Cool Congregation

Award of Cool Congregation Certification to UUSD at a Sunday Service

UUSD Awarded Cool Congregation Certification

The Cool Congregation Certification is awarded in recognition of exemplary efforts to make significant greenhouse gas reductions. Interfaith Power and Light (IPL), a national faith-based non-profit organization promoting energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy to combat climate changed, certified UUSD at the 40 percent (or more) carbon reduction level. We were able to transform our energy use from oil and electric grid-based energy sources, to all electric, with 97% of the energy produced by our 28kw of rooftop solar cells leased from Clean Energy USA (CEU). Major energy efficiency gains were also gained with the help of the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility (DESEU), a non-profit Delaware organization that offers programs to support energy efficiency, conservation, and customer-sited renewable energy.

Dr. Tony DePrima of DESEU said, “We were happy to get behind UUSD’s efforts to save energy by providing them with low interest loans for their efficiency improvements. I cannot think of a more deserving congregation for this award; they are viewed as a model throughout Delaware.” John Sertich, president of CEU, said, “Clean Energy USA is proud to be associated with this wonderful accomplishment. We value UUSD’s commitment to the environment and the example they set to the community.”

John Sykes, who accepted the Cool Congregation Certification on behalf of the congregation, said “The Cool Congregations program is designed to support faith communities as they ‘walk the talk’ by reducing their own carbon footprint, thus helping to cool the planet. A side benefit of the program is the ‘multiplier effect,’ as congregants are encouraged to model the same energy saving behavior at home that they see at their congregation. Doing so will bring more voices to the growing interfaith movement that is demanding accountability and leadership from world leaders on behalf of the Earth and the common good. Driven by a common mandate to be good stewards of Creation, the Certified Cool Congregations are averaging 42% greenhouse gas reductions, showing that where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

In presenting the award to UUSD on behalf of the IPL, Lisa Locke, former Executive Director of the Delaware chapter of IPL, said, “We believe climate change is the defining moral issue of our times. Yes, the warnings are dire. But there is room for hope. And the members of the Unitarian Universalists of Southern Delaware, the first congregation to join Delaware IPL, have once again shown themselves to be a beacon of light — through innovation, collaboration, and determination — leading the way.” For more information about Delaware Interfaith Power and Light, contact Executive Director Shweta Arya at