The High Court’s decision to extend the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) window for solar panels (which closes this Saturday 3rd March), has seen over 100 churches in the south west reap the benefits of the reduced rate.

Since January 25th, Ecotricity has helped the Church of England’s green mission by taking the total number of churches with solar panels past 150 in the south west.

This is in addition to 300 churches, vicarages and CoE schools across the diocese of Gloucester, Exeter and Bath & Wells that now use green energy from Ecotricity, the Stroud-based renewables company that the Church of England has chosen as preferred green supplier for every parish in the UK, as part of their new ‘Parish Buying’ scheme.

With 16,000 church buildings throughout the UK, parishes are being urged to reduce their carbon footprint by making greener purchasing choices, in line with the Church of England’s national campaign, ‘Shrinking the Footprint’, with a target of cutting carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.

“This is far more than a cost saving exercise, it is a means of demonstrating good stewardship and releasing money which can be directed towards mission and ministry,” said Church of England procurement officer Russell Stables.

The Church of England’s new shortlist of preferred products and services champions ethical businesses and Ecotricity have been selected for their dedication to people and planet over profit.

Before Feed-in-Tariff rates were suddenly slashed on 12th December, only 47 church buildings in the diocese of Gloucester, Exeter and Bath & Wells had installed solar panels. However, the High Court appeal allowed more than 100 to take advantage of the new 3rd March deadline for the higher rate pending government appeal.

On 25th January, the Court of Appeal rejected the government’s appeal against the High Court ruling that cuts to solar panel Feed-in-Tariffs was ‘legally flawed’.

Ecotricity founder Dale Vince said, “The Church of England is setting a great example for others to follow. They are looking right across their organisation and making it as sustainable as possible.

“The need to protect the environment is unarguable these days and organisations of all shapes, sizes and creeds need to step up and take responsibility like the Church of England has done.”