Oxfordshire Green Open Homes – May 2014

GOH advert

Oxfordshire Green Open Homes is a great opportunity for people to engage with their local community about climate change. You could open up your own home to the scheme – or visit someones home locally to see what you could do in your own.

  • Find a local Green Open Home

Visit greenopenhomes.net

  • Open up your own Green Home

By opening your home to show Solar PVs or a new boiler you will have an opportunity to inspire visitors to take action to address climate change.  You can also take part to promote any lifestyle changes or low cost improvements, such as turning down the heating, putting foil behind radiators, wearing an extra jumper, or taking the bike instead of the car. The minimum requirement is to be open for just 2 hours.  If you’d like to take part please contact Lois Muddiman at The Low Carbon Hub for further details using the contact form below or call 01865 246099.

[contact-form to=’lois.muddiman@lowcarbonhub.org.uk’ subject=’Contact via Earthing Faith website RE Green Open Homes’][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

Church energy audit scheme launched

St. Peters Church

  • Does your church struggle to keep the heat in your building during the chilly winter months?

  • Would you like the building to be warmer, more welcoming AND cost less money to run?

The Diocese of Oxford and the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE2) have developed a grant scheme to provide churches with expert energy efficiency advice tailored to their building, aiming to help PCCs to save money and run buildings more sustainably.

The scheme is restricted to 24 churches in Oxfordshire, and churches are invited to apply for the first round of the grant scheme by the end of October 2013.

“This scheme is such good news! Increasing energy efficiency in church buildings can seem a daunting project. We need to juggle the different comfort levels for a variety of users with the historic nature of our buildings, whilst keeping costs down.

“Now, thanks to this joint scheme, we can offer churches in Oxfordshire access to expert advice, tailored to their buildings and use, which will make them more comfortable and energy efficient, and reduce not just the carbon footprints of our church buildings, but also energy bills.”

Bishop of Dorchester, the Rt Revd Colin Fletcher

Further information

* Update – Nov 2013: The scheme is now full and we are currently closed to new applications. Register an interest by contacting TOE2 and the Diocesan Environment Officer, using the details below, and we will alert you when the scheme re-opens for new applications. *

The scheme is adminstered by TOE2. To apply complete the application form and return it to Fiona Danks at TOE2.

For further information contact Fiona Danks at TOE2 on 01865 883488 (Wed and Thurs only), email toe@oxonrcc.org.uk or visit www.trustforoxfordshire.org.uk.

To discuss audit options for churches outside Oxon contact Matt Freer, the Diocesan Environment Officer.

How the scheme works

The scheme will provide a grant towards the cost of an energy audit that will be carried out by qualified staff from Sustain (www.sustain.co.uk), who will make a site visit and then write a report with detailed recommendations of ways to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs.

Sustain is a carbon reduction company which advises on practical ways to reduce energy and carbon emissions. They have extensive experience of carrying out  energy audits on a wide range of buildings and have particular experience of working with listed buildings and historic places of worship. Sustain will work with the DAC to ensure recommendations are in line with current guidelines.

The total cost of each audit is £660. The available grant is £540 – and so the church is asked to provide the balance of £120.

In the case of very small churches (Electoral Roll below 30) an additional subsidy will be given by the Diocese of Oxford to halve the cost (ie the church only pay £60).

Following an audit, churches may apply to TOE2 for a grant of up to £5,000 to support any of the recommended improvement works.

> Printable version of this information

This grant scheme has been made possible thanks to the support of: the Patsy Wood Trust, the Beatrice Laing Trust and Charlie Laing.

www.oxford.anglican.org/environment | www.trustforoxfordshire.org.uk

Photo: St. Peters Church by JonoTakesPhotos, on Flickr

Community Hall Energy Use Workshops – July & Oct 2012


Free energy training workshops for village halls and community centres

Would you like your community hall to be more energy efficient?
Are you worried about energy bills spiralling out of control?
Is your hall underused and sitting empty because it’s too cold in winter?
Are you on the management committee of your local community hall?
This FREE energy training workshop is for you.

The Environmental Information Exchange (EiE), funded by the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE2), is running 4 half-day workshops on energy efficiency in village and community halls in Oxfordshire. The first workshop will be held in South Oxfordshire on 12th July from 9.30am and the second will be held in the Vale on 10th October.  There will be subsequent workshops in Cherwell and West Oxfordshire.

Workshop on 12th July
All Saints’ Youth and Community Hall in Didcot hall is a newly built hall and incorporates a ground-source heat pump to feed low energy/cost under floor heating and rain-water harvesting to reduce water usage.  There will be a chance to see the energy efficient features of the hall.

