Arlington Heights church sees religious meaning in adding solar panels
With its installation of 272 solar panels set to be complete in a week, Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Arlington Heights is making significant strides in its efforts to be more green.
For church leaders like Operations Officer Jim Valentine, the work has not only financial benefits, but also religious significance.
"We've done this because of our overall emphasis on caring for God's earth, of being an example for all of the Arlington Heights community," Valentine said.
The project follows Our Savior's efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and move to renewable energy. The church has transitioned to LED fixtures exclusively and replaced all its appliances with Energy Star products.
Its members recycle not only typical paper waste but also items like toothpaste dispensers, cosmetic containers and cereal bags.
The solar panels going up on the church's roof are the "icing on the cake," Valentine said.
The solar panel project will cost about $200,000, some of which was obtained through a fundraiser allowing donors to purchase panels. Half the cost will be paid through solar renewable energy credits over five years.
Valentine said energy savings -- about 50 percent current costs -- will make the panels worth it.
They also will help reduce the church's carbon footprint by 80 tons a year, he said.