As far as we know, Huntington Mennonite Church, Newport News, Va., is the first Mennonite congregation to install electric car charging stations. The charging stations are part of a net zero energy plan approved by the church’s leadership council last fall. They hope that the plan will get them to net zero energy within ten years. One of the first steps was to replace the heating and air conditioning system with an electric heat pump that cut energy consumption by about 30%.

Next, they installed four charging stations for electric cars in the front parking lot where they would be visible to the community. Guests are welcome to charge their cars during daylight hours. “We are able to offer this free service without breaking the bank, since a charge only costs about a dollar,” Pastor David Mishler reports. Another step involved purchasing a year’s worth of solar and wind energy credits from their local power company.  The church is now beginning to work up cost estimates on solar panels.

The Daily Press, Newport News, recently ran an article about the charging stations. Also see “Turning Away from Despair: NASA Scientist Calls Mennonite Churches to Pursue Renewable Energy” on the MCCN site.