Tag Archives: Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light

Sharing Email from Allied Organization Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light: “Positive Steps on Climate Action”

Dear Nebraska IPL Friends,

Last week there were positive steps on several issues Nebraska IPL has been supporting.

First, LB 283 was advanced from the Executive Committee for consideration by the entire Legislature. LB 283 would create a State Climate Action Plan. The University of Nebraska would be given the task of putting together a climate action plan for the state.

On Friday, Senator McCollister named LB 283 as his priority bill, which means the bill will at least be debated by the Legislature. We encourage you to contact your senator and ask him or her to support LB 283 as a positive step in addressing the causes and impacts of the climate crisis.

Here is a link to the Legislature’s web site if you want to find your senator’s contact information: https://nebraskalegislature.gov

Here is the link to LB 283: https://nebraskalegislature.gov/bills/view_bill.php?DocumentID=37279

On Thursday, the Natural Resources Committee heard LR 294, the resolution developed through research and advocacy by students from Prairie Hill Learning Center. LR 294 reviews various climate-related findings and acknowledges the existence of an anthropogenic climate and ecological crisis. The students who put together the resolution provided stellar testimony. They were supported by a wide variety of individuals and organizations; 39 people testified in support of the resolution and the committee received more than 100 letters and emails in support.

Even though a resolution is mostly symbolic, it would be great if LR 294 were adopted this session. Please contact the members of the Natural Resources Committee and ask them to advance LR 294 for consideration by the entire Legislature.

Natural Resources Committee Members:
Sen. Dan Hughes, Chairperson: (402) 471-2805, dhughes@leg.ne.gov
Sen. Joni Albrecht: (402) 471-2716, jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov 
Sen. Bruce Bostelman: (402) 471-2719, bbostelman@leg.ne.gov
Sen. Suzanne Geist: (402) 471-2731, sgeist@leg.ne.gov
Sen. Tim Gragert: (402) 471-2801, tgragert@leg.ne.gov
Sen. Steve Halloran: (402) 471-2712, shalloran@leg.ne.gov
Sen. Mike Moser: (402) 471-2715, mmoser@leg.ne.gov
Sen. Dan Quick: (402) 471-2617, dquick@leg.ne.gov

On Friday, the Lincoln Electric System (LES) board heard presentations on climate change and potential scenarios for a zero-carbon future. Although this is in the preliminary stages, it is a significant step.

All three of these issues are areas where Nebraska IPL has devoted time, effort and resources, so it is heartening to see positive steps being taken. However, we understand these are beginning steps and it will require considerable effort to achieve the kinds of changes that are needed.

Thank you for your support in helping us address the climate crisis.

Ken Winston / Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light

Please join us for tonight’s public forum: “Align Your Principal with Your Principles: Investing in a Clean Energy Economy”

Nebraskans for Solar Educational Series Event 
UNO’s Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Rooms 201 and 205
6400 University Drive S (64th & Dodge) in Omaha

Our speaker will be Tyler Mainquist, CFP®, ChFC®, CAP®, CLTC
Financial Advisor, Central Financial Services, Lincoln

This presentation will provide practical methods for implementing sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) investing — including how to avoid carbon-intensive and other polluting industries, and instead support companies that are working to reduce, mitigate, and/or adapt to our changing global climate.

Additional material will cover recent updates re: comparisons against traditional investing, as well as the use of companies’ ESG (environmental, social, governance) data to reduce financial risk by avoiding bad corporate behavior.

Co-sponsored by Green Bellevue, Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light, Conservation Nebraska, Nebraska Sierra Club, OTOC’s Environmental Sustainability Action Team

This event is free and open to the public. Please join us and bring a friend! Refreshments provided. Reserved parking is available in the lot in front of the Community Engagement Center, near the Durham Bell Tower. Enter at the kiosk and let the lot attendant, who is there until 7 pm, know you are a Nebraskans for Solar guest.

Tyler Mainquist is affiliated with Central Financial Services (CFS), and Ameritas Investment Corp. (AIC).  Securities and investment advisory services are offered solely through Registered Representatives and Investment Advisor Representatives of AIC, a registered Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC, and a registered investment advisor. AIC and CFS are not affiliated.  Additional products and services may be available through Tyler Mainquist or CFS that are not offered through AIC.  Representatives of AIC do not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax advisor or attorney regarding your situation.

Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light: Utility Action Update

OPPD – The comment period for Strategic Directive 7 (SD7), which covers environmental stewardship, has been extended to November 4th! They received hundreds of comments, right up until the previous deadline, many calling for a 100% renewable energy goal. The new language of SD7 includes a goal of 50% renewable retail sales and keeps the carbon intensity metric of a 20% reduction of 2010 levels by 2030. This is a step in the right direction, but we would like to see a 20% reduction in TOTAL carbon emissions and a goal of 100% renewables. You can read SD7, submit your comments and watch video recaps here.

LES – In their 2019 proposed budget, LES intends to allocate $1.5 million of their Sustainable Energy Program (SEP) for low-income energy efficiency programs. Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light Policy & Outreach Director Ken Winston has been engaging LES on this issue. The following are suggestions for increasing the likelihood of success of the new low-income efficiency proposal, the SEP going forward, energy efficiency in general and customer engagement:

  1. Establish a diverse task force of low-income, neighborhood and other community representatives to make sure there is a low-income efficiency program that best serves the needs of the community.
  2. Establish a continuing funding source for the low-income program.
  3. Make energy efficiency a part of the energy portfolio of LES, including establishing goals for energy efficiency.
  4. Improve marketing and outreach to make sure both the SEP and the new low-income efficiency program are reaching the people who need to be reached. Suggestions: presentations at Mayor’s Environmental Task Force and neighborhood roundtables, outreach to groups with contact lists.
  5. Work with the City of Lincoln and other agencies to improve energy efficiency in public buildings.
  6. Work with businesses, community organizations and idea leaders to make Lincoln the most energy-efficient community in the region.
  7. Establish a customer engagement portal on the website for comments and suggestions. It could be called “LES Listens” or something like that.

You can submit comments to LES here.

Related – Local View: LES should preserve funding for sustainability program, Lincoln Journal Star

NPPD – They are in the process of drafting their own Strategic Directives, and these will include environmental stewardship goals. They also had a discussion at their last meeting of supporting carbon fee and dividend if such legislation would be introduced in the Legislature next session. Let your NPPD director know what they should do for environmental goals and a carbon tax here.

Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light: It is better that OPPD and NPPD hear from their respective customer-owners and for them to mention their board representative. In the case of LES, the entire board represents the whole LES service area.

Website: Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light

Interfaith Power & Light Announces 2017 Winners of the Cool Congregations Challenge

Every year the Cool Congregations Challenge celebrates the hard work being done by congregations across the county who are addressing global warming by reducing their carbon footprint and by becoming inspirations to their members and communities.

The Cool Congregations Challenge shows that people of faith are united by concerns about climate change and are taking action – with or without the support of government policies. The winners provide strong moral role models for their communities, and their activities have a ripple effect with people in their own homes.

Interfaith Power & Light is pleased to announce the inspiring five winners of the 2017 Cool Congregations Challenge in the following categories: Community Inspiration, Energy Saver, Renewable Role Model, Sacred Grounds Steward, Cool Congregation Planner.

The winners are:

  • Community United Church of Christ in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Temple Shalom in Chevy Chase, Maryland
  • Congregational Church in Cumberland, Maine
  • Sisters of St. Joseph in Brentwood, New York
  • Manchester United Methodist Church in Manchester, Missouri

“The Cool Congregations Challenge winners inspire and show us what is possible.  We awarded Catholic Sisters for creating sustainable farms in New York, a church in North Carolina that rallied 15 other churches to work together to weatherize low-income homes, and a synagogue in Maryland that swapped out 477 light fixtures. These winners are creating jobs, saving money, and saving creation. There were dozens of excellent applications, but the five winners really stand out for the creativity and impact of their projects.”  – Reverend Sally Bingham, founder and president of Interfaith Power & Light

You can read their stories here.

For more information, visit:

White House Recognizes Faith & Climate Work in Nebraska

Rev. Kim Morrow, Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light Director, has been selected as a White House “Champion of Climate Change,” along with a dozen other faith leaders in the country working on climate change (including three affiliated with other Interfaith Power & Light chapters).

