Completing the Energy Footprint Tool


What is the Energy Footprint Tool and why does it matter?
  • The Energy Footprint Tool (EFT) records the carbon footprint of your church, based on your energy use – mainly heating and lighting.
  • It enables the Church of England to understand its overall carbon footprint as an organisation and to plan towards its target to become net zero carbon* by 2030.
  • It enables the CofE Birmingham’s Property Team to plan how best to support individual churches in the journey away from a reliance on gas and oil towards greener and more sustainable forms of energy supply.
What do I need to do?
  1. Go to the EFT, which is an annual return, made on the Parish Returns System.
  2. Collect all the church energy bills for the previous year. These bills should have all the information required, which you simply fill in. 
    Don’t worry about 2020 and Covid distorting the church usage figures. The information will still be useful and every church should get into the habit of returning the figures annually.
  3. Make a rough estimate of the usage of the church and other buildings such as the hall – approximately how many person hours per week.
  4. Enter details for the size of the buildings. Note this one-off piece of information is often already recorded on the system and for many churches will come up automatically. If you find it isn’t there the system will record everything you’ve put in while you gather any further information.
  5. That’s about it! Extremely simple, but if you have any problems please email the Net Zero Carbon team.

The EFT was introduced in 2020 and 34% of Birmingham churches submitted their findings. We aim to dramatically increase the number of churches using the EFT this year to help churches understand their carbon footprint, while also helping the CofE Birmingham and national Church to plan towards the net zero carbon target.

Please help to make a dramatic increase in number for our diocese in 2021 by completing the audit this year. The final date for EFT submissions is 31 August 2021.

Useful links

10 minute video on how to fill in EFT information - very useful and practical!

EFT summary with useful links

How to calculate church size and usage in people hours


* The term ‘net zero carbon’ is hugely complicated and sometimes contested. For our purposes here, and in society more broadly, it is a simple shorthand term focusing upon the urgent imperative (i.e. this decade) for humanity to get itself substantially out of fossil fuels and onto sustainable forms of energy.