What is local supply all about? Is it a good idea? Should we be pushing for this model in the energy system, or is centralised public ownership a better option? What about peer to peer trading, and private wire arrangements? These are some of the...

Author: Emilia
Post date: November 20, 2018



mPOWER is a Horizon 2020 funded, peer-learning programme to assist municipalities in creating a fair, clean and democratic energy future. Cities of all sizes...

Author: laura
Post date: October 18, 2018

Aneaka Kellay takes a look at the challenges faced by those seeking to find the right retrofit builder. As well as the challenges she looks at what Carbon Co-op is working on to overcome these, including hosting the upcoming Routes to Retrofit course which...

Author: Aneaka
Post date: September 17, 2018

It's been a year since we launched the Carbon Co-op home energy training programme, we've delivered eight new courses with 18 sessions delivered and over 150 people attending. It's had a huge impact on us and feedback suggests it's also had a huge impact...

Author: Aneaka
Post date: August 8, 2018

This is a guest blog from Rebecca Ince an academic researcher at the University of Birmingham. She has a long term interest in energy efficiency, retrofit and third...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: June 25, 2018
Co-operative store notice board

We're looking for people to identify locations for us to place posters and publicity about our work, in particular training courses. Carbon Co-op is all about helping people take collective action on climate change - so we're always looking to get the word...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: May 10, 2018

How can I get support for my retrofit project? Where can I get advice on electric vehicle chargers or batteries? How can I help influence action on climate change in Greater Manchester?

Real Junk Food...
Author: Jonathan
Post date: May 10, 2018

On 19th April 2018 in Birmingham, Community Energy England and Carbon Co-op hosted a full day of talks on the role that energy efficiency projects could play in community energy activities. Community energy practitioners from across England, expert...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: May 10, 2018

Jonathan Atkinson, Project Manager at Carbon Co-op was asked to present at GM Mayor, Andy Burnham's Green Summit in March 2018 and used the opportunity to highlight the need for a just transition.

Carbon Co-op have been involved in the summit as...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: April 23, 2018

Though energy efficiency has always been seen as the 'ugly duckling' of the Community Energy sector, with groups often finding it easier to focus on renewable generation, changing government policy and the desire to find new viable business models has led...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: April 4, 2018

Aneaka catches up with Tim from Nottingham to discuss his experience of attending Carbon Co-op's DIY retrofit training.


Tim, a carpenter based in Nottingham, decided to attend Carbon Co...

Author: Aneaka
Post date: March 29, 2018
GM Retrofit Listening Event


On Monday 19th February 2018, The Mayor's Green Summit Listening Event on domestic housing...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: February 21, 2018

This is Carbon Co-op's response to BEIS' call for evidence on building a market for energy efficiency. It should be read concert with this...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: January 9, 2018


On 1st December 2017, Carbon Co-op co-hosted an event with Electricity North West titled, Shaping the Future of Your Energy Network. The event was aimed...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: December 7, 2017

shaping-the-future-of-your-energy-network_38344278304_o crop.jpg

The energy transition is happening, what needs to be discussed now is what it looks like on the ground and what role Community Energy plays in it....

Author: Jonathan
Post date: December 1, 2017


Hosted by Carbon Co-op and Energy Democracy Greater Manchester, the Great Energy Escape panel discussion saw forty...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: November 15, 2017


On Wednesday 25th October we're launching a brand new immersive game about all things energy at Manchester Science Festival. To get a full sense of it check out the dedicated...

Author: laura
Post date: October 17, 2017

This year Carbon Carbon has been invited to set two challenges to Manchester Science Festival’s annual HackManchester competition, starting on Monday 23rd October. The event will see groups of adults take on a series of beat the clock coding challenges as...

Author: laura
Post date: October 13, 2017

This autumn social saw members get together for an informative and enjoyable evening at Leaf on Portland St.

We heard from three very different households who have recently completed (or almost completed!) their retrofits, and were inspired by each...

Author: Aneaka
Post date: October 6, 2017
Tagged: Eco Homes, Retrofit

Matt reports back from the EcoHome Lab field trip.

We first met Mike Wilson in 2016 at an EcoHome Lab meetup session '...

Author: Matt
Post date: August 9, 2017

Our ‘Powering Down Together’, is published to coincide with Community Energy Fortnight 2017. It reports on the retrofit of 12 owner-occupied solid-walled homes typical of Manchester’s housing stock. Read the summary report here (...

Author: karoly
Post date: August 8, 2017

Carbon Coop organised a visit to the home of Andy Hamilton in the beautiful hills around Rossendale last Friday, on the 4th of August. Andy has been making eco-home improvements for over 40 years.

