Energy Audit
sponsored by ecclesiastical
Supporting over 16,000 cathedral and church buildings of The Church of England

Energy Audit

Energy Audit Report

The Energy Audit Report, featuring the carbon footprint for energy use in Church of England buildings, is now available to download.  A summary document is also available.

Energy consumption within the Church of England is considerable both in terms of financial cost and environmental impact. The Church of England is committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. In 2012/13 Shrinking the Footprint ran a national energy audit and produced a report that is essential in beginning to benchmark the current carbon footprint of energy use in the Church of England’s extensive built estate. The report includes cathedrals, churches, schools, clergy houses and offices. All over the country volunteers having been monitored their energy use online to help us produce this snapshot.

Through this work we have calculated the average carbon footprint for churches by floor area – how does yours fit in?
Small (<250m2) = 7 tonnes of CO2
Medium (250-649m2) = 17 tonnes of CO2
Large (>649m2) = 40 tonnes of CO2

We now know that the total carbon footprint of energy use in the Church estate is between 611,877 and 1,018,774 tonnes of CO2 which is down from the 2007 figure. However the margin of error is large because we only have accurate data from a relatively small number of buildings. As we get more data we can improve the accuracy and work towards our ambitious target.

Collective energy monitoring has many benefits at all levels. For the users of individual buildings the audit has provided much greater understanding of energy use. In many cases leading to savings on energy bills and the installation of basic efficiency measures such as LED lights to reduce usage.  

For dioceses the scheme has provided the means to collectively track the energy use and carbon of their buildings as a whole This enables dioceses to monitor their progress towards energy reduction targets as well as identify and support specific buildings.

At a national level the Energy Audit enables an understanding of overall energy use and the carbon footprint of the Church of England’s built estate, allowing us to track progress towards the 2050 target as well as identify where limited resources and funds should be focused to achieve the most efficient reduction in carbon and costs. For example it has been identified that carbon emissions of medium and large churches represents approximately 36% of the total emissions, highlighting the potential for significant savings.

The total cost of the Energy Audit to the Church of England has been £24,489 and with total energy costs cost for 2012/13 of approximately £124,000,000 the potential savings from no and low cost energy efficiency of around 10% reduction equate to approximately £12,400,000. This shows the great potential for cost savings as well as carbon and highlights the significant financial benefits at a national level which would directly support parishes making reductions in energy use.

Download the full report