A pilot project

Could more solar arrays be installed on buildings used by non-profits if community members could pool donations to fund the projects?

The current North Carolina tax code allows individuals to earn tax credits by installing solar panels on their homes.  But those tax credits aren't available to non-profits who would benefit from reduced energy bills and a lower carbon footprint.

The people of Community United Church of Christ were interested in installing solar panels on the church as a visible and tangible sign of their commitment to caring for God's creation.  We wanted to lower the church's carbon footprint and to support the replacement of fossil-fueled energy generation with renewable energy generation.  We liked the idea of growing the green jobs economy and supporting local companies as a way to live out a commitment to economic justice.  And we enjoy working alongside organizations and individuals with a shared commitment to these values.

In 2012, the congregation began to explore the feasibility of putting a solar array on the church’s roof. In the process of our research, we have met with congregations and neighborhood non-profits throughout North Carolina in various stages of asking the same questions. We realized that, if we could get the kinks out of one pilot project, we might have a model that other non-profits (congregations, community groups) could more easily adopt. (Although the NC tax credit terminates Dec. 31, 2015, the federal tax deduction for a charitable donation to a nonprofit will be available for future installations.) In that spirit of cooperation, we decided to throw the pilot project open to anyone in the community who would like to donate. 

To learn more about the project and how you can be part of it, read the information on this site.  If you have questions, contact Gary Smith at smithgk@mindspring.com.