Energy audits

Energy efficiency and, where appropriate, the use of new technologies can enable our churches to provide attractive places of sanctuary, fellowship and communion at a lower cost to the planet, and sometimes with financial savings as well.

But when you’re dealing with a church building, it can be hard to know exactly which positive actions you can undertake. 

To help PCCs obtain the expert advice they need, the Diocese of Oxford has established a subsidised energy audit programme.


How does the audit programme work?

Fill in this simple enquiry form. It will ask you for some basic information so that we can get a sense of your church's activities and needs. We can then determine the best type of advice for your church, whether that’s an on-site energy audit, a phone/online audit, or general guidance. 

What will this cost?

For on-site audits, churches currently pay £150 and the diocese pays the rest of the cost. You can also receive an implementation grant of up to £300.

For telephone or video consultations, churches currently pay £60 and the diocese pays the rest of the cost. You can also receive an implementation grant of up to £120.

How do we act on the audit report findings?

The diocese is committed to helping churches act on the advice they receive.

Energy Toolbox

We have a 'DIY' energy toolbox available for churches to borrow for free, to help them monitor their energy use. It includes temperature data loggers, a simple thermal camera, different LED lamps, a digital tape measure, an energy use meter and a heated seat cushion, amongst other items. It helps a church identify where they might be losing energy, so they can take small steps to become more efficient. 

Read this case study from St Mary's Church, North Leigh, about how they have used the toolbox to save energy and money:

Case study from St Mary's Church, North Leigh
Church members used the data loggers to measure how quickly the church heated up and also how quickly it cooled. They had been turning the heating on for a short period each night in winter to try to maintain some heat in the building by thermal mass, so that when there was a service the building would be heating up more quickly from partly warm. However, the data loggers allowed them to see that these bursts of heating were not being retained by the building mass or air mass, particularly when it was cold outside. They also gained better data on how long it took various parts of the church to heat up, and learnt the main heating thermostat data had not been entirely accurate.


So, they revised the church heating regime by stopping the nightly heating and just focussed on heating the church for the required number of hours prior to a service.


They wrote to say “They found for 2023 they recorded around a 15% energy reduction compared with their 2022 energy use. This does not account for weather differences between the years."


They also gained a better understanding of how the frost thermostat worked – it had been assumed that this caused the heating to come on when really cold outside, however they realised it actually just turned the water pumps on to keep water moving through the pipes and stop it freezing solid (this explained why electricity consumption went up more that gas when it was very cold).


The thermal imagery camera helped substantiate and understand the findings from the data loggers. It showed that some of the internal pillars in the church did stay warmer than outside walls, so some thermal mass storage occurred, but not a lot. It showed the old windows and doors in the church are major areas of heat loss which probably explains why thermal mass benefits are low – “the heat gets out of the building before it can really warm things up”. On the church hall, it showed the benefits of new double glazed windows.




More information

If you have questions or would like to find our more, email

Page last updated: Tuesday 26th March 2024 10:33 AM
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