The thousand or so residents of Ashton Hayes in Cheshire are aiming to become “England’s first carbon neutral community”. This ambitious community initiative has been running since November 2005 and has so far reduced carbon dioxide emissions in the village by 23%! The project is combining behavioural change, awareness, sharing best practice as well as introducing technology that will supply the village with renewable energy and an income stream. It has proven an absolute success and the interest and commitment from the local community has been overwhelming.
In 2009 the community won a grant via the DECC’s Low Carbon Communities Challenge. The money currently is being used to develop a renewable combined heat and power plant powering a sports pavilion and a shared electric car scheme. The electric car is now fully operational and being used by local residents on a regular basis.