California Interfaith Power & Light’s annual Energy Oscars event at Grace Cathedral

Posted on November 27, 2012

On November 13, the sixth annual California Interfaith Power & Light Energy Oscars was held in San Francisco. Guests from around the state gathered to celebrate, network, and honor outstanding congregations devoted to caring for Creation.

The awards part of the event was emceed by Greg Dalton, vice president of The Commonwealth Club of California and founder of Climate One, which strengthens dialogue around climate change action. Entertainment was provided by Aisha Fukushima, a rising star in bringing climate change and other justice issues to light in song.

Among the many exciting aspects of the Energy Oscars was the wide geographic diversity among the finalists. Congregations from large urban areas, such as Oakland and San Jose, in addition to houses of worship from Modesto, Rancho Mirage, La Verne, and even the first congregation to go solar in Bakersfield, were honored.

Awards were given in several categories, including energy efficiency and conservation — the fastest, least expensive, and easiest way to reduce energy use and curb global warming. Energy efficiency measures take the form of building retrofits, energy saving lighting, as well as the use of energy saving appliances. This year’s winner in the Energy Efficiency category was St. Mary's by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, Pacific Grove, which has undertaken an impressive variety of energy efficiency and educational measures in its congregation and in the wider community.

Finalists and winners, (denoted with asterisks) were celebrated:

Energy Efficiency
* St. Mary’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, Pacific Grove
Church of the Brethren, La Verne
Church of Our Savior Episcopal, Mill Valley

Green Building
Cambrian Park United Methodist Church, San Jose
* Temple Sinai of Glendale
First Congregational Church – UCC, Bakersfield
* Church of the Brethren, Modesto

* Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange
Davis United Methodist Church, Davis
Orange Community of Christ, Orange

Unitarian Universalist Church of the Desert, Rancho Mirage
College Community Congregational – UCC, Fresno

Photo above: honored guests along with CIPL president, the Rev. Sally Bingham
 Emcee Greg Dalton of the Commonwealth Club (both pictured far right.