The costs of lighting and heating parishes are being reduced, thanks to a new deal between two Catholic organisations to provide electricity from renewable sources to churches across the country.
Interdiocesan Fuel Management Ltd (IFM) has entered into an alliance with Churchmarketplace (CMP) to bring renewable energy to 16 of the 23 Catholic dioceses of England and Wales, including Westminster. Their collaboration allows more than 3,200 parishes to purchase electricity from green suppliers.
The new relationship was formed some six months after the exemption from Climate Change levy was withdrawn from renewable electricity bills, a development which meant that all dioceses were facing an increase in their electricity costs. There was also a premium cost attached to purchasing renewable electricity, which meant that the dioceses previously outside of IFM could face significant costs in transferring to renewable energy.
The buying power of all 16 dioceses together effects significant savings that offset the impact of Climate Change Levy as well as making renewable energy available to all at a manageable price. The premium for purchasing renewable energy through IFM is about £5 per meter per year compared to £49 per meter per year outside the contract, a total saving of more than £180,000 across the dioceses.
CMP and IFM are now exploring how their new partnership can extend the same benefits to Catholic schools, academies and universities.
By working together, renewable energy can become an affordable option for all Catholic organisations in England and Wales.