St. Thomas’s Renewable Energy Project

"Reducing our carbon footprint" is the mandate of St. Thomas's Green Team. One way to meet this mandate is through renewable energy. On July 11, 2018, St. Thomas's started generating electricity using solar panels installed on the roof of the Parish Hall, and we began contributing that electricity to the power grid under Ontario's microFIT program. The cost of the solar panel installation was met through donations made by members of the parish, and the project was led by parishioner Rob Kennedy.

Solar panels have been a long-standing goal of St. Thomas's Green Team. The reasons for this goal were well stated by Bishop Jenny Andison in providing the consent of the Diocese of Toronto for this project:

"[Because Saint Thomas's is proximate to the University of Toronto] installation of solar panels is a real and visible message to that socially aware community about the church's commitment to renewal energy and environmental stewardship. This project will enhance the parish's ministry by virtue of signalling its sense of social responsibility."

One of the solar panels during installation on the parish hall roof in July.
Photo by Christine Cover

 

In addition to our investment in renewable energy, St. Thomas’s commitment to environmental stewardship includes our Parish Garden, a vegetable garden just off bpNichol Lane that is tended by members of the parish and members of the Huron-Sussex neighbourhood. Previously, the Green Team undertook to make our heating system more efficient by increasing the number of zone controls, adding pipe insulation and installing a high-efficiency furnace in the rectory. These endeavours have reduced our fuel consumption and lowered our operating costs. Ongoing work includes the gradual conversion of our buildings to low-energy LED lighting.