“There is a plan to reduce global carbon emissions to net zero… It involves all of us. We need to begin now, in our homes and workplaces and churches”
Climate change is affecting us and our brothers and sisters all over the world – and our diocese is committed to responding. Our diocesan synod has passed a motion declaring a climate emergency and setting a ‘net zero’ target of 2035 – though we’re hoping we can do it even faster, by 2030. Churches are a vital part of that goal – and we want to support every church in action. Energy audits are a key part of that.
Why energy audits?
Energy efficiency and the use of new technologies can enable our churches to provide attractive places of sanctuary, fellowship and communion at a lower cost to the planet, and sometimes with financial savings as well.
But when you’re dealing with a church building, it can be hard to know exactly which positive actions you can undertake.
To help PCCs obtain the expert advice they need, the Diocese of Oxford has established a subsidised energy audit programme. Churches that participate will receive guidance from the national church and/or expert advice given in a site visit or telephone/video consultation.
How does the audit programme work?
Make an enquiry and receive the type of advice most useful for your church
Fill in this simple enquiry form. It will ask you for some basic information so that we can get a sense of your church’s activities and needs. How big is your church? How often is it used? What kind of heating system do you currently have? Roughly how much do you spend on energy? The questions aren’t difficult or detailed – and if you can’t answer all of them, that’s all right, too. We’re just trying to get a sense of where you are.
Once we have your form, we’ll look at your particular needs. Basically churches will fall into three groups:
- General guidance: Some churches can take simple, inexpensive steps to help save carbon and, potentially, money – without having to make any major structural changes. If your form shows you fall into this category, we’ll send information about simple steps to net zero – and follow up with a call to see if you have any questions.
- On-Site energy audit: Some churches will have a number of areas where specialist advice would be helpful. You’ll be offered an appointment with an energy auditor, who will come to visit your church. They’ll look at how you’re using energy and where you might make savings. You’ll have a chance to chat with them about your needs – and they’ll provide a full report with recommendations and a ‘pathway to net zero’ that’s just for your church.
- Phone consultation: For some churches, it won’t be as clear what would be most helpful. So we’ll give you a ring at your convenience and talk through your needs with you. You may then be offered general advice, an on-site energy audit, or a telephone or video consultation with an auditor, who can answer specific questions you might have.
What will this cost?
The diocese is subsidising the audit programme because we want every church to be able to get the advice they need. In addition, to help you implement the auditors’ recommendations, grants are available from the diocese that will cover the amount paid for the audit, aiming to make the whole process cost neutral to you.
General guidance is provided free of charge by the diocese, drawing on resources provided by the national church and other sources.
On-Site audits For 2020-2021, your church pays £150, and the diocese pays the rest of the cost. You can also receive an implementation grant of up to £150.
Telephone or video consultations For 2020-2021, your church pays £60, and the diocese pays the rest of the cost. You can also receive an implementation grant of up to £60.
Will there be support for the next steps?
Yes. The diocese is committed to helping churches act on the advice they receive.
- We’re available now to talk with you about next steps, and are setting up networks for churches of similar size and usage to talk about what they are doing. To find out more, email us.
- Look out for our information hub, with general guidance for churches to save energy and take further steps to care for creation.
- Churches that have had specialist advice are also eligible to receive an implementation grant, equivalent to their contribution towards the audit, to help them implement the auditors’ recommendations.
If you have questions or would like to find our more, email email@example.com.