Reverend Kim Morrow

Reverend Kim Morrow

The work of faith leaders around the country who are bringing moral urgency to bear on conversations about how to protect our planet is making a real difference in moving climate action forward.

This event builds on the momentum from the June 18th release of Pope Francis’s Encyclical on the environment. Kim will participate in an event Monday, July 20th at the White House with officials and other religious-environmental leaders. The event will be live streamed Monday at 1pm CT. Watch it here.

White House honors Lincoln reverend for nonprofit work, by Joseph Morton, World-Herald Bureau

Upcoming Nebraska Event: Reverend Morrow will be one of three panelists presenting a public forum at the Weitz Community Engagement Center on July 30th, “Praised Be: Pope Francis’s Encyclical and What it Means for the World.” Check our calendar for details.

December Workshop: The Economics of Generating Your Own Solar Electricity

Speaker: Jared Friesen, Renewable Energy Specialist at Morrissey Engineering
When: December 11, 2014  – 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: UNO’s Community Engagement Center, 64th & Dodge, Large Meeting Room 201

No matter how efficient a home or commercial building is constructed, electricity will be consumed in its operation. Historically, producing your own clean OR dirty electric energy at a price competitive with purchasing it from the local utility was not practical or economically feasible. The precipitous drop in photovoltaic (PV) system hardware costs, ability to maintain utility grid support, and other available incentives have changed the economic reality for some building owners. With the developing PV industry in mind, this presentation will cover:

  • What is the “value of solar” as it relates to the electric utility and electric user
  • What is net metering, is it fair, and what are its pitfalls
  • Performance and economic metrics a potential solar owner should understand
  • The attainable levelized cost of solar-electric energy that can be compared directly to current OPPD energy prices for residential and small commercial customers
  • Steps that must be taken to realize an attractive levelized cost of solar electricity
  • Q&A

Interested attendees are invited to bring one year (12 consecutive months) of electric bills for self-evaluation during the talk.

The workshop is free & open to the public, so please join us and bring a friend! Refreshments provided. Free parking is available in the reserved lot to the north of the Community Engagement Center, near the Durham Bell Tower. Let the lot attendant know you’re there for the Nebraskans for Solar workshop in Room 201. Parking is also permitted in other lots.

Sponsors include: Nebraskans for Solar, Green Bellevue, Omaha Sierra Club, Nebraska Wildlife Federation, Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light, and Transition Omaha

Thank you to everyone who supported our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign!

Nebraskans for Solar and Habitat for Humanity of Omaha would like to thank everyone who contributed to our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, “Solar Power for Habitat for Humanity Families.”

Over 100 donors supported the campaign, including:

Bank of the West $2,500
Bold Nebraska $1,000
An anonymous contribution from a California couple $500
43 contributions from 2014 Earth Day events $725
67 donations on our Indiegogo campaign site $10, 885

100% of these funds will be used to solar power two Habitat for Humanity houses, one in the Benson neighborhood and another one in South Omaha. Nebraskans for Solar and Habitat for Humanity of Omaha are continuing to raise funds to solar power three additional houses in 2014.

These families will be able to reduce their monthly energy costs by harnessing power from the sun for the next 20 to 25 years!

The money they save can be spent on food, healthcare, education, and other needs, benefiting their families and communities for a very long time.

Each solar hot water system is compact but powerful, generating about the same amount of energy per day as a 3-kilowatt solar electric system, or twelve 250-watt solar panels.

As we stated throughout our Indiegogo campaign, these gifts will pay our contributors back, greening our community and raising awareness about solar energy and how it benefits people and the environment.

As soon as all five houses are built or rehabilitated and the solar systems installed, each of our donors will receive an invitation to a solar tour and presentation.

We also wish to thank our supporting organizations for their help in spreading the word about our campaign to people who want more renewable energy in our communities:

Bold Nebraska, Community Power Network, Green Bellevue, Green Omaha Coalition, Institute for Local Self Reliance, Nebraska 350.Org, Nebraska Farmers Union, Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light, Nebraska Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, Sustainability Leadership Institute, and Transition U.S.

Helen Deffenbacher, Fundraising/Grants Director, Nebraskans for Solar hdeffenbacher@cox.net

Kathy Katt, Senior Director of Development and Marketing, Habitat for Humanity of Omaha kkatt@habitatomaha.org