We joined him in the morning and after a hot cup of...

Author: karoly
Post date: August 8, 2017

Our recent Info Night was held in The Briton’s Protection on July 20 and we discussed the positive and negative aspects of the smart meter rollout which is currently under way.

Our two speakers were Scott Alison, Smart Meters Implementation Manager...

Author: karoly
Post date: August 7, 2017

Carbon Coop joined trade unionists, renewable energy practitioners and divestment campaigners for a day of protest action outside the gates of Cuadrilla’s flagship fracking site at Preston New Road, Lancashire on July 14, 2017.

Against the wishes of...

Author: karoly
Post date: July 18, 2017

The Manchester Environmental Education Network (MEEN) and Zero Carbon Manchester held a discussion on 6th July 2017. The meeting, which was also the MEEN Annual General Meeting (AGM), took place in their HQ, Bridge 5 Mill and besides the inspiring ideas...

Author: karoly
Post date: July 13, 2017
VW Golf GTE charging from 13A socket at rear access to house in Greater Manchester.
The car

The car is a Volkswagen Golf GTE 2017 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)

Battery/Range 8.7 kWh (pure EV range ~30miiles) Battery weight 120kg Petrol engine 1.4L turbo Official...
Author: Dominic zapaman
Post date: July 5, 2017

This year's Community Energy Conference 2017 took place in Manchester and Carbon Co-op was out in force at the event, with a stall, a keynote speech, the launch our new...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: June 28, 2017

With April showers and glorious afternoon sunshine, we celebrated our community, learnt about justice issues and got involved with hands on workshops.

The atmosphere at Hulme Community Garden Centre was really something special. Images speak louder...

Author: Aneaka
Post date: May 26, 2017

Insights from the DIY retrofit for homeowners’ course, 6th, 7th and 20th May 2017, by Kate Simpson.

Feeling energised, on the train home from my third day of training in DIY retrofit for homeowners in Manchester. Led by the Dan Chaplin, director of...

Author: Aneaka
Post date: May 26, 2017
Things Manchester current coverage

Almost a month ago was April EcoHomeLab the first one with the new structure. Now we want to make the time for people to arrive, know what energy monitoring is, see OpenEnergyMonitor stuff in action, fix their own things, listen to a relevant presentation...

Author: carlos
Post date: May 10, 2017
EHL logo

Think and talk. Sometimes this is what we, smart beings, need to do in order to improve.

I started working for Carbon Coop in December 2015 and since then I got very involved in EcoHomeLab. A space for energy enthusiasts that, during the time I have...

Author: carlos
Post date: March 22, 2017

Works are complete at the Tait's home in Chorlton South Manchester as another member achieves their whole house retrofit ambitions.


Julian and Sophie were part of our original cohort for the...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: February 17, 2017
Tagged: Eco Homes


Winter, and especially the months after Christmas feel like a good time to look back on the past year's progress and to look ahead. This year, Carbon Co-op Project Manager, Jonathan Atkinson, has...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: February 16, 2017

On Monday 13th February 2017, Cooler Projects organised an #OurManifesto Climate Change Workshop with Labour's Greater Manchester Mayoral candidate Andy Burnham. Below is our written response to the #OurManifesto call out.

Our highest priority...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: February 12, 2017

On the 12th of January was last EcoHomeLab session and we had the pleasure to admire ;-) Trystan's new electric bike. A very cool one that he built himself from a DIY kit.

We were 10 people this time, 3 of whom were new or almost new to EcoHomeLab:...

Author: carlos
Post date: February 2, 2017


This January, Carbon Co-op have begun to install smart meter extension (SMX) devices as part of Nobel Grid beginning with...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: January 26, 2017
Tagged: Energy Monitors
Slide of new of new Learn OpenEnergyMonitor website

And we are now in 2017, happy new year? Let's hope so...

Last EcoHomeLab of 2016 happened on the 12th of December at ...

Author: carlos
Post date: January 6, 2017


The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework sets out a strategy for the development of the city region's physical infrastructure over the next 20 years. It's important to Carbon Co-...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: December 24, 2016


This December, Jonathan Atkinson of Carbon Co-op was lucky enough to be invited to take part in a two day, community energy delegation visiting Brussels on the invitation of Green MEP for the South West...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: December 7, 2016

Carbon Co-op is launching a new project with Dalarna University (Sweden) and Open Energy Monitor to use low cost energy monitors, smart meters, and cutting edge machine learning...

