Interfaith Coalition on Energy (ICE) was conceived in 1988 to remind the religious communities in Erie and Niagara Counties of their stewardship obligation to conserve energy, to assist in identifying specific conservation measures and cost avoidance opportunities and to encourage and assist in their adoption. These communities include over 1,000 religious organizations whose energy savings opportunities exceed one million dollars per year.
The objectives of ICE are:
To increase awareness within the religious community, through outreach and educational programs, of the benefits of energy conservation and the related reduction in expenses.
To enable individual religious units to implement energy conservation programs in the building they operate through building and congregational-specific technical service programs.
ICE was initially funded by petroleum overcharge restitution monies provided by the New York State Energy Office, through the New York Community Trust and the Buffalo Foundation. Founding organizations of ICE included the Buffalo Area Metropolitan Ministries, the Buffalo Area Council of Churches, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, the Niagara Council of Churches, the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo and the Greater Buffalo Association of Evangelicals. When funding from the restitution funds ended in 1990, these founders formed a not-for-profit corporation called the Interfaith Coalition on Energy of Western New York (Inc.) to carry on the work.
ICE has acquired an outstanding professional reputation in the field of energy conservation in buildings operated by religious institutions in WNY. Energy audits have been provided to more than 100 organizations operating over 200 buildings, including worship facilities, schools, rectories, convents, gymnasiums, adult care facilities and offices. The potential savings in these buildings amounts to more than $12,000 per building for a ten year period and represents an average reduction in utility expense of 17% annually. Accomplishing these savings frees up funds which can then be directed into the community services of the organization.
In 2000, the ICE organization officially came under the umbrella of the Network of Religious Communities and continues to provide services as a program of the Network. Available to all religious organizations, in cooperation with the Department of Buildings and Grounds of the Diocese of Buffalo, ICE provides the following services:
- basic and advanced energy workshops (see News and Calendar);
on-site technical services and energy audits;
funding opportunities for energy conversation projects; and
opportunities to participate in a gas purchasing program.
ICE also publishes an energy newsletter, which is regularly included as an insert in Network News. Copies of Network News are available as a download on this site. Additional information and technical services are available by contacting: Viki Ingersoll, Technical Liasison for the ICE Program and Program Manager for Energy Management Services, the Diocese of Buffalo, at (716) 847-8385.