Solar electricity systems capture the sun’s energy using Photovoltaic (or PV) cells. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run appliances, lighting and electric heating systems. Solar Photovoltaic technology potentially offers churches an opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint and energy bills.
Solar PV panels and the Diocese of Oxford
The Dicoese of Oxford has installed solar photovoltaic panels on 57 properties, mainly parsonage houses, across the diocese, including 40 panels on the roof of Diocesan Church House. The panels at DCH will generate up to 10Kw of electricity, helping reduce electricity bills, as well as receive payments from the Feed in Tariff. The panels will also be a prominent example of the commitment of the diocese to renewable forms of energy.
A number of parishes, including those with grade listed buildings, have installed solar PV on their roofs – the environment map provides an overview of the churches we are aware of that have installed or are in the process of installing them.
To help churches exploring installing solar PV the Diocese of Oxford has produced an information sheet that introduces how solar energy could be used to generate electricity in your church. It will help you assess the suitability of your church and provides a list of things to consider as you develop a project to install solar panels and benefit from the government Feed-In-Tariff.
Further advice on Solar PV
The Shrinking the Footprint campaign of the Church of England has also produced advice for churches exploring Solar PV:
- Solar PV Info Sheet
English Hertiage has a webpage on ‘Climate Change and Places of Worship’that includes guidelineson solar PV and place of worship:
- Solar Electric Panels and Slates on Listed Places of Worship – Guidance Note
- Climate Change and Places of Worship webpage
Advice for Feed-in-Tariff offers
The Shrinking the Footprint campaign of the Church of England has produced guidance for churches considering installing solar pv panels themselves using the Feed-in-Tariffs or ‘renting’their roof to a private company to finance such an installation. Click on the links for further information: