Now in Association with

Ashton Hayes Community Energy CIC

Located in rural Cheshire, Ashton Hayes is a well knit community of about 1000 people that is aiming to become England's first carbon neutral community. We started our journey in January 2006 and since then we have already cut our carbon dioxide emissions significantly - by working together, sharing ideas and through behavioural change. We now have our community owned renewable energy company.

This website encapsulates our journey towards carbon neutrality and offers free advice and guidance. Please feel free to use anything from our website (we'd like a credit if you can).


School gets new set of PV panels from Ashton Hayes CEC


Over the Spring Bank holiday, Ashton Hayes Community Energy Company (AHCEC) successfully arranged for the installation of a second bank of solar photovoltaic panels on the primary school roof. The new panels will generate over 14kw of green energy for around 25 years. The school will benefit from a long-term free electricity supply, saving on running costs, while our not-for-profit AHCEC will benefit from Feed-In-Tariff (FiT) income and reduce our carbon emissions. The cash generated from FiTs will be reinvested in future community energy schemes. 

The installation was not straightfoward, as it required Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) to connect a new low-voltage line to the Church Road electricity network. AHCEC kept the costs of this work as low as possible by digging and backfilling a new cable trench that runs along the grass verge to the right hand side of the school driveway.

AHCEC would like to thank everyone for their help and support with the installation. The school team - Matt Hover, Diane Stubbs and Doreen Salt were incredibly flexible, Dominic McDermott of Nettleridge construction provided the digger and support when needed and the SPEN team, led by delivery engineer Carlos Javier Martinez de Ilarduya Mugarza provided wonderful customer service. Raine & Shine (Graeme Raine and Kate Monkman) carried out the panel installation on budget and on time and coordinated the scaffolding.

The AHCEC board members also deserve recognition for the hours of volunteer effort that went into the project.


Charles Simon from Eden Mills makes a return visit

Garry Charnock (left) was delighted to host a very quick visit by Charles Simon (right) of Eden Mills in Ontario, Canada - our twin town in North Ameria. Charles visited back in 2007 to discuss the GCN project and then went back to Eden Mills and started a village project there. They had achieved great things and are now hoping to be the first carbon neutral community in North America as this document explains. Well done Eden Mills.


View our latest film online

We had a great turnout for our 'End of Decade Celebration' at the Primary School in Ashton Hayes on Thursday 28th January - 10 years to the night since we started. We have managed to cut our carbon emissions by 40% and the film explains this and other measurements we have made about village life.

See the movie here



Free raffle tonight - veg men and shop donate hampers

To support the 10-year anniversary of the Going Carbon Neutral Project (tonight 28 Jan), the veg men have kindly donated a veg box for the free raffle tonight. Everyone attending the meeting at 7pm in the school will be entered.

The community shop is also celebrating its 6 year anniversary and is donating a lovely hamper to the raffle.

So come and have a drink, get your free memory stick with the new film loaded and enter the raffle.


Mayor of Nøtterøy, Norway sends his congratulations

We've had a lovely letter of congratulations on our 10 year anniversary from Mayor Roar Jonstang and The Climate Advisory Committee in Nøtterøy, Norway. Here is a short extract..

..."We were therefore delighted that Garry Charnock, Roy Alexander and Kate Harrison agreed to pay us a visit in October 2009. In the course of three hectic days the advisory council, the municipal administration, neighboring municipalities, residents' associations, businesses and schools had the opportunity to hear about the enormous engagement in Ashton Hayes regarding climate matters.

The visit inspired, amongst other, the establishment of a climate activist group in the small village of Torød (around 1000 inhabitants) which has since held a wide range of climate-related activities.

In November 2010 it was time for a reciprocal visit. The Climate Advisory Council, represented by Janet Gullvåg, and journalists from the local newspaper spent three eventful days in Ashton Hayes where they were well received by Roy Alexander and Kate Harrison. Numerous planned visits were paid to Sustainable Blacon, Ashton Hayes Primary School, the Parish Church and the village shop, just to name a few"...

Read the full letter here