Solar Gaining Momentum Among Churches


From cutting costs in utility bills to being a prime steward of the land, it is no secret to why solar is gaining popularity. But for churches, going solar can prove to be much more valuable. Like all other non-profits, churches are all too familiar with tight budgets and the ineligibility of solar tax incentives, which is why they must get creative.

With innovative solar financing options such as a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), churches will be able to afford solar without having to pay a hefty upfront fee. This opportunity will allow them to take advantage of tax benefits that would otherwise be off limits. Without the option of a PPA, churches would be expected to pay for the solar system upfront, and without access to tax benefits; they would end up paying more for the system.

Many churches like St Paul’s Episcopal Church, in Walnut Creek, are paving the way, and showcasing the success of a PPA. In the PPA model, investors in the congregation band together to fund the solar project, and in turn are able to make use of available tax incentives. This allows the church to receive solar energy at a fixed rate competitive with that of PG&E. As a result, the money that once went towards utility bills is now spent on paying back the investors.

Many churches are now choosing to follow in St. Paul’s footsteps, and realize the financial and environmental benefits that come from going solar. The Concord Methodist Church is one such church. Partnering with GreenZu, a San Francisco based solar company, the Concord Methodist Church will be able to reduce energy costs and is predicted to save over $74,000 throughout the contract period of 20 years.

Power Purchase Agreements have become a common model for churches that lack the upfront capital for a solar system. With the help of dedicated congregation members, churches will be transformed with reduced energy costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions. With this, they can focus on providing meaningful works that enhance the community

Article by Alyssa Fong

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.


  1. I am interested in helping churches, starting with my church, The Ray Of Hope in Georgia. Please contact me if you can assist us. Thank you in advance!

  2. Poppa C

    We would love to assist your church and answer any questions that you have. Please contact us at info[at]

    -The GreenZu Team

  3. This is a great new opportunity for any church to be able to take advantage of these new solar programs!