../Morning Post
Posted March 29, 2011

Energy Awards

Guelph Hydro Presents Green Sacred Spaces Awards

Unitarian Congregation of Guelph and Dublin St. United Church recognized for their efforts to reduce energy consumption and improve the environment

GUELPH – Guelph Hydro Inc. is the proud sponsor of the first Green Sacred Spaces Awards of Excellence presented in the Guelph community. Representatives of the Unitarian Congregation of Guelph and Dublin Street United Church were presented with their awards by Guelph Hydro, the Trillium Foundation and Greening Sacred Spaces Waterloo/Wellington/Dufferin during Transition Guelph’s Resilience 2011 event held on Saturday, March 26.

The Green Sacred Spaces Awards of Excellence are coordinated and judged by the Greening Sacred Spaces Network, an interfaith and intercultural not-for-profit organization which helps faith congregations green their buildings and communities. Locally, the Greening Sacred Spaces Network comprises more than 100 faith communities in Waterloo, Wellington and Dufferin Regions.

The Unitarian Congregation of Guelph earned a Green Sacred Spaces Award of Excellence for their work in conducting an energy audit, retrofitting with energy efficient compact fluorescent lighting, upgrading weather- stripping, and initiating a rooftop solar panel project. Congregants are encouraged to take environmental messages home through weekly e-bulletins and e-newsletters. The Unitarian Congregation of Guelph partners with various environmental organizations, mentoring and encouraging tool- and car-sharing cooperatives, Freecycle initiatives – a reuse program focused on reducing landfill, and a Community Shared Agriculture program.

Dublin Street United Church was honoured with a Green Sacred Spaces Award of Excellence for their “Greening Dublin” project that included a community lecture series and hosting a 17-year-strong Community Shared Agriculture program. The church has been retrofitted with motion-activated lights, room-specific temperature control systems, energy-efficient light bulbs, low-flush toilets, a bike rack and a new hot water heating system. Dublin Street United Church’s plans for the future include generating energy from a rooftop solar photovoltaic system and installing new energy-efficient windows.

“We are thrilled to see congregations in our community leading by example in the areas of renewable energy and energy conservation,” said Ron Collins, Vice-President of Guelph Hydro Inc. in presenting the awards. “In addition to reducing their energy consumption, by installing solar panels on their roofs, they will be contributing to the Guelph Community Energy Initiative’s goal of having 1,000 solar roofs in our community and helping to create a cleaner, greener environment.”

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