Saving Energy in Faith Buildings


Helping Birmingham’s faith communities move to a low carbon future in practical and locally based ways is an important area of Footsteps’ ongoing work.  During 2021 / 22 Footsteps undertook Project 4F as a partnership with Ecobirmingham, Act on Energy Warmer Homes West Midlands and The Active Well-Being Society (TAWS).

We reviewed Project 4F work and are now carrying the work forward by continuing to offer faith building energy assessments; by helping faith community members and others to reduce energy use in their own homes; and thirdly, by developing our Birmingham faith community mapping work to support both our own work and that of other groups wanting to work with Birmingham’s faith communities.

All of our work is also part of Birmingham’s 2019 climate emergency declaration ‘To aspire for the City to be net zero carbon by 2030 or as soon after as a just transition permits – making sure we take communities with us, protecting employment and without impoverishing deprived communities’. We also seek to connect Birmingham faith communities with the Council’s Route to Zero activities and are part of its Birmingham Faith Covenant Partnership.

Photo: David Dodge / Green Energy Futures

Faith Building Energy Assessments

Footsteps and Ecobirmingham offer energy audits to places of worship that have active community use and the resources to take forward and fund some measures identified in the audit. 

Funding for the audits is provided by the TW Greeves Charitable Trust and Central England Quakers.   Places of worship will be required to make a contribution towards the cost.  Our funds and resources are limited and, as an interfaith group, we want to help all of Birmingham’s faith communities to reduce their energy use, especially in disadvantaged areas of the city.  


Priority will be given to requests for faith building energy assessments that meet the following criteria

  • The place of worship and / or associated community rooms / buildings are actively used for local community activities as well as worship
  • There is a designated volunteer or staff member who is responsible for the building and can liaise with the energy auditor and coordinate the implementation measures
  • The place of worship is willing to contribute to the cost of the audit, and able to fund at least £500 of recommended measures from their own funds


Contribution towards cost

Places of worship in the 30% most disadvantaged areas of Birmingham are asked to contribute £100 to the cost of the audit, and other places of worship normally £350, using the fuel poverty deciles on the BCF Footsteps Faith Community map.  

Follow on support:

If a faith building has large potential carbon savings, and is willing to commit its own funding to implementing measures, the Footsteps energy assessor can provide at no additional cost a few hours of telephone and email support around purchasing options when this is beneficial.

You can download a form for requesting energy assessment for your place of worship.

Guide to Understanding Retrofit

Check out our guide to understanding retrofit and how to obtain funding, learning from our ‘overcoming funding barriers’ workshop. This brought together experts and people from Birmingham’s faith communities and included presentations, discussion, visits to three faith buildings and a networking lunch sponsored by CSE – an independent national charity that helps people change the way they think and act on energy.

A faith community based response to the energy crisis helping people reduce energy use, pay fuel bills and keep warm and healthy.