Following our Gold ECO Church Award in 2020 and inspired by Justin Welby’s request that all Church buildings should aim to be carbon zero by 2030 set us thinking.
It seemed an impossible task with a Grade 1 listed mediaeval building, so asking for God’s wisdom and help we set about meeting the 2030 target. We arranged for Erik Blakely (Low Carbon Dorset) to visit who told us we could get a grant for Solar Panels and Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP).
Gathering momentum, in November 2020, we started the Faculty Application (C of E planning) and contacted local installers in renewable technology to get their opinions.
We were fortunate to already have under-floor water pipes for heating and Celevac roof insulation. This made ASHPs worth investigating to drastically reduce the 60,000 kW annual gas heating. We had an energy audit, roof structural survey and acoustic survey, all while in 2021 dealing with Covid closures and restrictions.
We presented the information to the PCC for approval. Encouraged by receiving the grant award in May 2021 from Low Carbon Dorset with the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of 40% for the project, we pressed ahead.
Dorset Council granted planning permission in October 2021. Faculty was finally granted June 2022. All installations were completed in August 2022. We are now exporting power to the grid.