Energy Footprint Tool

The easy-to-use Energy Footprint Tool will tell your church what your "carbon footprint" is, based on the energy you use to heat and light your buildings. You can find it on the Online Parish Returns System. 

Your 2021 data should have been submitted by the end of July 2022. This is now closed for entry of 2021 data.

The information below is retained here so that when data entry opens again for 2022 data in Spring 2023, you will have something to refer to. We shall update the page below to take into account any changes in information, dates etc..

How does the EFT work and why should I do it?

To find out how it works, read the instructions sheet here, and watch a short instructional video, created by the Diocese of Manchester. 

The Energy Footprint Tool will tell your church the amount of carbon produced annually by 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 the utility bills for them.

What benefit is it to me?

This EFT helps reduce your church’s contribution to climate change and demonstrates care for creation, as part of the Fifth Mark of Mission of the Anglican Communion. Across the world, people are being affected by drought, flood and fire and we are seeing this more and more, even in the UK. Every little bit we can do helps, and it also changes the tide of public opinion.

What information do you need?

You will need your utility bills for the year before; electricity, gas, oil, or whichever other fuel you use. For example, if you are completing it in 2022, you need your 2021 bills.  If you have solar panels, information on their generation over the preceding year. 

If you want to include a separate church hall or other building, then you need the bills for this too.  If you want to exclude an area which is permanently rented out to tenants and sub-metered, you will want this information to hand. 

You can find a paper copy of the questions here.

For most churches, we already know the floor area. If we don't already hold this information, you will need a sensible estimate of the m2 floor area of the church, and any other associated buildings you are inputting, such as the church hall. 

You will also need a sensible estimate of the number of person-hours that the church is used throughout the year.  Please remember when entering this data that a good estimate is fine – these numbers do not need to be 100% accurate, and as long as they are in a relevant ball park.

To help you calculate the size and usage of the church, you might find this template helpful.

Is the cost of the electricity and Gas per kWh or the total bill charge (which would include daily standing charge and VAT) required?

On the form, you will have to enter the name of the supplier, kWh of electricity purchased for 2021 and the cost of the electricity.

Similarly, for gas, enter the name of the supplier, the amount purchased, specifying the units (whether kWh or cu metres or 100s cu feet) and the cost of the gas.

These can be done by recording the values at the start of the year and at the end from your meters, OR from your bills OR by submitting how much you paid. If you submit your bill charge, the amount you actually use will be taken into account. NB Did you pay VAT at the reduced rate for churches?

Who looks at the data?

Data is analysed by the Research and Statistics unit of the Church of England. It helps each diocese to see what progress we are making towards our 2030 target. 

Once we know our carbon footprint, what next?

The tool also offers some helpful tips to reduce your carbon emissions. Using the tool each year will help you to track the impact of the different steps you are taking to reduce your carbon footprint.

You can use the Practical Path to Net Zero Carbon to plan your action, and the Net Zero Carbon church webpage to get information. Refer to the Church of England's net-zero carbon webinar programme and see how Parish Buying can support you.


The EFT is now closed for you to enter your 2021 utility bills. It closed on July 31st 2022.

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