Making it happen
This section of the guide summarises the recommended steps to help ensure that your projects for cutting energy costs get the best chance of implementation.
Steps to Manage Cost, Energy and Emissions
Each church should attempt to reduce energy consumption and CO2emissions. This section lays out the simple steps required to manage and monitor the progress being made. This process is a useful reminder even if the site has procedures in place.
Step 1 - Appoint a Champion
1.1 Each Church should agree a champion to lead the work to manage energy and emissions. The aim of the Champion should be to manage the energy consumption of local church buildings; depending on the sites this may only require an hour or two a month.
(NB The Northamptonshire District recently adopted terms or reference for a District Carbon Reduction Advocate read their suggested duties here)
Step 2 - Read meters and collect information
2.1 Read meters. Information recorded should cover
- Electricity (KWh)
- Gas (m³ or kWh)
- Water (m³)
2.2 Begin a spreadsheet or a paper file and keep the information on site. Take readings monthly. See reading meters (pdf) for details on how to read your meters.
Step 3 - Review your performance
After collecting the above information it is important to review it and look for changes in consumption.
3.1 Compare collected information to the previous month and to the same month for the previous year. Look for changes and then monitor these changes over the coming months.
3.2 If consumption is higher compared to previous months and previous years then the Champion should try to find out why.
3.3 If the impact is reducing compared to previous months and previous years then the Champion should discuss the causes for this and publicise any good progress made.
Care should be taken when comparing data because there may be several reasons for the changes. From more information see the Key Publications section.
Step 4 - Regular energy walk around
4.1 Undertake energy walk around regularly and look for where progress is being made or where work needs to undertaken.
As the Church develops its approach to tackling its environmental impact it may wish to broaden this walk around work to include the other area of impact such as travel and recycling. See Energy Walk Around for further advice.
Step 5 - Create an action plan and implement
5.1 Create an action plan to continue progress on reducing energy consumption.
5.2 It is suggested that this action plan is created and reviewed annually to monitor the actions taken and the successes achieved.
5.3 The energy walk around (Step 4) undertaken on the site should inform the creation of the Action
5.4 An action plan should
- state clear energy saving actions, objectives and targets Church buildings
- assign energy saving actions to individuals with clear deadlines for completion
- state dates to review progress on the energy saving actions
- describe the resources that are required
- link into annual budgets decisions
More information on how to develop an action plan can be found in the Energy Management Tools.
See also the action plan template.