Assess Your Building & Energy Usage
The first step is assess the building in order to understand its performance and energy usage. Management guru Peter Drucker is often quoted as saying, ‘You can’t manage [or improve] what you can’t measure’. Knowing the impact of what we are doing as a church can help start conversations about what is an appropriate level of resource use or what reasonable steps we might take to reduce our impact.
If your church is working on becoming an EcoChurch, then 360 Carbon is the recommended measurement tool. If you are new to Eco Church, it is strongly encourage you to complete at least the Energy Section on the 360°carbon tool in order to achieve a Bronze Award.
EcoChurch have produced guidance on Carbon Footprint Measurement and Offsetting to help think through the issues.
Before you begin, you will need to following information to hand:
- The utility bills (gas, electric, oil or whichever fuel you use) for the previous year
- The floor area of the church. Some churches have already calculated this. If in doubt, you could contact your Quinquennial Inspector or local Surveyor to assist. As well, you could request the floor area to be calculated as part of the next quinquennial inspection. Here are some estimations to assist:
- The average church is between 300m2 and 400m2
- 75% of churches are between 200m2 and 700m2
- A particularly large church (largest 10%) will be larger than 750m2
- A particularly small church (smallest 10%) will be smaller than 160m2
- The average occupancy of the building
- Sundays and Special Services
- Average attendance at Sunday Services, Special Services
- Number of Sunday Services and Special Services per year
- Average time spent in the building for Sunday and Special Services
- Number of different activities held in the building
- Number of weeks per year activities run
- Average number of people who use the building
- Average time spent in the building during these activities
- Number of staff
- Number of weeks per year that staff work
- Average time spent in the building per week
- Sundays and Special Services
*Operational carbon is the carbon emitted in the day-to-day running of a building while embodied carbon is the carbon emitted during construction of a building. Please note that although our historic buildings may have a higher operational carbon footprint, their embodied carbon footprint is very low as they are still fulfilling the original purpose for which they were built.
The guidelines on manse provision (CPD, Book VII, Part 2.3) state that an incoming minister should be provided with a current Energy Performance Certificate, and that ‘Circuits should seek to provide manses to meet a minimum of a ‘C’ energy efficiency rating.’
Thus, if a manse does not have a valid EPC certificate (ie, more than 10 years old), then arrange to get a new EPC certificate. More information can be found here.
- Further Resources
Occupancy Profile will help you track who uses the building
Types of Energy Meters will help you identify the different types of meters and ensure that accurate readings are taken