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Page last updated at 14:43 GMT, Wednesday, 25 August 2010 15:43 UK
Norman Cotswold church to go 'zero carbon'

Withington Church
Withington Church will soon be the UKs first carbon zero church

Work to make St Michael and All Angels Church in Withington the first zero carbon church in the UK is due for completion at the end of September.

Officials say the Grade 1 listed Norman church will no longer give out any carbon dioxide emissions once the work is finished.

They say they will even be able to sell energy back to the national grid.

The church will still be the same peaceful haven
Matt Fulford

The money raised from the sale of electricity and funds from a new 'feed in tariff' should provide enough income to buy sawdust pellets for a new biomass boiler.

Project leader Matt Fulford said: "People debate about how new buildings can be made zero carbon.

"Some debate whether historic buildings are too difficult to work with and should be exempt, but in little old Withington we have quietly got on and achieved it in a Grade 1 listed late Norman church.

"What's more, you wouldn't even notice it.

"The church will still be the same peaceful haven except the warmth is a little more reliable and the finances are a little more assured."

The finished church will have 22 solar panels on the roof, and the internal lighting is now all low energy.

Outside floodlights are now switched off during the summer, and are only turned on from dusk until 10.30pm during the winter.

Officials say this has reduced electrical demand by 40 per cent.

The project costs have been almost all met through grants from the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust, the Low Carbon Buildings Programme from DECC, the Big Lottery Community Sustainable Energy Programme and a very generous private donation.

The church also used some of its own funds which it would have had to spend on replacing the new boiler.

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