Shortcuts for completing your annual Energy Footprint Tool return

Published: Tuesday January 31, 2023

Two light switches with a chalk board in the shape of chimneys giving out smoke about it. The words CO2 are written in chalk on the smokeTom Wood, from the national Church’s Research and Statistics Team, has created a practical video to demonstrate how to fill in the Energy Footprint Tool (below).

Every church is asked to complete the Energy Footprint Tool each year, to get an annual score for efficiency based on building size and another for efficiency based on congregation size (a per person, per hour score). It’s free to use and is a really good baseline for the changes we need to make in order to care for both nature itself and future generations. It can also help your church to work towards an Eco Church Award.

If you’ve been putting it off because it sounds complicated, Tom walks us through the online form and shows exactly what you can expect when you fill it in online (below). If you’d rather see a copy of the questions all in one place, you can view it here –>

A few shortcuts

  • If you’ve already completed your statistics for mission return, then this section will already be filled in for you.
  • If your building is listed, the area will already be filled in for you.
  • If your building isn’t listed, an estimate of the area is absolutely fine.
  • If you don’t know the travel expenses connected with the building, you can tick ‘unsure’ and move on to the next question.

More than 400 churches across England are now reporting ‘net zero’ carbon emissions, an increase of 157 on the previous year, as part of the most comprehensive data collection to date.

The Energy Footprint Tool was launched in 2019 to measure and record carbon emissions across the Church of England and is now open for bills from 2022. It will remain open until 31 July, accessed through the Online Parish Returns System. You will need to have the whole of last year’s electricity and gas/oil bills.


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