Green Open Homes B&NES 2023 is a wrap! Many thanks to all our 22 Home Openers, 788 visits, 46 volunteers and 55 hours spent making bunting – we explored living more sustainably as a community. Decked out with bunting, flags, case studies and brimming with shared learning, the Open Homes showcased energy saving measures and have inspired visitors wherever they are on their own eco-friendly journeys.
Visitors were able to hear about suppliers, energy efficient solutions, innovative eco design and friendly practises ranging from the more modest secondary glazing tips to air pumps and solar panels.
Here’s some of the feedback gathered from visitors a home in Larkhall, which is a listed Georgian town house:
“Very useful, he really knows his stuff! I’ve come away absolutely full of ideas, learning to start by fixing the worst problem and the importance of draughtproofing” – Anna (visitor)
Dr Lyn Barham, who opened her home in Odd Down told us “I enjoyed sharing energy saving tips with visitors, including on reducing food miles and packaging by using local food”. They definitely enjoyed sampling her home-made peppered apple cheese made from local windfalls.
Stephen opening his home in Larkhall, said “It’s been a long journey for us to make our home more efficient, with years of learning. We did it because it’s the right thing to do, and if it reduces costs in the long term, that’s a plus; we certainly enjoyed sharing what we’ve done with visitors. We had so many great conversations”.
This is the first of a number of Open Homes events that will be run in B&NES communities, including another event in Bath. If you are in a community wanting to run an open homes event, or want more information on opening your home or sponsoring do get in touch. Catherine Adams, from Bath & West Community Energy who project managed the event, said “This is the start of something bigger as we share and learn how to save more energy together. We’d love your help”.
Cllr Sarah Warren, from Bath & North East Somerset, a partner in the project, said “It was great to visit the Open Homes and get some of my own energy questions answered. What struck me was that how well it is possible to manage our energy use now, with new technology that can help us use power when it is cheap and low carbon”.
Claire Smith, from Buro Happold who was also a partner, said “I volunteered at one of the homes and it was astounding to see just how much visitors were learning from the experience of our host. It was such a positive event”.
Philip Haile from Transition Bath, also partner in the scheme, said “I did many of the case studies for the homes. It was great to see the wide variety of energy saving measures employed, and that many have installed heat pumps which can really reduce carbon emissions and is a priority for Transition Bath”.
Alex Sherman from Bath Preservation Trust, another partner in the project, said “It was great to see the examples of what can be done with historic and listed buildings. Often the perception is that nothing can be done, these Open Homes very much proved the opposite. It was a great project to be involved with”.
All the energy surveys and case studies will stay on the website and can be freely downloaded and read. We will be adding resources, tips and further events in the coming months.
About Green Open Homes B&NES:
Green Open Homes B&NES is a partnership initiative focused on inspiring and educating individuals about sustainable living in the Bath & North East Somerset area. Homeowners opened their doors to share their expertise and experiences, fostering a more environmentally conscious community. Nearly 40 volunteer stewards supported the 22 home openers.
Bath & West Community Energy is managing the event, in partnership with Buro Happold, Transition Bath, Bath Preservation Trust and Bath and North East Somerset Council. The event has had generous sponsorship from the University of Bath Architecture and Civil Engineering Department, Good Energy and Mitchell & Dickinson and funding from the South West Net Zero Hub, which is hosted by the West of England Combined Authority, through the Government’s Local Energy Advice Demonstrator