New Energy Action Team Profile & Brochure

Who We Are:

IEN energy action team

The IEN Energy Action Team is group of representatives from Austin’s faith communities organized by the Interfaith Environmental Network of Austin (IEN) to address the challenges and opportunities we face today with global warming, climate change and meeting the world’s future energy needs. Climate Buddies, an Austin-based coalition of energy professionals, are facilitating and consulting our team. Together, Climate Buddies and the IEN Energy Action Team are developing effective, local strategies for individuals and congregations. 

These strategies are designed to build a sustainable future for both our local and global communities. The IEN Energy Action Team currently consists of over 20 members and is founded on the recognition of preserving and improving the interdependence of human life and the well-being of Creation.

Our Goals

The goals of the IEN Energy Action Team include:

  • Building awareness among ourselves and our congregations about the environmental degradation that has and is occurring from our reliance on fossil fuel energy sources and other harmful human activities that impact adverse climate changes,
  • Examining and learning “best practices” for energy conservation, efficiency and the promotion of renewable energy sources at both a personal level and a congregational level,
  • Developing plans and making commitments to: 
  • Reduce individual and collective carbon emissions, 
  • Identify a feasible sustainable energy plan to meet the future energy needs for Texas and Austin,
  • Create a pledge program to encourage congregational participation in strategies we identify,
  • Promote public policies that call for energy conservation, efficiency, and renewable energy sources as a matter of our faith convictions about caring for the Creation on which our lives depend.

Accomplishments Thus Far:

ien event audience

The Energy Action Team has over 20 committed volunteers, committed to learning about Climate Change and taking positive action. The group meets every 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Mondays each month, at 7pm, to share good ideas and the conviction to make a difference. Currently we are identifying benchmarks for the most impactful activities congregations can take and offering free Climate Audits to houses of worship of all sizes. We have completed several audits thus far and will continue to offer our free audit to any congregation interested in participating.

For our first project, the IEN Energy Action Team is developing a list of high leverage strategies to reduce facility impacts for faith communities according to three categories: Conservation, Efficiency and Increased of use of Renewable Energy Sources. Our list of high leverage recommendations in each category is ranked on a scale of ease, or difficulty, of implementation. We plan to provide “Energy Action Cards” soon in order to empower congregations to learn from other peoples’ successes and make it as easy as possible to implement each of our high leverage strategy recommendations. 

As part of this project’s toolkit, our team is developing: 

  • A Climate Positive Pledge for congregations
  • A carbon calculator focused on congregations
  • Central Texas specific resources for area congregations
  • A supportive manual for the congregational Energy Action Teams
  • Group leaders to help guide congregational Energy Action Teams 
  • Pilot programs for “first congregations” to utilize in becoming Carbon Positive.

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© 2013 Interfaith Environmental Network