What is a vicarage?
Most pastors in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark live in official residences, which means that they are tenants in the parsonages as long as they hold their duties as pastor of the parish. Many of the vicarages also include official premises such as the pastor’s office and classrooms within or in connection with the residence. Some parishes may also own rented housing, whose upkeep the parish council oversees.
Other similar buildings
The information on vicarages is relevant to a large variety of homes and residences.
Energy savings in vicarages
For vicarages, energy savings are largely found by re-insulating and optimizing or replacing the heating system. Energy savings can also be achieved through behavioral change, but the parish council has no direct influence in vicarages, as it is a private matter how much energy the resident(s) consume.
The vicarage has an energy label. Besides grading the building on a scale from A to G in relation to the building's condition energy wise, the label also includes numerous suggestions for how to save energy. The proposals are divided into two lists: "Cost-effective energy savings" and "Energy savings through renovation".
The list of "Cost-effective energy savings" are typically suggestions that can be implemented immediately and without major interventions, such as the re-insulation of pipes, replacement of circulation pumps, replacement of double-glazed windows with energy-saving windows, cavity wall re-insulation, etc. Usually it is common sense to implement these proposals as soon as possible.
Usually, the list of "Cost-effective energy savings" also includes proposals that have long payback times and are more intrusive on the building, e.g. large re-insulation projects and window replacements. In addition to energy savings, many of these proposals also have important implications for the comfort of the house through less draft and heat loss, and warmer floors. This can be a weighty argument for implementing these kinds of energy savings as soon as they are possible and not just "save them for later."
Renovation of the vicarage
Vicarages are traditionally renovated - or at least a major “touching up" is performed - when a new pastor moves in. At such a time, it is natural to look at the energy label again and see if there are any "Cost-effective energy savings" or "Energy savings through renovation", which could profitably be carried out simultaneously. Energy savings are likely to help "pay" for some of the investments and thereby help stretch maintenance funds.