Author: Ben Aylott
Post date: December 2, 2016

In November 2016 Carbon Co-op contracted Dan Chaplin to run a three day DIY Retrofit for Homeowners course. Running the course was a first for us, and a part of our effort to provide more support to those working on low cost DIY retrofits.


Author: Aneaka
Post date: November 28, 2016
Tagged: Retrofit, Workshops
Julian's retrofit


Below is Carbon Co-op's response to Manchester Climate Change Agency's Manchester Climate Change Strategy 2016-50, the full call can be found here:...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: November 25, 2016
MyHomeEnergyPlanner screen shot

It felt a bit quieter this time but still interesting with some hands on work and presentations about emonCMS dashboards, how energuy monitoring changed my :p and MyHomeEnergyPlanner, the tool for house assessments we are developing in CarbonCoop.

Author: carlos
Post date: November 17, 2016

Britain may laugh (or squirm) at the amount of dirt and dishonesty the US Presidential election is sinking of into. It is hard not to. But Britain has as much dirt and sleaze of its own to worry about. This has nothing to do with the private lives (or...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: November 2, 2016
Tagged: Conferences

Another busy busy busy EcoHomeLab.

Many things happened this time: not only we had to carry on working on the HomeEnergyMonitors that some people started building in September's session, there was also some troubleshooting needed, a video recording...

Author: carlos
Post date: November 2, 2016

Community energy has been hard hit by cuts to renewable subsidies and It is a time of great change and uncertainty for those in the sector. In this blog post I look at some of the ideas for the way forward for community energy. We will be discussing all...

Author: Ben Aylott
Post date: October 18, 2016
EcoHomaLab Sep 2016

Loaded with soldering irons, electronic components, tools and pure clean ready to go printed boards we got into our mission: build our own Home Energy Monitor systems.

Again, time goes by and I don't take into my blogging role, but everybody in...

Author: carlos
Post date: October 7, 2016
'Not Business As Usual' badge

Carbon Coop is one of 5 pilot sites around Europe taking part in the Nobel Grid project. Last week, as part of a project meet-up, we visited the Belgian pilot EcoPower, an energy...

Author: Matt
Post date: September 15, 2016



Carbon Co-op member Richard Darlington reports back on the Community Energy Conference which took place in Oxford on 3 September 2016.

It was a combined conference set up by Co...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: September 9, 2016
Tagged: Conferences
EcoHomeLab August 2016

Sorry, sorry, sorry... I know, next EcoHomeLab is this week and I am posting the blog of the previous one now. My excuse: I went on holidays the day after the session and despite I tried to write it I didn't finished before I was off. Anyway here it is....

Author: carlos
Post date: September 6, 2016
Pepople at EcoHomeLab

Another joyful EcoHomeLab. And more than joyful, transcendental.

This time more theoretical than ever and looking at a big scale solution, still very interesting from a household perspective: now we know a bit more about how a ZeroCarbonBritain may...

Author: carlos
Post date: July 21, 2016

Last week I attended Intersolar & EES Europe (https://www.intersolar.de), a huge three day trade exhibition on all things related to solar power and electrical energy storage. Many of the latest solar and storage...

Author: Ben Aylott
Post date: June 29, 2016
Everybody who came

Last EcoHomeLab was on the 9th of June at MadLab, second Thursday of the month as always. Mix of topics this time, lots of interesting information, discussion and some deep techyness ;)

We were seven people, six...

Author: carlos
Post date: June 17, 2016
Electricity North West

In June 2016, Jonathan Atkinson of Carbon Co-op attended the Electricity North West Stakeholder session in Preston, along...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: June 16, 2016

As part of Carbon Coop's Green Shift project members and other participants will be encouraged to reduce their electricity use at certain times of day in order to help reduce their carbon footprints. In the electricity industry this kind of scheme is...

Author: Ben Aylott
Post date: May 20, 2016
Tagged: Smart Grids

These videos show the presentations made at the Carbon Co-op AGM in April 2016. The theme for the presentations was about the 2015 Paris Climate Change talks and how these broader, global targets relate to the work of local Community Energy organisations...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: May 19, 2016

A hacker's meet up on smart metering, smart home, smart grid, smart ideas? Sounds interesting, promising and the kind of place where Carbon Co-op needs to be present. After a bit of discussion we all agreed Carlos there you go. So there I went with the aim...

Author: carlos
Post date: May 9, 2016
Tagged: Smart Grids

A hacker's meet up on smart metering, smart home, smart grid... smart ideas? Sounds interesting, promising and the kind of place where Carbon Co-op needs to be present. After a bit of discussion we all agreed Carlos there you go. So there I went with the...

