University of Chester students say the March 23rd Earth Hour experiment in the village succeeded in cutting energy use. We are thankful to Scottish Power Energy Networks for helping us to monitor village energy use in great detail during the Earth Hour.
Here are some comments from two excellent reports which can be downloaded here and here.
"Earth Hour is a global event which is run by the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) every year. It aims to encourage governments, businesses and people to switch off their lights at the same day between 8.30 and 9.30 pm every year. Earth Hour is used to help promote sustainable issues amongst the general public and hopes to promote sustainable thinking. It is the world’s largest mass participation event in history with over 7000 cities in over 7 continents taking part.
Overall it would seem that the Ashton Hayes campaign was a success, with energy consumption rates dropping when Earth Hour began and then raising rapidly after the hour had finished. Although the project was focused on the level of engagement in the village and less about the actual energy saved, it is still important to note that the village will have saved a significant amount of energy over the short time period and most notably if this could be replicated throughout the UK then during Earth Hour it is assumed a great deal of energy and carbon would be saved.
Although the village of Ashton Hayes is already extremely knowledgeable about sustainable thinking, (this was evident in the knowledge of the school children) and therefore this type of project stood a greater chance of succeeding here than anywhere else, it is important to note that if the engagement rates were not successful in this village, then it is highly doubtful that it would work elsewhere."