Net zero

The Diocese of Oxford has committed to working towards net zero carbon emissions by 2035. This means supporting our churches, schools, vicarages, offices to reduce their emissions as far as possible, as well as looking at the impact of some of our resources. 

So far:
•   Over 240 churches have had an energy audit
•   £10m investment has been committed for our clergy houses
•   £1.5m has been invested in our schools for energy efficiency improvements

Read our net zero carbon action plan, and our first annual carbon emissions report was published in November 2023. 

Churches, energy and net zero carbon

NEW Net zero carbon preparation fund for churches

We have successfully secured a modest grant from the national church to progress decarbonisation. Our Net Zero Carbon Preparation Fund is intended to kickstart action across the diocese towards net zero carbon, by funding a small cohort of churches to identify scalable solutions, and share the learning so that hundreds of our churches can benefit. 

Ten churches will be awarded funds to the value of £15,000 to progress their plans, and a further 10 churches will be awarded a smaller fund of £3,000 to help them start the journey, as part of a project designed to share learnings to hundreds of churches across the diocese. 

Read the project guidance and download the application form (also available as a word document) if you are interested in applying. You can listen back to a webinar we ran on 27 February, where the Environment Team explained the funding and answered questions.

The deadline for receiving applications is 5 April 2024 at 5pm. 

There are four things all churches can do to start their net zero carbon journey

1. Complete the Energy Footprint Tool

Thank you to all those who completed this year’s Parish Returns Energy Footprint Tool (EFT). The data gathered is used to establish the Church of England's carbon baseline and monitor progress, to track the impact of the steps your church is taking to reduce your emissions. At a Diocesan level it also helps us to:

  • Spot churches with heating system issues.
  • Identify which churches would benefit from an energy audit.
  • Discover examples of good practices to share.

Read the national guidance on filling in your EFT

2. Have an energy audit

The diocese offers tailored advice to help your church reduce its environmental footprint and save money on energy bills through an energy audit. This is particularly helpful during the current energy crisis. Plus, you will receive a grant to fund improvements following audit completion and a decarbonisation plan with long-term actions to reach net zero.

Apply here or find out more

3. Switch to a green tariff

Currently 20% of churches are on a renewable energy tariff. It’s the quickest way to reduce your carbon emissions, and support investment in renewable energy. The list of Church of England approved energy tariffs can be found here, and include the national Parish Buying Energy Basket scheme. 

4. Develop a net zero carbon action plan

Find out how to turn your church's energy audit recommendations into a deliverable action plan with our simple, step by step guidance, 'From audit to action plan'. Begin with the quick-wins that focus on energy efficiency, and start planning for the bigger changes. 

Read our guidance on renewable energy, alongside the Church Buildings guidance and resources and national Church of England webinars on reaching net zero

Page last updated: Monday 11th March 2024 3:38 PM
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