Places of worship can also encourage retrofit amongst their congregations as well as improve their own buildings.
Congregations and faith community members, as well as most Birmingham residents, are also facing escalating energy bills.
As well as undertaking faith building energy assessments, Footsteps’ Project 4F has been working with the Act on Energy Warmer Homes programme to provide practical support for faith community members who are facing difficulties paying fuel bills and keeping warm.
Some key principles underlie engaging with congregations and communities.
Fuel poverty in Birmingham
The fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) defines fuel poverty as homes more than 10% of total income on energy.
The NEA’s website in July 2022 quotes ‘Energy experts Cornwall Insight predicted that when the price cap rises in October, the average energy bill could reach £3,250 per year, with bills expected to increase by over 60%. If that happens, National Energy Action predicts 8.2 million UK households will be in fuel poverty – that’s one in three.’
The ‘heat map’ opposite shows the levels of fuel poverty in different localities in Birmingham. Very dark red (Decile = 1) shows the localities where fuel poverty was highest (around 51%). The lightest red show the localities where fuel poverty is lowest (around 13%).
Unsurprisingly, most of the highest level of fuel poverty in Birmingham are in a band running east to west through the centre of the city and in pockets in the south west of the cities.
Saving energy in homes
Help with fuel bills