Catholic schools urged to join pioneering low-cost green energy plan

A scheme to provide low-cost renewable energy to Catholic churches throughout the country has proved so successful that it is to be rolled out to include Catholic schools and academies nationwide.

A national energy-buying group for schools is being set up thanks to the partnership between Churchmarketplace (CMP) and Interdiocesan Fuel Management (IFM) Limited, the two Catholic organisations that already supply clean energy to the vast majority of parishes and dioceses of England and Wales.

Catholic institutions which decide to collaborate in the scheme will benefit from low gas and electricity costs and market stability.

By buying gas and electricity from 'green' suppliers of renewable sources, they will also help to advance the vision set out by Pope Francis in Laudato Si, the 2015 encyclical on care for creation that recognised a necessity to produce and use energy responsibly.

The alliance keeps the price of renewable energy low because, compared to other energy brokers, IFM does not seek to protect profits by augmenting quotes to take account of possible “risk factors” in a fluctuating market. Instead, IFM gives buyers the live cost of energy on a given day.

Catholic institutions which wish to join the scheme are encouraged to send their contract end dates to CMP, along other details by June 15 so that the alliance is able to complete the first of four stages of its national energy-buying group strategy.

Jenny Williamson, director of Churchmarketplace, said: “We are delighted that IFM Limited now has an EU-compliant contract that schools and academies can access. By using IFM schools and academies will be using a trusted organisation with 20 years’ plus experience in the energy market - and one whose only interests are to serve the Church and to maximise the collective buying power of the Catholic estate. By using IFM schools will never need worry about energy again.”

Carol Lawrence, director of Interdiocesan Fuel Management Ltd, said: “Our alliance is already saving Catholic parishes tens of thousands of pounds each year while providing them with clean, renewable energy in keeping with the vision of Pope Francis for the care of creation.

“By joining this new initiative, Catholic educational institutions now have a wonderful opportunity to serve the Church and wider society. They will also be able to keep their own energy costs down and attain greater financial stability at a time when there is so much pressure on local funding. We strongly advise all Catholic schools and academies to register an interest with us by June 15.”

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Tags: environment, Jenny Williamson, Churchmarketplace (CMP) and Interdiocesan Fuel Management Limited, IFM, schools, green energy

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