Church Energy Footprint Tool

What is the energy footprint tool?

The Energy Footprint Tool (EFT) is a national Church of England tool for churches to record energy use and calculate their annual carbon emissions.  The tool simply requires churches to enter information from their utility bills for the previous year in order to calculate their ‘carbon footprint'.

We strongly urge all churches to complete the tool which can be found on the Parish Returns system. If you need help logging in to the Parish Returns system, please contact Cordelia Sain-Ley-Berry-Gray.

The system uses information already held centrally about your church.  This means that only a small amount of additional information is required.  To complete the tool you will need to have the whole of last year’s electricity and gas/oil bills to hand.

The Energy Footprint Tool will tell your church how much carbon is produced annually through heating and lighting your church buildings.  There are two useful graphs that show you your efficiency scores: one for energy efficiency based on building size, and one for attendance.  It can take account of separate buildings, such as church halls, as long as you have separate utility bills for them.

Why do we need the EFT?

The Diocese of Canterbury, with the Church of England, has a target to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030.  In order to track progress, we need to measure the energy used in our various buildings (such as our churches and church halls).  The EFT calculates the emissions resulting from the energy we’ve used in heating and lighting these buildings.

How to use the EFT - a step-by-step guide

The deadline for churches to complete the annual EFT is 31 August 2023

Please complete this form on the online parish returns system. It’s not too onerous!  If you’d like to know the status of your church's submission, please login to the portal.
  • Before uploading, you’ll need access to the 'Online Parish Returns' with a password.  If you don’t have one, ask Cordelia: CSain-Ley-Berry-Gray@diocant.org 
  •  Note: you don’t need to calculate the size of the church building as it is automatically populated online. 
  •  Contact Caroline if you would like a copy of the EFP template to complete off-line.
When you are ready to submit your answers, go to Online Parish Returns
  1. Click on 'Entering Data'.
  2. Near the top of the screen, untick the two other Returns so you’re just left with the 'Energy Footprint Tool'. 
  3. Click on 'Refresh Page'.  Now you can clearly see your church or churches.
  4. Click on the church name you want to open up. 
  5. Click on 'Submit Data' and input your answers.  Click 'Submit'.
  6. Download a summary to show your PCC your church's annual carbon footprint.  Hopefully, each year you will see that total figure reducing as more eco things are put in place i.e. LED lighting, draught excluders, changing to a renewable energy supplier etc. 
We hope this helps.  Do contact Caroline (Canterbury Diocesan Eco-Champion) or Cordelia if you have any questions. 

More instructions on how to use the tool are here. 

A video explaining how to use the tool is below:

Resources & Reports

Further information about the Energy Footprint Tool can be found on the Church of England Environment Programme web pages.

Page last updated: Friday 18th August 2023 4:40 PM
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