The easy-to-use Energy Toolkit calculates the carbon footprint based on the energy used for heating and lighting.
There are a range of tools in the toolkit for schools, cathedrals, housing, cathedrals, offices, Theological Education Institutions (TEIs), and transport.
The Energy Toolkit is now open (as of January 2023) for you to enter your 2022 data. It remains open until 31st August 2023.
You can find it online at: https://eft.parishreturns.info/
Please note, the Energy Toolkit is not for churches. Churches have their own Energy Footprint Tool.
Using the Toolkit helps build a national picture of our baseline and progress towards becoming net zero carbon by 2030. It also allows you locally to know where you are starting from and how much progress you are making.
General Synod voted in February 2020 for the whole of the Church of England to achieve net zero carbon by 2030. The vote recognised that responding to the climate crisis is an essential part of our responsibility to safeguard God’s creation and achieve a just world.
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.
In 2020, we introduced the first of these tools – the Energy Footprint Tool, which measures the energy carbon use of churches. In 2021, we developed an expanded Energy Toolkit to measure other areas of Church life, including schools, housing, cathedrals, offices, TEIs, and work-related transport.
School energy tool: Calculates school CO2 emissions using data from either the schools energy bills or Display Energy Certificate (DEC).
Housing tool: Estimates CO2 emissions from homes using data from their domestic Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). The tool also allows dioceses to model the carbon reductions that can be achieved by actioning the recommendations on the home’s EPC.
Diocesan office tool: Calculates CO2 emissions from diocesan offices using data from their energy bills.
Other buildings tool: Calculates CO2 emissions for a range of buildings, including Cathedrals, Theological Education Institutions and Peculiars.
Diocesan work related travel: Currently being trialled. Collects data on diocesan work related travel by car, bus, train and aeroplane.
The Energy Toolkit can be accessed online at https://eft.parishreturns.info/
Diocesan users should log-in using the Diocesan Users button on the left, using their existing Parish Returns login credentials.
Other users, including schools and cathedrals, should use the “All Other Users” login. When registering an account for the first time, they will need a building password in order to link their account to a given school, cathedral or other building. These building passwords can be retrieved by any user with diocesan login, so new users wishing to register an account should get in touch with their Diocesan Environmental Officer in the first instance.
The Energy Toolkit helps us know our carbon baseline - where we are starting from - and how much progress we are making.
In 2022, we ran the the Energy Toolkit for collection of 2021 data. We estimated that the Church of England’s total carbon footprint is around 410,000 net tonnes of CO2 per annum from around 32,000 buildings – a mixture of churches, schools, houses and others.
You can read more about what we have learned from the first year in this report.
For earlier iterations of the Energy Toolkit and Energy Footprint Tool reports, please see our Resources, publications, and data webpage.
The Energy Toolkit is now open (January 2023) for you to enter your 2022 utility bills.
This year there is a hard deadline to enter your data of 31st July 2023; there will be no extensions.
We have developed a series of guides and instructional videos to help users make use of the Energy Toolkit.
Navigating the toolkit and setting up an account (all users) - User guide (pdf)
Church Energy Footprint Tool - User guide (pdf)
School energy tool - User guide (pdf)
Instructional video (school users)
Housing tool - User guide (pdf)
Diocesan offices - User guide (pdf)
Other buildings (including cathedrals and TEIs) - User guide (pdf)
Where possible, some of the data required by the toolkit has been pre-populated using information supplied to us by dioceses and/or retrieved from government records.
School energy tool:
- The school’s current (in-date) Display Energy certificate. This can be retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/find-energy-certificate by searching for a non-domestic property, using the school’s postcode.
- The school's annual energy bills (electricity and gas, oil or any other heating fuels you use)
- The school’s floor area (note this can usually be retrieved from the school’s DEC)
If your school consists of multiple sites/buildings then you will need DECs/Energy bills for each building.
- For estimating the building’s carbon footprint, you will need its Energy Performance technical data. This can be retrieved for any home which has an EPC from the webpage https://epc.opendatacommunities.org/ (you will need to register a free account to access the data)
- For modelling the impact of improving the building, you will need the list of recommendations from its EPC report, retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/find-energy-certificate
Diocesan office tool:
- The office’s annual energy bills (electricity and gas, oil or any other heating fuels you use)
- The office’s floor area
- Number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff based in the office
If you are unable to access your diocesan office’s energy bills for any reason (e.g. it is rented and bills are managed by the landlord), please indicate this by completing the relevant questions in the toolkit and we will estimate your footprint.
Other buildings tool (including Cathedrals, Theological Education Institutions and Peculiars):
- The building’s annual energy bills (electricity and gas, oil or any other heating fuels you use)
- The building’s floor area
If your cathedral/TEI consists of multiple sites/buildings then you will need DECs/Energy bills for each building.
Diocesan work related travel:
- Total number of work-related miles claimed through expenses by staff and volunteers, when working for the diocese
- Total money claimed for car travel in the diocese (£)
- Estimate of the percentage of these claims made for journeys in electric vehicles (If known)
- Total money claimed for rail travel by the diocese
- Total money claimed for bus travel by the diocese
- Number of flights claimed by the diocese and the start and end locations of each flight
Using the tool each year will help you to track the impact of the different steps you are taking to reduce your carbon footprint.