Richard shares how the Energy Footprint Tool is saving money in Cam

Published: Monday July 24, 2023

Richard Elliott and Bishop Robert standing in front of a wildflower area in the churchyard of St George's CamThe Eco Church team at St George’s Church in Cam explain how they have been using the Energy Footprint Tool (EFT) to help cut the church’s energy usage, its carbon footprint and its bills.

Bishop Robert went along to hear how this Silver Eco Church Award-winning church is caring for God’s creation through its heating systems.

The team logs their energy use annually through the Energy Footprint Tool in the online Parish Returns system, allowing them to see how much energy the church uses each year and find the baseline for reducing it. Once they had this data, they decided to start a mission to make the church as energy efficient as possible. The EFT is open until 31 August this year – find out more here.

Mike Bateman, one of the members of the Eco Church Team, started to record the temperatures in the church and analysed the data in detail. They bought a handheld temperature logger (Elitech RC5 Data logger) which takes readings every 15 minutes and costs less than £20. He then downloaded the data via a USB port to his computer to work out exactly when the heating should be switched on. The goal was to maintain a comfortable temperature but only when the church was in use, with the lowest possible energy consumption.

Mike said, “By examining the data, when temperature rises rapidly or starts decreasing, it was possible to estimate the periods when the heating was on and when it was not, as the rise and fall was rapid compared to the general baseline and daily day and night variations which are more gradual.

“The temperature rises starts within 30 minutes of switching the heating on for the boiler, and the temperature starts to fall within approximately 15 minutes of the off time.”

He started to narrow the window that the heating was on for, to ensure that no heat was wasted. He continued, “The 2022 gas totals are lower than 2021, despite the effect of the pandemic in 2020/21. A reduction of heating times before services appears to have reduced consumption overall.”

Mike is now investigating the effect of adjusting the frost thermostat temperature to approximately 5 degree C to see if this has an effect and whether it helps to lower consumption.

Richard Elliott, another member of the team, talks to Bishop Robert about the EFT.

Why not register your church for the Eco Church Award scheme? It’s free, quick to register and can help your church to be a more responsible steward of our planet. As a diocese, we are committed to being carbon neutral by 2030.

Register your church and pledge one hour per week to make your church greener.

We love to share the creative ways churches across the Diocese are taking part in #EcoChurchInAnHour – send your stories to ku.gr1719037919o.coi1719037919dsolg1719037919@newo1719037919k1719037919

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