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Leeds project seeks to improve energy efficiency of clergy housing

22 July 2022

DIOCESE OF LEEDS

Canon Paul Cartwright and his family in front of their solar-panelled house

Canon Paul Cartwright and his family in front of their solar-panelled house

AS PART of a plan to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030, Leeds diocese has launched a £350,000 project to improve energy efficiency in clergy housing.

In collaboration with the power supplier E.ON, 67 buildings are being fitted with solar panels with battery storage and loft and cavity wall insulation. The work will also help to reduce heating costs for the residents. Part of the cost is being met from the Energy Company Obligation fund, which is financed by the energy industry.

Among the first to enjoy the changes are the family of Canon Paul Cartwright, Vicar of the Priory Parishes, south of Wakefield. He said: “We’re so happy to be part of this project. What’s great about having the solar panels fitted is it’s got the family to think about how we use energy — and we’re being a lot smarter: we don’t put the dishwasher or washing machine on as much. And not only is it good for the pocket: the main thing is that it’s good for the environment.”

The diocese’s environment officer, Jemima Parker, said: “Domestic properties generate about a quarter of our carbon emissions nationally; so retro-fitting them is a really important part of our loving action to tackle climate change. It’s a win-win, helping to create cheaper-to-heat homes for our clergy, too.”

E.ON developed a bespoke programme of improvements for the 67 properties — about 15 per cent of the diocese’s total clergy housing — in which 34 are being fitted with solar panels and battery storage, 24 with new loft insulation, and 34 with cavity wall insulation.

E.ON’s chief operating officer for UK Solutions, Chris Lovatt, said: “Improving the energy efficiency of homes across the UK is a key priority for us, as our homes are the second highest cause of the country’s carbon emissions. By working with organisations such as the diocese of Leeds, we’re able to utilise environmental and social funding schemes to ensure residents can become more sustainable and benefit from lower energy bills, and we can work together to support the UK’s net zero ambition.”

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