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Solar power scheme for clergy homes will cut carbon emissions

First published on: 1st August 2022

Solar power and high efficiency insulation will help to cut carbon emissions from clergy houses across our diocese, thanks to a new collaboration with energy supply and solutions provider E.ON.


E.ON is working with the diocese to help them take a major step towards their goal of net zero carbon by 2030 with a project to install solar panels with battery storage and loft and cavity wall insulation in 67 clergy homes across the region.


The diocese is committed to cutting carbon emissions, in keeping with the Church of England’s pledge to aim for net zero carbon by the end of the decade.


The energy saving improvements will also help to reduce heating costs for clergy living in those properties.


Fr Paul Cartwright, Vicar of the Priory Benefice of parishes in the south of the diocese lives in one of the first homes to benefit from the initiative and he and his family are delighted:


“We’re so happy to be part of this project. What’s great about having the solar panels fitted is it’s got the family to think about how we use energy – and we’re being a lot smarter!” Fr Paul said.


“We don’t put the dishwasher or washing machine on as much and not only is it good for the pocket, the main thing is that it’s good for the environment.”


Jonathan Wood, CEO for the Anglican Diocese of Leeds, said: “Taking a lead on looking after the environment is a key priority for us. We have an ambitious plan to be net zero carbon by 2030 because as Christians, we are called to step up and take responsibility.


“I am delighted that E.ON are working with us to help us to provide significant progress in making sure all of our properties are as energy efficient as they can be.“


John Knox, Head of Property for the Anglican Diocese of Leeds, said: “Despite the context of challenging economic times, the decision to invest in a range of energy saving projects makes sound environmental and financial sense both now and in the long term.


The reduction of our carbon footprint through this project will also result in cost savings for our clergy, which will be of great benefit to them as they lead the work of the diocese across our region.”


Jemima Parker, Environment Officer for the Anglican Diocese of Leeds, said: “Domestic properties generate about a quarter of our carbon emissions nationally, so retrofitting them is a really important part of our loving action to tackle climate change.


“It’s a win-win, helping to create warmer, cheaper to heat homes for our clergy too. By working with E.ON, we’re helping the diocese lead by example.”


Chris Lovatt, Chief Operating Officer for UK Solutions at E.ON said: “Improving the energy efficiency of homes across the UK is a key priority for us as our homes are the second highest cause of the country’s carbon emissions.


“By working with organisations such as the Anglican Diocese of Leeds, we’re able to utilise environmental and social funding schemes to ensure residents can become more sustainable and benefit from lower energy bills and we can work together to support the UK’s net zero ambition.”


E.ON developed a bespoke proposal to meet specific objectives and identified how additional funding could both maximise the number of possible installations and reduce costs for the diocese.


In a tailored programme of improvements for the 67 properties, 34 will gain solar panels and battery storage, 24 will gain new loft insulation and 34 will receive new cavity wall insulation.

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