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Expert solutions for heating churches

Twenty-five per cent of churches can make simple savings using heating controls* and churches can possibly even become 'zero carbon' - just two key facts contained within presentations by contributors to the recent Heating without the Hot Air Conference, now online at http://www.churchcare.co.uk/about-us/past-events/heating-without-the-hot-air.

Other facts include:

• All churches can make quick savings from lighting
• Old boilers can be 30 per cent inefficient and a replacement can pay back in four to five years
• The First Zero Carbon Church - St Michael's, Withington - saves 12.1 tonnes of carbon per year.

Keeping an historic church warm for community use while conserving its heritage features and minimising the environmental impact is a real challenge, especially at a time of rising energy prices.

Website pages regularly updated by the Cathedrals and Church Buildings Division accompany the conference presentations, and contain a helping hand through the range of solutions available, such as ground and air source heat pumps, biomass boilers, under-floor heating and condensing boilers, as well as guidance on insulation and ventilation, at http://www.churchcare.co.uk/churches/guidance-advice/looking-after-your-church/technical-matters/heating

As speakers at the sell-out conference pointed out though, technology cannot solve everything, and some simple pointers on increasing the energy efficiency of a building can be found under the Shrinking the Footprint environmental pages at http://www.churchcare.co.uk/shrinking-the-footprint/taking-action.

The Revd Nigel Cooper of the Church Buildings Council contributed to the Heating without the Hot Air conference, and said: "With so many homes and shops kept so warm, no wonder many parishes are aiming to heat their churches to look after congregations. This is no easy task though and churches need help and advice as they formulate effective solutions."

Contributors to the conference included Tobit Curteis (Tobit Curteis Associates), Andrew C More (English Heritage), Dr Robyn Pender (English Heritage), Matt Fulford (Sustain Ltd) and Prof Adam Sharr (Newcastle University).


Notes

* Findings from a recent extensive set of church energy audits - see http://www.sustain.co.uk/images/files/Heating-without-Hot-Air-Conference.pdf

The Church of England's cathedrals and church buildings together form the nation's single largest 'estate' of built heritage. More than 75 per cent of C of E churches are listed at Grade II or above.

www.churchcare.co.uk is the Church of England's online resource caring for its 16,000-plus churches and cathedrals, and is managed by the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division of The Archbishops' Council.