Churches convert to renewable energy

More than 5,500 UK churches have put their faith in renewable energy – with church leaders encouraging more faith premises with charitable status to follow suit for their own buildings.

Fifteen Anglican cathedrals – including Bristol, , Sheffield and Salisbury – are among the buildings already using 100% green electricity tariffs. Places of worship that have seen the light of renewables include the Church of England as well as Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Quaker, and Salvation Army congregations.

Based on an average estimated annual church electricity bill of £1,000 – a figure provided by national church buying group 2buy2 – churches have diverted more than £5m from fossil fuels to clean energy providers. Clean energy is increasingly deemed part of a responsible digital transformation strategy.

Many churches have turned to renewable electricity through the Big Church Switch campaign, a partnership between Christian Aid, Tearfund and the Church of England’s Environment Programme.

“Renewable energy is now a mainstream power source. Any organisation that takes tackling climate change seriously would want to make sure it’s taking full advantage of our bountiful natural resources, including wind, wave and tidal power,” said Emma Pinchbeck, Executive Director at not-for-profit trade association Renewable UK. “Renewables are already the cheapest form of new electricity and costs are continuing to fall. We’re creating jobs and attracting investment to parts of the country which need it most.”

“Climate change is a moral challenge,” said the Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam, the Church of England’s lead bishop on the environment. “Climate change is an injustice that hurts the poor first and worst. Switching to responsible sources of electricity may seem like a small thing on its own, but when joined together it can make a real difference.”