Nonprofit + Solar = Savings for St. Christopher’s Parish


Project Profile

We asked ourselves, “How can we fulfill the Pope’s directive to reduce our energy consumption on our limited budget? And can we afford to invest in solar right now when it is more urgent to replace our 50 year old roof?” ~Father George Oonnoonny

When Father George Oonnoonny came to St. Christopher-St. Patrick Parish, the St. Christopher church campus alone was using $1,800-$1900 a month on electricity, and faced a number of deferred maintenance issues including the need for replacement of their 50+ year old roof—not a small task. After a variety of strategies were implemented to reduced electricity use, they achieved only a nominal reduction since their campus is in use for many types of programs 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. Their council suggested they explore solar, and Energize NY, together with a local solar expert, was able to put together a plan for the church to get a new roof, get a large enough solar installation to offset 100% of their electricity use, and wrap it into one financing that would cover both efforts, at a rate that cost them less than their annual electric costs!

They were also able to take advantage of solar incentives through NYSERDA’s NY SUN program, and Energize NY was able to bring in a financing reduction cost through a special partnership with Westchester County.

The Church was built in 1964 and the property has 5 buildings that are part of St. Christopher’s Parish including the Church, Rectory, a community classroom and 2 outbuildings, totalling 181,000 sq ft.

Their roof mounted 36 kW solar electric system supplies 100% of the electric consumed for the whole property.

Project Costs
(repaid) as charge on annual tax bill)

   ● Roof: $40,000  
   ● Solar System: $130,000  
Financed Amount: $150,000
Term:  20 years
Interest Rate: 3.83%*
Finance Cost:   $10,900/yr

Annual Average Net Cash Flow to Owner: 


 Video interview with Father Oonnoonny, solar installer Dan Passoff and Town of Cortlandt Supervisor, Linda Puglisi.

St. Christopher's Church installed a 36kW rooftop solar system to offset 100% of the electricity consumed by their 5 buildings. 

News Coverage

Clean Energy Finance Forum, Yale, May 22, 2016Property-Assessed Clean Energy Aids the Nonprofit Sector

Cortland Patch, June 30, 2016: St. Christopher's Church Goes 100% Solar

PV World Magazine, July 1, 2016New York State Catholic Church Goes 100% Solar with Energize NY PACE Finance, PACE financing and Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds helping nonprofits go solar in NY.

Partner Information

Participating Municipality

Project contractors

Project partners