Church members are being encouraged to use January’s freezing temperatures as a starting point for monitoring their building’s energy useage, as part of the Shrinking the Footprint national energy audit, using sMeasure.
The free, easy to use toolkit from Shrinking the Footprint, the CofE’s national environmental campaign, enables all church buildings – historic and modern – to understand and reduce energy use and costs along with cutting their carbon footprint
The online tool simply requires regular meter readings to be submitted at shrinkingthefootprint.smeasure.com. Users will also be provided with tips for saving money and reducing their carbon footprint. Staff support and advice in energy monitoring and reduction are available as well as technical help.
In a new CofE videocast published today, the Revd Ruth Lampard, Associate Vicar at St Mary the Boltons in London Diocese shows how regular meter reading can lead to energy saving initiatives with significant long-term benefits. The church, which has made energy and financial savings, even has a thermometer in the pulpit to make sure the congregation is warm enough but not overheated.
The Bishop of London, Dr Richard Chartres, chair of Shrinking the Footprint, said: “It is a God-given imperative that we guard the earth for future generations. This energy audit aims to build a better understanding of our energy usage and total carbon footprint for our national network of 16,000 parish churches, so we can support energy saving actions and meet our commitment to protecting God’s creation”.
The national energy audit has been successfully piloted in more than 300 churches and schools; the pilot was funded by LEAF – Local Energy Assessment Fund – a Department of Energy and Climate Change, DECC, grant administered by the Energy Saving Trust.
Once 20 buildings in a diocese are taking part in the energy audit a diocese peer group will be created on the website. This will allow the diocese to track and benchmark combined building energy and carbon emission results and identify buildings that require additional support.
But note that…
The Diocese of London has been measuring and monitoring the energy use of its churches since 2005, and has been using the Diocese’s bespoke system of Energy-saving Benchmarking since 2009. Since 2005, cumulative year-on-year savings of 3% in energy use and carbon emissions have been recorded. Energy-saving Benchmarking, which is also used by a number of dioceses in the south west, will sit alongside the new online energy monitoring tool. The aim is to integrate the two systems into a standard Church of England audit, at which point we plan to publicise and support its adoption across the south west.