Workshop on 10th October
Wootton and Dry Sandford Community centre was refurbished and extended in 2010. It incorporated under-floor heating, sensors and timers and has introduced tight management practices to control energy costs.  There will be an opportunity to tour the hall and talk to a member of the hall committee.

These two energy training workshops will be morning sessions finishing with a locally sourced light lunch, and they are FREE for the first 2 delegates per community building.  Each workshop will include information and advice on reviewing energy use, identifying problems and finding solutions.

If you would like to attend the workshop on 12 July or 10 October please go to the following link and complete an application form: http://tinyurl.com/toe2workshops or contact Fiona Danks at TOE2 on 01865 883488 or toe@oxonrcc.org.uk.

Switch your church to green electricity

Energy can be the most significant spend for churches therefore good pricing is important as is good contract management to ensure tariffs remain competitive and parishes are not “rolled over” into uncompetitive contracts.

Switching supliers not only can savce you money it can also be complicated – so below we provide details of negotiated deals that make switching easy and include the best deals for churches on green renewable electricity suppliers.

The Diocese of Oxford schemes

The Diocese of Oxford has negotiated schemes with two of the UK’s leading green energy providers that make switching to green electricity easy and make donations to the Church of England’s Climate Justice Fund. Read more…


Parish Buying website schemes

The national Church of England has created the Parish Buying website to provide churches access to negotiated schemes with two of the UK’s leading green energy providers, as well as ‘brown’ energy providers.

Parish Buying have appointed the two leading national green energy suppliers, Good Energy and Ecotricity, to provide green electricity to churches. By purchasing green electricity through Parish Buying your church will be eligible for discounts off the standard tariffs.

Find out more and register for free at: www.parishbuying.org.uk/categories/energy.html

Note on rate of VAT

Irrespective of which company supplies your energy, as a church undertaking charitable activities, you should be eligible for exemption from the Climate Change Levy and also benefit from a reduced rate of VAT (currently 5%) . Do check your bills to ensure this is the case, and if not request a VAT declaration certificate from your energy supplier for you to complete and return to them.

* The Climate Justice Fund is the Church of England’s national environmental fund working in partnership with Tearfund. The Climate Justice Fund gives you and your church the opportunity to compensate for the size of your carbon footprint. The website also provides campaigning actions, and resources to help you pray and talk about this issue with others. www.climatejusticefund.org


Church and Energy Management Workshops – March 2012

sMeasure and the Diocese of Oxford will be running a Church and Energy Management Workshop in three venues during March. The workshop will be run by sMeasure and provide a walk through their software, which is being offered to churches in a pilot scheme, and explain how to analyse and use the data it provides, as well as discuss good energy management practices for churches.

The workshops are open to churches registered in the energy monitoring pilot on a first come first served basis, and up to two people per church can attend. They will start at 7.30pm and finish by 9.30pm and take place at the following:

  • Wednesday 21st March in Oxford at Diocese Church House, North Hinksey Lane
  • Thursday 22nd March in Reading at Trinity Church, Earley
  • Wednesday 28th March in Aylesbury at Church of the Good Shepherd, Southcourt

To register for one of the workshops please complete the online form.


New resources for the energy monitoring pilot are also now available, including a number of guide sheets to help churches understand how sMeasure works and how to use the data it gives, these cover for example analysing your data, understanding weather as a driver for your heating demand and how performance benchmarking works. You can download all the guideson the Diocese of Oxford’s website here.

Get Generating – A Renewable Energy Guide for Rural Communities

Get Generating: A Renewable Energy Guide for Rural Communities is a new resource that gives an overview of community based renewable energy options. The guide, produced by The Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) in partnership with Action for Communities in Rural England (ACRE), the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and the National Association of Local Councils (NALC), aims to help rural communities interested in generating renewable energy locally.

“Rural communities are becoming increasingly aware of the opportunities that renewable energy can offer particularly for the many rural areas that do not have a mains gas connection. However the huge range of organisations, resources and information available nationally and locally on renewable energy can be confusing. This new guide is now available to assist groups in considering their option when thinking about developing a renewable energy scheme.”

You can download a copy of the guide at: Get Generating A Renewable Energy Guide for Rural Communities

via Shrinking the Footprint website

Energyshare – generating a renewable energy community

Energyshare is a new initiative to help people get together to save energy and generate their own energy. It has been launched with a £500,000 fund to help projects get started – and there is a further £3 million committed for future rounds of funding. Energyshare is looking to fund projects that aim to save or generate energy locally, and will benefit the local community.

Got an idea? Why not apply for funding for a new community based project that will save energy and/or generate energy? Visit energyshare.com for further information.