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Energy For Churches & Places of Worship

When choosing gas and electricity for churches and places of worship, it’s similar to picking the best energy plan for your home, but with a focus on non-profit organisations. You will want to look for energy suppliers that offer good rates and deals tailored for charities and religious groups.

It is important to compare different plans, considering how much energy your church uses and any special preferences you have. Some providers even offer green energy options, which could be great if you value sustainability.

 

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How Much Are Energy Plans for Churches?

According to the Church of England, there are four different types of costs to consider when working out how much energy churches and places of worship will spend if they want to improve their energy systems. They are:

  • Installation costs
  • Maintenance costs
  • The cost to run in terms of utility 
  • The replacement cost at the end of life

Depending on your budget and funding, some systems, despite their upfront costs could save you more in the long run, rather than short-term fixes. For example, replacing your oil boiler with a newer model can seem like a simple and cheap fix, but over a longer period, you need to ask yourself, will it become expensive to run? And are you forcing yourself into a technology which could become harder to maintain as solutions advance?

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Costs for Churches To Upgrade And Install Energy Solutions

Churches with intermittent use can make use of what they already have by upgrading the heating controls and insulating the space to reduce heat loss and drafts, making the building more efficient. You can look to spend between £0 - £20k for installation costs and between £10k - £25k for maintenance over a year, alongside a similar figure in running costs.

To replace your gas boiler with an electric upgrade, it could cost you between £20k - £50k for installation, maintenance could cost between £0 - £10k, while the running costs could be around £50k and up. This all depends on whether your building requires an electricity supply upgrade. 

The cheapest options could be, heated chairs or pew cushions. While they might only provide a limited amount of warmth, they could be portable, depending on the attendance of your services or a fixed wire which members of your congregation could control once they are in their seats. You can expect to spend between £0 - £20k across installation, maintenance, and running costs combined. The replacement cycle might be lower compared to more substantial changes however the costs could be a more affordable solution in the short term. 

For churches with more regular use, you can expect a similar level of costs to one that is only used intermittently, however, the replacement cycle is understandably less, based on how much more use it will go through.

A rural church that is off the gas grid, currently on oil, with a poor electricity supply has fewer options available and the most effective cost solution is to make what you already have last longer and be much more efficient. This includes insulating the building and upgrading heating controls so they are in use when it is most needed. A biomass boiler with radiators is probably the most expensive option and is only suitable in certain circumstances.

If you want more information and to learn more about the different options available, the Church of England has provided an in-depth guide on heating costs and is the source for the above information.

Energy Saving Tips For Churches & Places Of Worship

Here are several energy-saving tips, effective for churches or any place of worship that can help you save money on your monthly bills:

  • Switch to LED Lights:
    Use energy-saving LED bulbs instead of old-fashioned incandescent ones. They use less power and last longer.
  • Temperature Controls:
    Install programmable thermostats to adjust heating and cooling only when needed, like during services.
  • Insulate The Building:
    Keep the building cosy by adding insulation to the walls, attics, and windows. This helps to keep warmth in during winter and out during summer.
  • Stop Air Leaks:
    Seal any gaps around doors and windows to prevent heat from escaping or entering.
  • Choose Energy Efficient Appliances:
    Selecting appliances with Energy Star ratings to save on electricity in places like kitchens and elsewhere.
  • Promote Energy Awareness:
    Encourage everyone to turn off lights and electronics when they’re not being used.
  • Let in Natural Light:
    Use windows and skylights to brighten up the space during the day, reducing the need for electric lights.
  • Keep HVAC Systems Maintained:
    Maintaining heating and cooling systems regularly to make sure they are running efficiently.
  • Switch to Renewable Energy:
    Consider using solar panels or wind turbines to generate electricity, which can cut down on traditional energy use. 
  • Check Energy Use Regularly:
    Install a meter to keep track of how much energy the church is using and look for ways to use less. This helps to save money and the environment.

Compare Suppliers To Lower Energy Bills For Churches & Places Of Worship

One of the best tips we can suggest when it comes to lowering energy bills for churches and places of worship is to switch to an energy supplier who is more compatible with your energy needs. 

By comparing suppliers, you will be able to assess the most competitive rates, freeing up funds for other church activities and fundraising. Flexible contract options allow churches to tailor agreements to their specific needs and budgets, whether they prefer fixed or variable rates. 

Churches and other places of worship can explore renewable energy options, contributing to environmental sustainability. Overall this process empowers churches to make informed decisions that align with their financial goals and values.

 

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Church & Place Of Worship Energy FAQs

  • Can Churches Get Help with Energy Bills?

    Yes, there are a few programs that can help with energy bills. For example, the National Energy Foundation offers advice and assistance to help churches reduce energy consumption and lower bills. 

    Additionally, churches may qualify for grants from local councils or government agencies aimed at improving energy efficiency in community buildings. 

    Other avenues include discounted energy tariffs for charitable organisations, support from faith-based initiatives, and participation in community energy projects.

  • Do Churches Pay VAT On Energy Bills?

    In the UK, there are different requirements on whether your church qualifies for a lower VAT payment on energy bills. Churches should consult with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or a tax advisor to understand their specific VAT obligations regarding energy bills.

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