Eco and Ethics

Powered by renewables

Halton Mill and the cohousing community next door are powered by 100 per cent renewable energy: from our solar panels and from Halton Lune Hydro – a community owned micro hydro electric plant situated on the weir five minutes down the river from the Mill, which started generating power in December 2014.

Heating is provided by a combination of solar thermal, pre-heating the water, and a large biomass boiler fueled by local wood chip. There is a district heating system which services the Mill and Lancaster Cohousing’s 41 passiv haus (energy efficient) homes which was supported by a grant from the Rural Carbon Challenge Fund (RCCF), which was set up to support community-level renewable energy projects across the north west of England. The RCCF is funded by Defra – the UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. The Mill/Lancaster Cohousing complex has its own ‘private wire’ network. There is a 28kWp array of solar photovoltaic panels on the roof of the Mill, owned by Morecambe Bay Community Renewables, which also owns solar PV panels on the Cohousing homes.  We are niw a net exporter of renewable energy.

Refurbished to save energy

A new super insulated roof,  new doors and double glazed windows have been installed on the Mill to increase the building’s airtightness and heat retention.

Top rating energy performance

The refurbishment and renewables together have improved the energy efficiency of the Mill so much that it has now been awarded a top “A” Rating Energy Performance Certificate, almost unheard of for an industrial building of this age.  View the film below to see how this transformation has occurred.

Awards

Halton Mill won a 2013 Less Energy Award for the most effective installation.

We have won two awards jointly with Lancaster Cohousing:

  • The 2014 Observer Ethical Award for the most inspiring Community Energy project
  • The 2014 Community Energy UK Award for Energy Generation Project of the Year