Work out your church’s carbon footprint to help care for God’s creation!
The Church of England’s Energy Footprint Tool is now open for churches to enter fuel andpower use from 2023.
The data collected from the tool will help your church understand its carbon footprint and mean you may be eligible for grants to kickstart net zero projects.
This work is an essential part of caring for God’s Creation, by helping to combat global heating and climate change.
The easy-to-use online tool will tell your church what carbon footprint is, based on the energy you to heat and light buildings.
You can find more information via the Church of England website here: Energy Footprint tool
Why use the EFT?
How to fill out the Energy Footprint Tool: A short walk through
You’ll need first to gather together:
- Names of your gas and electricity suppliers, and whether they supply 100% renewable energy or offset your consumption
- Utility bills for whole of 2022, and/or meter readings from the beginning and end of the year
- Bills for any purchases, including oil if you still use oil
- Other heating systems you may have eg heat pumps, capacity of your solar PV panels (if any), and units generated during the year.
Don’t forget to enter data for any separate hall or other building(s) on the site, as well as the church itself.
You’ll need to enter:
Size of the church and any hall in square meters.
The system is set up to give you ratings for efficiency compared to the church’s size and how busy it is. So you can also enter estimates of numbers attending services and using the buildings at other times, and details of work-related travel by church staff. This helps to get a full picture of how you’re getting on with improving your efficiency.
The Energy Footprint Tool for 2024 is open from the 7 February for churches to enter their energy use from 2023. The deadline for entries is the end of July 2024. The Energy Footprint Tool will however remain open until the end of the year for churches to submit their details. This will then ensure dioceses can apply on their behalf for Net Zero Carbon Programme grants and schemes being launched this year.
The Energy Footprint Tool was created by the Church of England Data Team in response to the call from General Synod in Feb 2019 to be able to measure the carbon footprint of the Church. It is a key step towards meeting our goal to cut our emissions and play our role in responding to the climate crisis.
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. Since then, other tools have been created for schools, housing, cathedrals, offices, TEIs, and transport.
The easy-to-use Energy Footprint 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.
The EFT helps us know our carbon baseline – where we are starting from – and how much progress we are making. Nearly 5,000 churches entered their information in 2022 allowing us to estimate that for 2021 the carbon footprint for the Church of England’s church buildings was around 110,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases (tCO2e).
Full findings from the EFT are published within the annual Energy Toolkit Report. The most recent publication relates to the year 2021.
The 2023 report, reporting on energy use and emissions data in 2022, has been delayed this year and will be published in Spring 2024.
For earlier iterations of the Energy Toolkit and Energy Footprint Tool reports, please see our Resources, publications, and data webpage.
The EFT opened for all churches for 2024 in February 2024, to enter your 2023 utility bills. .
The EFT is available to all Church of England churches using the Online Parish Returns System. (St Albans churches can use an equivalent system that connects, contact your DAC.)
The Energy Footprint Tool will tell your church the amount of carbon produced annually by heating and lighting your church buildings, based on the energy data you provide. It can take account of separate buildings such as church halls, as long as you have the utility bills for them.