Fellowship Energy Leads the Way with Solar for Faith-Based Communities
“Funds that are freed up from often sizeable utility bills can go to serve the community and causes that these organizations support,” notes Philip Kwait, founder and CEO of Fellowship Energy. “Making these dollars available for community service is the real benefit of Fellowship Energy’s efforts. These are the real customers we seek to serve.”
Virginia-based solar developer Performance Solar provided design and installation services for the
project. Other local firms involved include Excel Electric as master electrician, responsible for permitting, installation and testing, and Advanced Engineering for structural review.
Steve Birdsong, president of Performance Solar, says “Performance Solar has worked with Fellowship
Energy on multiple projects including St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Fellowship Energy went above and beyond to ensure that the entire process was smooth, pleasant and easy for everyone involved. ”
Helping Churches and Parochial Schools Achieve a Sustainability Mission
Sustainability is often an important aspect of a faith-based community’s mission, but until now
churches, parochial schools and other nonprofits have been left out of the solar revolution currently
sweeping the nation due to their inability to take advantage of federal solar tax incentives and other
challenges. Through Fellowship Energy, these communities can enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA), which guarantees a lower price for solar-generated electricity than the local utility and leads to an immediate reduction in overall operating expenses.
Fellowship’s financing product is structured like other solar PPAs in that there are no upfront out-ofpocket expenses for the place of worship and a third party owns and maintains the system, selling the clean energy back to the host organization for a period of up to 25 years. After six years, organizations may opt to buy their system outright – enabling them to own an asset with proven and predictable performance at a fraction of the cost of installing the system.
St. Stephen’s financial obligations are guaranteed by the Episcopal Church Building Fund (ECBF). The
ECBF is a fund specifically established to provide low-interest loans to churches for buildings and related
About Fellowship Energy
Fellowship Energy was founded to support the sustainability missions of faith-based communities with a
financing option that enables them to capture significant savings on their energy bills with no upfront
expenses. With Fellowship Energy’s zero-down financing, churches, parochial schools and other religious
organizations can add a solar system to their roofs, parking lots, or land and start saving on utility costs
and facility operating expenses on day one.
Fellowship Energy can finance a wide scope of project sizes across the U.S. and does not rely on traditional church fundraising efforts, where congregants are asked to donate to fund these improvements. This makes Fellowship Energy an ideal partner for more disadvantaged communities with limited fundraising capabilities.