About the Project:

The community hall at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Silver Spring was completed in 1965 and was last renovated in 1977. In order to sustain the community hall, the church will use a Small Business Energy Savings Support (“SBESS”) interest-only bridge loan to make significant energy efficiency improvements and the installation of a 25 kW solar array. This project presents an opportunity for substantially improving the community hall’s energy efficiency, resulting in the mitigation of 502 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually and 60% reduction in energy use.

Financing Details

The bridge loan will be paired with C-PACE and equity for a total project of $2,200,000.

Montgomery County Green Bank’s Role

The SBESS Program developed by Montgomery County Green Bank and City First Enterprises allowed the Unitarian Universalist Church of Silver Spring to access flexible short-term capital at a below-market rate instead of utilizing reserves. The Church will repay the SBESS loan through a capital campaign.

The Montgomery County Green Bank has been working closely with Interfaith Power & Light on helping faith communities go solar. See ipldmv.org/solar for more resources from Interfaith Power & Light, including a map of existing faith communities with solar and a recording of an info session on solar for faith communities.

Project Snapshot

Building Type:

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Silver Spring is a faith community in Montgomery County. The building—an exemplary model of modernist architecture in the area—served as the first complete sanctuary building for the congregation.

Property Upgrade Summary:

Installation of a 25 kW solar array and energy efficiency upgrades including insulated walls, double-pane windows, improved roof insulation, and high-efficiency heating and air conditioning. The Church will also install a sprinkler system for fire safety and upgrade the electrical service.

Loan Amount:

$500,000 Small Business Energy Savings Support (“SBESS”) interest-only bridge loan by the Montgomery County Green Bank and City First Enterprises.

For those who can benefit from decreasing operating expenses because of energy efficient equipment, infrastructure, and their physical space, the Small Business Savings Energy Savings Support program is a way to make those investments in a way that generates net positive cash flow.

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