Our Use of Solar Power

Pictures of Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick's Solar Tour of United Christian Church, Levittwon from his X feed. 

The UCC was invited by the founders (original owners) of ExactSolar. Inc., a local company, to participate in the 2023 version of an annual nation-wide "Solar Tour" sponsored by  American Solar Energy Society (ASES). UCC had purchased a thermal Solar hot water system from Exact Solar in 2008.

In 2018 ExactSolar offered to install a Solar photovoltaic (PV) Energy system on the church roof. They made this offer to UCC because they supported UCC's progressive stance on many issues. SolarExact would retain ownership of the system for a five-year period that would allow them to take advantage of the tax credit benefits made available to people and organizations who installed solar energy systems. In 2018 non-profit organizations such as the church could not claim the tax benefit because they didn't pay tax. The benefit for UCC is the "free" electricity produced by the system. UCC accepted the offer and the system was installed in January 2019.

After UCC agreed to participate in the Solar Tour we teamed up with several other organizations that supported solar energy. This included PennEnvironment, Interfaith Power and Light, the Public Interest Network, and the current owner of ExactSolar, Inc. A key objective of this year's Tour was to publicize the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act's (IRA) provision that enables nonprofits / churches to receive a direct payment from the IRS in lieu of tax credit. I was asked to invite the local US Representative, Brain Fitzpatrick, in order to demonstrate for him a solar energy system installed on a church (UCC) with the hope he would then help make nonprofits in his district, including houses of worship, aware of the beneficial provisions in the IRA and thus encourage more of them to "go solar."

The photos show me guiding Rep. Fitpatrick and the other participants through the UCC solar tour. We observed the outdoor components of the system (the PV Solar panels on the roof).  We then reviewed the indoor components located in the utility room. And finally we moved to the Zoom room where I displayed on the large monitor a PowerPoint presentation that included data on the amount of electricity generated by the system and how much money it saves the church. 

UCC Solar Tour Presentation as of 01242024.pptx
The above summary, history, and presentation has been provided by Bob Gallagher, thank you Bob!