Peace Lutheran Church was in a dilemma, they had lots of plates to wash after events but two dishwashers from the 80’s that were guzzling energy and weren’t getting dishes clean. The church was often forced to use plastic plates, cups, and silverware as using the dishwashers was time consuming. Members of the Kitchen Committee had to fully wash the plates and silverware before they were put in the dishwasher, meaning a significant amount of water and energy were being used. 


The congregation knew it was time for a two new dishwashers but wanted to make a smart choice. Something that was energy efficient but could also do the job for big events. Their church council created a fund that people could donate to in order to fundraise for two new dishwashers. But they knew raising money for two dishwashers would take time. 


The pastor of the church, Rev. Scherschligt, heard about V-CAP Energy funding for places of worship in Fairfax County. She proposed this idea to congregation members who looked into the funding. They found that Fairfax County would cover 50% of the cost of any energy upgrades that places of worship applied for. With this in mind, Peace Lutheran filled out a simple application requesting funds for two energy efficient dishwashers and waited a few weeks. Shortly thereafter V-CAP staff came out to view the project, approved the project and gave funds to Peace Lutheran. Congregation members described the process as straightforward, timely, and easy! 


The final cost of the two dishwashers was $1,700. The V-CAP funding covered 50% of the cost, $850. Not only does the congregation use less energy but plastic and water too. Members suggested every congregation apply for a project big or small to help move them towards becoming energy efficient. 



Want to learn more about V-CAP Energy? Email


For more information about V-CAP read below.

Since 2015, Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District has been providing technical and financial assistance to places of worship to help resolve localized drainage & erosion issues as well as helping to make these communities more energy efficient.

The Conservation Assistance Program (CAP) is an urban cost-share program that provides financial incentives, technical, and educational assistance to HOA’s and places of worship in Fairfax County who are dedicated to installing eligible stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP’s) or energy efficiency projects within their community. These practices can be installed in areas of a community where problems, such as erosion, poor drainage, or poor vegetation, occur. Energy efficiency projects can be installed in areas where there may be outdated, non-LED lighting or in a building where there’s a chance to utilize an energy audit to figure out where the community may be able to save money by implementing the audit’s suggestions. 

In NVSWCD’s service areas, 125 projects have been approved for installation and over $275,000 in cost-share funds have been allocated to residents and other organizations through the local and state programs. CAP offers cost-share for a variety of Stormwater BMP’s and energy efficiency projects. For a full list of eligible practices and eligibility requirements, please visit  Questions? Email or call (703)-324-1460 TTY 711.