Author: carlos
Post date: May 3, 2016


“The government’s snuck out plans to sell off the Land Registry - the profitable public service that records the sale of houses and land. [1] It’s a short sighted move to make a quick buck...

Author: Aneaka
Post date: April 14, 2016
Carbon Co-op AGM


This year's AGM event, which took place on 7th April 2016 at Bridge 5...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: April 11, 2016

Carbon Co-op_AGM 2016.jpg

To paraphrase the great Douglas Adams, author of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Climate Change is big. Really big....

Author: Jonathan
Post date: March 24, 2016

Through the Nobel Grid project, Carbon Co-op are developing and testing ideas around householders using smart meters to enable collective action. But what does this mean in reality and what are the potential benefits?

Author: Jonathan
Post date: March 23, 2016

Photo 25-04-2015 11 30 28.jpg

The last strategy day looked at Carbon Co-op's track record, assessing strengths and weaknesses and identifying areas for improvement. The key conclusion was that Carbon Co-op should...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: March 5, 2016
Tagged: Workshops

In response to Dom's excellent analysis of the carbon saving potential of community smart grids, I wanted to add something on the business case side that the project seeks to explore. Many of our members have investing in technology (such as deep retrofit...

Author: Matt
Post date: February 4, 2016
Dom McCann outside his retrofit home
Delving Deeper into (the marginal rate of) Carbon Intensity

The aim in this blog post is to set out the main environmental and electricity consumption parameters that will need to be collated, measured and acted upon as part of the community smart grid...

Author: Dominic zapaman
Post date: January 25, 2016

In 2015, we commissioned a series of profiles, short videos that looked at the different ways Carbon Co-op members have chosen to improve their homes. From a full scale, whole house retrofit to an iterative approach over many years. From completely DIY to...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: December 22, 2015

Dom McCann.jpg

Carbon Co-op will pilot a community smart grid in Manchester with between 100 and 200 householders, assisting them to work together to save energy, reduce bills and reduce carbon emissions through...

Author: Dominic zapaman
Post date: December 16, 2015
image of conference


Carbon Co-op took part in the very successful, Powering Up North conference in February 2015. Jonathan Atkinson spoke from the platform in a key note address on the challenges and opportunities of...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: March 13, 2015
community energy conference logo

Community Energy Conference.jpg

Jane Massam, new member from Marple reports on attending the first Community Energy Conference, held on Saturday 19th October 2013.

The event was organised by...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: November 19, 2013

Back in September, as part of the Carbon Co-op in Stockport project, one of our members, Julian Tomlin, and his wife Helena held a Community Workshop at their home in Heaton Moor.

Here Julian tells us how it went. A group of friends and neighbours...

Author: CarbonCoopStockport
Post date: November 8, 2013


On Sunday the 20th, we run a bus tour of eco-homes for the residents of Stockport.

This was part of the...

Author: CarbonCoopStockport
Post date: October 29, 2013

Carbon Co-op - Community Energy bus tour 1.jpg

We had a great day out on the Red Bus Tour of Eco Houses as part of Community Energy Fortnight. The tour was the flagship event for...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: September 10, 2013

Photo 22-06-2013 10 34 04.jpg

On Saturday 22nd of June, we launched a new community champions project in Stockport with an event held...

Author: CarbonCoopStockport
Post date: June 28, 2013
ecohome lab image


EcoHome Lab launched this weekend (19th/20th April 2013) with two fascinating and involving events taking place at MadLab...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: April 22, 2013


We were delighted to have been invited to present and share our work at the "Community Energy: Together We Can!" event organised by the Rochdale ...

Author: CarbonCoopStockport
Post date: April 5, 2013


Lorenza and Paul (Co-op board members) held a 'community champions' meeting for their street inside their living room last evening. The workshop was led by Matt who brought along his box of eco-...

Author: Paul_Bower
Post date: March 26, 2013


Many thanks to everyone who made it down to the Carbon Co-op 2013 AGM which took place on Monday 18th March at MadLab in central Manchester. The event was well attended with around half the membership...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: March 22, 2013
Tagged: Conferences



Many thanks to everyone who came along on the Carbon Co-op Eco House bus tour on Saturday 16th March...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: March 18, 2013
home energy kit


We've been working with the brilliant ...

Author: Matt
Post date: March 10, 2013
Tagged: Energy Monitors


The Carbon Co-op blog is a forum for new, updates and discussion and a place for Community Champions and Retrofit Pioneers to post to.

Author: admin
Post date: February 20, 2013
Re-posted from

MCFly reader Jonathan Atkinson explains how Carbon...

Author: Jonathan
Post date: October 10, 2012
Tagged: Workshops