Unlocking communities' shared economic power to grow sustainability and expand prosperity on the local level.

Success Stories

Savings that Make a Difference 

By coming together, partners in past projects saved tens of thousands of dollars on their electricity bills while switching to clean energy.

Those community organizations, largely made up of faith institutions, channeled the savings back into the heart of their work – delivering crucial services to community members in need of support. A few partners to highlight: 

SEED Charter School, founded in 1998, was the first urban public boarding school in the country. Located in the Marshall Heights neighborhood of Ward 7, the school offers small class size to promote student achievement and academic excellence. Ninety-six percent of all SEED graduates have been accepted to four-year colleges and universities. The school will save $28,540 on energy bills over one year.

Community Action Council of Howard County works to address some of the economic disparity within the county by ensuring low-income families have access to necessities like food, housing, and gas and electricity for their homes. It also operates a  Head Start center that provides pre-school for eligible children. The Council will save $2,700 over the next year.

Amazing Grace Lutheran Church, located in a distressed Baltimore neighborhood, aims to serve as a gathering point for a healthier neighborhood. Its ministries include a food pantry, afterschool program and summer camp for neighborhood children. The congregation will save $600 over one year.  



Projected Savings

SEED Public Charter School (Southeast Washington) $28,540
NAACP headquarters (Baltimore, Maryland) $7,000
Epiphany Lutheran Church (Baltimore, Maryland) $6,100


Sylvia_Robinson_headshot_115Sylvia Robinson, Executive Director of the Emergence Community Arts Collective shared why her organization became involved: "To help the community weigh in on Georgia Avenue development, we’re looking at ways that networks, businesses and residents can work together. I liked the idea behind the Community Power Project - that you can pool your resources on a larger scale. The cost-savings allow us to put more resources into providing affordable community space to the neighborhood. We're also setting an example for cooperative organizing that can apply to a lot of activities."



 Jacqueline Patterson, Director of the NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program, voiced why her organization became involved. “The NAACP encourages other businesses, organizations, churches, etc. to seek out mechanisms to support clean and renewable energy, advance cooperative economics at the local level, and promote locally-sourced, lower cost electricity. We hope to be a living example of the power and benefits of implementing sustainable practices at the local level.”



Rev. Monique Ellison, pastor of St. Christopher's Episcopal Church in Linthicum, Maryland described how covering her congregation's energy costs is a drain on its human resources: "Every day, I see how much people power goes into paying our electric bill. Countless volunteer hours are spent on fundraising to pay for the electricity that keeps our facilities running. Reducing what our church spends on energy can free people up to do what they have a passion for in their hearts."

Jim_Walker_115_128National Presbyterian Church, with 2,000 congregants, spends $140,000 annually on electricity. They will save approximately $2,300 per month on their energy costs as a result. Facilities Manager Jim Walker values the dramatic cost-savings and the opportunity to build community across a diversity of religious organizations. “Opening the communications, creating friendships and building trust that make community is essential.”


Stay Connected

Copyright Groundswell © 2012. All Rights Reserved.