Here are some practical examples of what churches around the country have done to cut their energy use and work towards "net zero carbon".
(1) Getting to Net Zero at St Michel's Church, Baddesley [Parish newsletter]
This parish church have achieved net zero carbon by updating their heating with a modern electric system, switching to 100% renewables, and then calculating their travel emissions and offsetting them.
(2) Electric heating at St Mary's Church Chalgrove [official CCB Case Study]
This grade 1 listed rural church has fully electric heating; far-infra-red radiant panel heaters on the nave roof and aisle ceilings, and electric pew heaters in the chancel.
(3) Solar panels at St Augustine's, Highbury [External case study]
This well-used, Victorian church in a conservation area in Islington installed solar panels on their chancel roof, as part of a package of energy efficiency measures.
Read their experience here, in a case study written by their grant funder Cloudesley.
(4) St James' Piccadilly tackle their energy use on their journey to Gold Eco Church [Church publication]
St James' Piccadilly is one of England first Gold Eco Churches. Their slidehow illustrates the journey to this prestigious award, including how they cut their energy use and offset the residue.
(5) Britain's first zero carbon church? St Michaels and All Angels, Withington [conference talk and case study]
St Michael's Withington can claim to be the first zero carbon church in the country, after a project a few years ago cut their energy use, installed new heating, and put solar panels on the roof.
Fitting the panels to the metal roof required an innovative fixing system, and you can read the case study here.
(6) Heated pew cushions at Holy Trinity Church in Whitfield, Northumberland [article from the HRBA]
Holy Trinity Church, Whitfield have a simple but effective solution to keeping the congregation comfortable; heated pew cushions. By directing heat to where people are sitting, rather than heating the whole space, this has proven to be an efficient use of electricity plus the congregation are happy. In combination with purchasing renewable 'green' electricity, it's cuts their carbon footprint.
Read this article from the Historic Religious Buildings Alliance about the heated cushions.
Photograph courtesy of KovoSchmidt Ltd
(7) St Andrew's, Chedworth moves away from oil heating to fully electric [official CCB case study]
St Andrew's Chedworth have installed a combination of electric pew, panel and overhead heating, allowing them to move away from oil-fired heating to fully electric heating. In combination with a switch to 100% renewable electricity, the church is now “net zero carbon”.
Three phase power needed to be installed, but this did not prove to be a barrier. Operating costs are now lower, and church users are more comfortable.
We'd love to know about your church, so please get in touch if you are proud of what you've achieved locally and think others could learn from it [email protected].