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Energy Stewards Initiative

Energy Stewards Initiative (ESI) is a one- to two-year LRC program for ELCA congregations and Lutheran Outdoor Ministry sites designed to:

  • reduce your energy use and costs
  • lower your carbon footprint
  • save money for other expressions of mission.
  • track their energy and water use online
  • follow an action plan;
  • engage in bi-monthly webinars;
  • benefit from the wisdom of program leaders and participating congregations.
Each congregation and camp appoints an Energy Steward to be the point person to
participate in the program and work with their property team.

This initiative is an online program carried out by Lutherans Restoring Creation in cooperation with Rapid Improvement Associates of Madison, WI. 

Participating congregations and camps use an online tool, the Energy Stewards web platform, to monitor their energy use, plan next steps, record actions taken, communicate with other participants, and track progress.  To learn more about the platform and how it is used, see What is Energy Stewards?

An introductory webinar was held on March 25, 2014.

Download the slides in PDF format [ESI Introduction 25March14 (1).pdf]
at the bottom of this page.

Watch and listen to a recording of the webinar here.

(There were some technical issues at the beginning of the Q&A session, but please be patient and they will pass.)


Click here for ideas and materials to help you carry out the ESI Program at your church or camp.

Warren Gaskill
ESI Co-Director

Peter Bakken
ESI Co-Director

Insulation project, First Lutheran Church, Decorah, IA

EPA Energy Star Director endorses Energy Stewards Initiative:

"The Energy Stewards Initiative (ESI), sponsored by Lutherans Caring for Creation, is one of the few energy stewardship programs in the country that actually facilitates and documents concrete achievements in saving energy, saving money, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. While there are many well-intended, but merely “feel good” faith-based energy efficiency pledges, campaigns, challenges, covenants, etc., only a few are really generating and verifying actual results. Further, ESI is on track to shepherd a good many congregations to earning national ENERGY STAR certification. Therefore, I am pleased to call out and recognize the solid achievements being tracked by the Energy Stewards Initiative and will hold it up as an example for denominations and other faith-based groups who really want to make a difference in congregational cash-flow back to the ministry from energy costs and to preventing pollution that threatens human life and health."

Jerry Lawson, National Manager
ENERGY STAR for Congregations
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Responses from a Survey of 2012-13 ESI Participants
See what congregations have found valuable in the ESI program.
Download the survey summary at the bottom of this page or click here.

ESI have helped us bring things into focus and to celebrate victories, large and small!

Connie Barclay, Energy Steward 

First Lutheran Church, Decorah, IA

It is amazing what difference a number of small actions can make. We now qualify for Energy Star certification with a rating above 90%.

David Rhoads, Energy Steward 

Saint Andrew Lutheran Church, Racine, WI

The webinars allow participants to learn from each other by providing for sharing of specific experiences and best practices that are relevant for other congregations.

Sharon Hardy, Energy Steward. University Lutheran, East Lansing, MI.

Lighting Retrofit, St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, 
Milwaukee, WI

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Peter Bakken,
Mar 27, 2014, 8:36 AM
Robert Saler,
Feb 2, 2010, 9:29 AM
Peter Bakken,
Mar 5, 2014, 2:36 PM
David Rhoads,
Sep 26, 2012, 12:42 PM