Carbon neutral in nine years

A Wetherby church has won a grant to help discover how to achieve carbon neutral for the community within ten years.

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 9:31 am

St James is to undertake an assessment of its church and buildings but aims to drive environmental improvements, starting with a public consultation.

“We hope to include all the other community buildings in the heart of Wetherby particularly those close by,” said Robert Haskins, who is leading the project on behalf of the church project team.

“There will be community participation in the project, explaining our project aims and progress.

“Our aim is to find out how we can best achieve a carbon neutral situation for everybody in nine years’ time.

“The Church of England’s target is to be carbon neutral by 2030, and we hope others will follow suit.”

Central government’s Rural Communities Energy Fund, is handing out grants to help encourage rural communities to improve their energy use.

“That means less reliance on oil and gas and more on green energy such as wind and solar power,” said Mr Haskins.

“The biggest energy use at St James’ is heating but lighting and kitchen appliances will be looked at as well, possibly car charging points.”

The feasibility study will look at possible sources of renewable energy including solar panels and heat pumps.

Smart control systems will be important and methods to store and reuse energy will be looked at too.

The study will also look at the financial viability of proposed new options. It will assess life cycle costs – how they save money as well as non-green fuel in the long run.

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“We will be hoping to consolidate the planning position on any options considered,” added Mr Haskins.

Environmental Strategies Ltd from Selby, who will be undertaking the study, will stage a community consultation evening in St James Parish Church in Wetherby on Wednesday 14 July, 7.30pm.

Anyone intersted in participating in this project in any way, should contact Emma Wheeler-Osman at [email protected] or phone her on 01757 403113.

Mr Haskins added: “It’s great news but now the hard work starts.

“And we need to think how we are going to pay for any of capital investment recommended.

“We’ll be asking the consultant and the community about that.”