Baseline survey

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Ashton Hayes carried out a baseline survey of CO2 emissions from their village in order to be able to assess their progress towards their aim of becoming England’s first carbon neutral village. The baseline survey was conducted in May 2006 and took about 4-6 weeks. Each year a team from the University of Chester repeats the survey to calculate the village’s success at cutting emissions. Students from the University carry our door-to-door surveys to ask residents questions about their lifestyles, including their domestic energy use, travel and holidays. Using this data, they compute their domestic footprint in order to ascertain that of the village as a whole. The calculations are based on certain assumptions established at the beginning of the project relating to, for example, eligible activities which can contribute towards reducing carbon footprints, average housing characteristics, and efficiency levels of vehicles, white goods, boilers and other equipment. The results from the first 5 surveys demonstrated that the community has managed to cut its carbon emissions by 23% through behavioural changes such as switching off appliances and changing to low energy light bulbs. Residents also provide feedback on the surveys and guidance on what further actions they can take to cut their carbon emissions.