Sure, some religious folks see climate change as anathema to their worldview, but plenty — probably most — do not! And with the help of their religious leaders, they're banding together into blocks of citizens who can negotiate for cheaper, cleaner energy, as well as discounts on energy-efficiency retrofits.

Many congregations already treat the environment as a fundamental part of their mission. Officials with Interfaith Power & Light, a network of religious institutions with affiliates in 38 states, said members are installing solar panels, undertaking energy-saving retrofits, buying green power, instilling a love for the earth in sermons and lobbying elected officials for clean energy alternatives.

Some pastors are even using the energy-buying clubs as a way to one-up the old "join our bank, get a toaster" pitch.

Though cautious in his enthusiasm, [Rev. Thomas J. Knoll] said the expected discounts, in particular for individual members of his 140-member congregation, would come in handy as a recruiting pitch.

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“I’d say to people: if you join this church, you can also apply for a lower electric rate,” he said. “Why wouldn’t I do that? It’s the truth.”

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