Calderdale initiative puts ‘faith’ in Churches’ energy saving plans

Three local churches have become more energy efficient thanks to an innovative partnership between TopicUK partner, the Community Foundation for Calderdale (CFFC) and the energy purchasing club, 6C Energy.

Saint Hilda’s Church of England, The Parochial Church Council of Christ Church and Hope Baptist Church were successfully awarded a combined total of £10,150 in grants from the 6C Community Energy Fund to help towards development projects, as they strive to become more energy efficient, and support Calderdale’s aim to reduce its carbon footprint.

The 6C Community Energy Fund was set up by Calderdale Council in partnership with Community Foundation for Calderdale (CFFC) as equal funders, to support local environmental projects. Calderdale Council’s contribution is generated by activities of the 6C Energy Purchasing Club, a collaboration between the Council and the Kinect Energy Group, offering flexible energy solutions for Calderdale-based businesses.

Each church submitted a compelling application to the panel outlining their individual projects and how they will benefit residents of the Calderdale district.

St Hilda’s Church of England in Halifax is one of the first to benefit from the initiative, after its successful application resulted in a £1,500 grant to replace the existing lighting both indoors and out with more sustainable and energy efficient LED lights.

Thanks to the grant, they will be able to provide a safer environment for the community who attend late night meetings, as well as significantly reducing energy overheads.

Sowerby Bridge-based Church, The Parochial Church Council of Christ Church received £4,650 to install safer and more efficient LED lights throughout their church, which sits at the heart of the community, regularly hosting events and services. Replacing the outdated lighting across the site will result in a drastic reduction in energy use, thus slashing energy bills and cutting carbon emissions further.

Hope Baptist Church, based in Hebden Bridge, whose recent £1bn restoration project has created a safe and vibrant community space, received a £4,000 contribution to their project. By receiving such a substantial contribution, they are able to resolve the heating issue within the building by installing double glazed windows, and significantly reducing their winter heating bills.

Since its launch in 2015, 6C Energy has been working hard to help organisations in the Calderdale area manage their energy consumption and save money. By partnering with CFFC through the 6C Community Energy Fund, they have created a pathway for eligible organisations to apply for funding to support their energy saving initiatives through services such as renewable energy installations, heating controls and high efficiency boilers.

Expert grant maker CFFC brings over 25 years of experience working with charities and community groups to the table, making the initiative one of its kind in the area.

Cllr Barry Collins, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Strategy, said: “Many different organisations across Calderdale are benefiting from energy savings thanks to the 6C Energy scheme. Older buildings like churches are expensive to heat and light up, so their new energy efficiency measures will really pay off.

This work is part of our vision to build a sustainable future and protect our distinctive landscape by cutting carbon emissions and helping to reduce the impacts of climate change.”

Emma Woods-Bolger from the Community Foundation for Calderdale commented: “The churches we have funded are more than places of worship; they have evolved into community hubs. They offer a wide range of events and house many of the vital activities our communities rely on such as coffee mornings and food banks.

These grants will enable them to save on energy bills which ultimately means they can do more, offer more services and help more people while reducing their carbon footprint.”

Kinect Energy’s 6C New Business Executive, Caroline Jamieson, added: “Churches and charities are some of the worst affected when it comes to energy costs, having to stretch small budgets, so it’s great that initiatives such as CFFC and the 6C Community Energy Fund are giving them a helping hand. The energy solutions that they are now implementing will provide solid long-term investments.”

To find out more, go to www.cffc.co.uk/portfolio/6c-community-energy-fund/