Green Open Homes B&NES 2023 is a wrap! 22 Open Homes in Bath and the Chew Valley were host to 788 visits on the weekend of the 4th and 5th of November. The Open Homes were supported by a small army of 46 volunteers, who sewed acres of bunting and welcomed visitors to the homes. Decked out with bunting, flags and case studies and brimming with shared learning, the Open Homes showcased energy saving measures and 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 eco-friendly practises ranging from more modest secondary glazing tips to air source heat pumps, batteries and solar panels.
Anna, after visiting a listed Georgian town house and speaking to the owner, remarked: “My visit was very useful, the owner 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”
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. 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 through our website. Catherine Adams, from the Bath & West Community Energy team who 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”.
Councillor Sarah Warren, deputy leader and cabinet member for Climate Emergency and Sustainable Travel said, “I want to thank all our partners who helped to organise this event and everyone who volunteered. It was a great opportunity for people to find out how they could improve the energy efficiency and sustainability of their homes. I enjoyed visiting some of the properties, getting my own questions answered and finding out how we can use technology to better manage our energy use by using power when it is cheap and low carbon. In B&NES 38% of our carbon emissions come from domestic buildings, so making our homes more energy efficient can not only reduce our energy costs, but will also cut carbon emissions and help the council to achieve our net zero ambition by 2030.”
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 just how much can be done with historic and listed buildings. Often the perception is that listing means restrictions but these Open Homes very much proved the opposite. It was a great project to be involved with”.