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People will have the opportunity to visit homes across Bath and the Chew Valley to find out first-hand about having solar panels and other energy efficient features installed in their property.

The Green Open Homes event on 4-5 November will see 17 homes in Bath and five homes in the Chew Valley open their doors across the weekend. Residents interested in improving the energy efficiency of their homes will be able to talk to homeowners who have already had work done.

Several of the homeowners who will be opening their homes attended a launch event last night at Buro Happold. Lyn Barham said: “‘I have quite a modest house and quite modest means; in a way that is why I wanted to get involved because there are lots of people in my situation. It is really lovely to go look at the big architect-designed creations, but many people will be constrained like me to add energy efficiency measures bit by bit as the chance arises.’

The Green Open Home event website includes a map of all the open home locations and case studies of each property including Lyn’s Victorian terrace home in Odd Down, Bath.

Councillor Oli Henman, cabinet project lead for Climate Emergency and Sustainable Travel, said: “The council has set out ambitious priorities for tackling the climate emergency with bold targets and a range of practical actions. One of the highest priorities is decarbonising buildings and reducing energy loss. We have made good progress by introducing the UK’s first Net Zero new build planning policy in our Local Plan Partial Update to ensure new houses are fit for the future. We are also aiming for 65,000 residential retrofits across our area, making older buildings more efficient. In addition, our target is to produce 300mw of renewable energy capacity by 2030, so homeowners can help to move the needle.

“Partnerships with local businesses and charities are essential for our collective journey to a more sustainable future. Events like these are important for promoting steps towards reducing our carbon emissions locally, so people can see great examples of improving energy efficiency in a home like theirs.”

Jackie Head, one of the volunteers for the scheme and a member of the B&NES Future Ambition Partnership Climate & Nature Group said: “Homes in the Chew Valley are different to those found in the city of Bath, but there are similarities between different villages, whether it is older style cottages or farm houses or houses built in the second half of the 20th Century. Local people can see a home that is like their own and be inspired to take action.”

The Bath event will take place on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 November and the Chew Valley homes will open on Sunday 5 November only. Full details of each property and links to Eventbrite to book timed visiting slots can be found on the Green Open Homes B&NES website.

There are plans to run further Open Homes events and support community groups to run their own. Any groups wishing to organise their own can contact Nicola/passam@bwce.coop for help.

The green Open Homes B&NES project is managed by Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE) in partnership with B&NES Council, Bath Preservation Trust, Buro Happold, Transition Bath and the Centre for Sustainable Energy, with sponsorship from the University of Bath and Good Energy and funding from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero working with the South West Net Zero Hub.

ENDS

Photo credit: l-r Lyn Barham and Councillor Oli Henman, cabinet project lead for Climate Emergency and Sustainable Travel and Bath & North East Somerset Council.

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