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First Steps – Towards Net Zero Carbon (NZC)

First Steps – Towards Net Zero Carbon (NZC)

Subsidised Energy Audits from Parish Buying and the Diocese of Winchester

In July 2022, the national Routemap to Net Zero Carbon was agreed by General Synod. In November 2023, the diocesan Routemap to Net Zero Carbon was agreed by Diocesan Synod. How are we to achieve it?

  • Measure where we are now.
  • Identify ways to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Carry out recommended works.
  • Measure the outcome.

Subsidised Energy Audits and the Carbon Footprint Tool Download

An Energy Audit is a practical step to identify, measure and prioritise opportunities to reduce energy use, costs and carbon emissions in a building.

Buildings offer many opportunities to reduce energy use and costs. An Energy Audit enables these opportunities to be specifically identified, quantified and prioritised. This can provide a business case for action and lead to investment on energy efficiency and renewable technology.

An energy audit may find ways to reduce carbon emissions from your building.  It may also establish that carbon emissions are already very low.  However, it may also identify ways for you to reduce your energy costs, simply by changing supplier, or checking that you are on the correct VAT band.  There are multiple benefits.

The cost of an Energy Audit through Parish Buying is £450+ VAT.

A subsidy of £175 will be applied to your Energy Audit and paid by the Church of England directly to the Supplier bringing your payment down to £275 +VAT.

[Please note, there is an additional £70+ VAT Admin Fee payable directly to making the overall cost £345 +VAT.]

Customer Services will provide payment details on receipt of your application form.

Be aware that if your Church Hall is a separate building (ie, doesn’t share a roof with the sanctuary) you will need to arrange for a separate audit and will be charged accordingly.

Following receipt of a grant from the national Net Zero Carbon Fund, the Diocese of Winchester has 175 subsidies of £200 to give out to parishes purchasing an energy audit from Parish Buying.  Thereby reducing the overall cost from £345 +VAT to £145 +VAT.

In order to receive the subsidy of £200, you would need to submit your paid invoice and energy audit report to  Subsidies will be granted on a first come first served basis.

Step One – prepare, make sure you have everything you need to complete your application:

  • Fill out the Energy Footprint tool, which you can findhere. This is tell you what your carbon footprint is.
  • 12 months’ worth of gas and electricity bills that you can upload.


Step Two – complete the form to apply for you Energy Audit

  • Complete the form, remembering to upload your Energy Footprint Tool and 12 months’ worth of bills.

The Energy Footprint Tool (EFT) is easy-to-use and allows all churches around the country to enter their utility bills and find out their ‘carbon footprint’ based on the energy you use to heat and light your buildings.

You can find the Energy Footprint Tool here.


If you have any problems logging in or using the EFT, please contact

  • Experienced energy surveyors from examine the energy use on-site.
  • The survey includes carry out an audit of consumption and a review of the building’s services and its fabric.
  • They also review operational and energy management practices.
  • Their approach is in line with guidance developed by CIBSE and the Carbon Trust.
  • Estimate the breakdown of energy use on-site, in terms of the main energy users.
  • Aim to benchmark the site energy performance against similar premises, based on available energy use and building data.
  • Examine the energy supply and the distribution arrangements, including the main metering points and the site metering strategy.
  • Identify the building occupancy profile, the building’s use and any environmental conditions and requirements.
  • Examine the building’s fabric, services and controls.
  • Review the energy management procedures and policy on-site, including staff resources, monitoring, targeting, procurement and maintenance.
  • Identify a range of energy and cost-saving opportunities, including the most cost-effective, any costs, payback periods and carbon savings.
  • Provide recommendations to save energy and costs, ranging from zero and low-cost opportunities to those that require capital investment.
  • Include a prioritised plan of action and basis for investment.

You receive a comprehensive assessment of your Church with recommendations and advice on the main energy and cost saving opportunities to reduce a building’s energy consumption and carbon footprint.

Each building presents different opportunities, but typical energy savings can be around 20% of current consumption. Each opportunity will be itemised in the Energy Audit Report, with recommendations including what investment is required, annual cost savings, carbon savings and financial return on investment period.

Once the Supplier receives the order the following happens:

  • You will be emailed with confirmation of order.
  • Survey dates will be suggested and confirmed.
  • Surveys will be completed.
  • Report will be completed.
  • Invoice sent.

In relation to your energy audit, contact ESOS Energy

0117 9309689 /

Failing that, please contact the Parish Buying Support Team.

Re the diocesan subsidy,

Parish Buying is expanding the solutions available to our membership to help implement the recommendations in Energy Audit Reports – check out:

Solar Panels

Heating solutions

Energy Basket

Church of England Net Zero Webinars