The Church of England's Energy Footprint Tool encourages churches around the country to enter their 2020 utility bills, and find out their "carbon footprint".
As a Church, we have a target to meet net carbon zero by 2030. We are therefore developing a number of tools to monitor how we are progressing towards this target. The Energy Footprint Tool is the first of these.
This easy-to-use tool will tell your church what your "carbon footprint" is, based on the energy you use to heat and light your buildings.
You can find it on the Online Parish Returns System.
Nationally, it helps us know our carbon baseline - where we are starting from - and how much progress we are making. Over 4,000 churches entered their information in 2019, allowing us to estimate that the carbon footprint for the Church of England’s church buildings was around 185,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases (tCO2e).
What information will you need to have to hand?
You will need your utility bills for 2020; electricity, gas, oil, or whichever other fuel you use.
If you want to include a separate church hall or other building, then you need the bills for this too. If you want to exclude an area which is permanently rented out to tenants and sub-metered, you will want this information to hand.
For most churches, we already know the floor area. If we don't already hold this information, you will need a sensible estimate of the m2 floor area of the church, and any other associated buildings you are inputting, such as the church hall.
- You may find this information on the Church Heritage Record. You can search for an individual church and find the footprint of the building on the “Building” tab of each church’s record. You don’t need to be a registered user to find the info. Visit the site
- If your church is not listed on this site, you could use this free mapping tool. It is simple to use and can do churches as well as churchyards, the more accurate you need to be the greater you need to zoom in and draw the perimeter. Have a go
You will also need a sensible estimate of the number of person-hours that the church is used throughout the year. Please remember when entering this data that a good estimate is fine – these numbers do not need to be 100% accurate, and long as they are in a relevant ball park.