The Cool Congregations Challenge, is an annual national contest to recognize “Cool Congregations” that are becoming energy efficient and sustainable role models within their communities. The contest is brought to you by Interfaith Power & Light, a nonprofit organization inspiring and mobilizing people of faith and conscience to take bold and just action on climate. There are no fees to enter. Application period opens October 1 each year. Deadline for entries, December 15. Get ready to enter the Challenge!
Due to Covid the project eligibility window has been expanded again for 2024. Projects completed in 2021, 2022, and 2023 will be eligible to apply. Deadline Dec 15, 2023, awards announced in February 2024.
NEW! Electric Vehicle Leader category for congregations that have encouraged EV adoption. This category includes: EVs (Congregants and Staff) • Congregational EV Charging Stations • Outreach • Educating and Advocating for EVs. (Includes all-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and electric bikes. If your congregation is working on reducing transportation emission through public transportation or carpooling, apply to the Community Inspiration category.)
First place prizes for each category ($1000 each)
In 2023, three Runners-up in each category will receive $500
All entries will be acknowledged on the Be the Change page in gratitude for your applications.
SIX ENTRY CATEGORIES
Winners will be chosen by an interfaith panel of faith and lay-leaders, including others with expertise in congregational energy efficiency and sustainability. Each entry will be judged on a combination of factors:
- 40% — A well-defined project, measurable objectives for climate benefit
- 20% — Creativity and resourcefulness in executing the project
- 20% — Congregant and/or community engagement in project
- 20% — Inspiration factor.
The percentage awarded in each category will serve as a guideline and the judges will apply their knowledge and experience to evaluate and select the finalists and winners.
All entrants will receive an email notice around the end of February.
Entry questions not answered here can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow up to 48 hours for an answer.
The contest is open to congregations of any size or denomination interested in becoming more energy efficient and sustainable.
Projects can take place anywhere as long as they are run through a congregation. That means inside the sanctuary or other buildings, on the grounds, in congregants’ homes, or in the community.
Prize money will be awarded to congregations only, and not to individuals.
Thank you for your interest in becoming a Cool Congregation.