hampshire. In a world where environmental consciousness is increasingly vital, St. Andrew’s stands as a shining example of sustainability and stewardship. With their recent solar installation, this thriving congregation has not only made a significant impact on their own energy consumption but is also leading the charge for churches to get more involved in the environmental movement. 

MicrosoftTeams-image (42).pngIn a recent interview with Father Jay MacLeod, Rector of St Andrew’s, we delved into their journey of embracing solar power and the positive impact it has had on their community, their finances, and the environment.

“The financial and environmental benefits are evident, making the decision to go solar a natural choice for the church," Father Jay explained. "We anticipate our energy costs will be reduced by 46%, and our carbon footprint will be significantly reduced. This was the next step in our process of becoming more sustainable, and by far the most exciting."

"It’s a win-win for us. We’re going to save a huge amount of money on our electric bill and just as important, we’re going to lower our carbon footprint."


St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church recognizes that their decision to go solar extends beyond their immediate savings—it sets an example for other churches and religious institutions to follow. Father Jay highlighted the importance of churches taking a proactive role in the environmental movement.

MicrosoftTeams-image (43).png"Sadly, we’re a little bit cutting edge. According to our scriptures, which are very explicit, we are stewards of the environment, so we as churches should be at the forefront of the environmental movement.” St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church has embraced this responsibility wholeheartedly with a very active Green Committee that oversees sustainability measures.

"The congregation is thrilled," said Father Jay. "A week ago, they left church, and ReVision came in, putting the panels up in just four days. The congregation arrived today for church and were thrilled to see that we now have a complete solar array on our roof." The excitement and support from the congregation are testaments to the positive impact the solar project has had on the community's collective spirit.

St. Andrew's goes above and beyond in their commitment to environmental stewardship. They took the initiative to conduct an energy audit and found that weatherizing the building and installing a solar array were the best ways to optimize energy usage. Their goal is to educate and inspire not only their congregation but also the wider community, emphasizing the importance of individual actions in parallel with what the church has achieved.

MicrosoftTeams-image (41).pngAs part of their programming, the church is organizing a special event called a "community build" in collaboration with the Kearsarge Window Dressers non-profit project. This event brings community members together this fall to construct simple, yet effective window inserts that provide insulation against the cold.

Leading By Example

The success of St. Andrew's solar project stands as an example of what can be achieved when a community embraces renewable energy solutions. By leading through example and showcasing the tangible benefits of solar power, they hope to inspire other churches and religious institutions to take the leap towards a more sustainable future.

Churches and tax-exempt entities were previously unable to directly benefit from federal tax credits for solar installations. However, with the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, churches now have the option of 'direct pay,' allowing them to access the 30% tax credit if they meet certain criteria. This is a big deal because previously schools, towns, and nonprofits didn't have access to these federal incentives or project ownership. Now they can receive a direct payment from the IRS once their solar project is complete. This change enables churches to take full advantage of the financial benefits associated with solar power, making it an even more attractive option.  

If you're curious to learn more about St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and their solar journey, visit their website.