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- Getting community energy involved in Local Enterprise Partnerships
- The energy system is in flux, let’s ready ourselves for a community takeover
- Celebrating a strong year for energised communities at CfR
- Community Energy at the forefront of disruptive change in the energy sector
- Meet your MP about community energy this Community Energy Fortnight
- We can do more to foster community energy in low-income communities.
- What next for community energy in a post-FIT world?
- A new generation of investors are using their money to drive change
- People, Power and Happiness
- A review of CEF17
- Community energy, a magic bullet for a multitude of charitable objectives
- Community Energy Fortnight Lobbying Pack 2017
- How smart technology is empowering rural energy projects
- Community energy is not just what we do, but how we do it - By Ed Mayo, Co-operatives UK
- “It's all still to play for" says Co-op Energy's Head of Renewables
- York Community Energy trip round the panels of Auld Reekie with Edinburgh Community Solar
- The Ramblers: Protecting the places we love to walk in a changing climate
- Why Community Energy Fortnight is so important - By Emma Bridge
- CEF17 is Powering Together!
- Community Energy Fortnight 2017 dates announced and news of a new collaboration
- The community energy revolution is evolving, and the future’s bright
- Investing in community energy schemes
- Energising faith communities: the Spirit project
- Community Energy - the way forward
- CEF16 dates announced
- The community energy revolution pushes on in face of storm clouds
- Blogs 2015
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Green Open Homes events (and why they are so good)
We've now launched the Community Energy Fortnight 2015 and are looking for hosts to organise events across the UK to showcase community energy in your area. If you are looking for inspiration about what sort of events to run why not consider a Green Open Homes event. Bridget Newbery, Community Projects Manager at Centre for Sustainable Energy explains how....
Do you know about Green Open Homes? Have you ever been to an event? We think they are, frankly, brilliant. They are a really effective way of inspiring people to take action to make their homes more energy efficient.
A Green Open Homes event is where householders who have made low carbon improvements to their homes open them up to share their experiences. For visitors interested in finding out what’s possible, or already considering a particular improvement, it’s an excellent way to learn more. They can hear about the reality of putting in things like solar panels, insulation, triple glazing or new heating options, as well as lower cost improvements like draught proofing or low energy bulbs. And they get to see improvements in homes which are like theirs, made by people they can relate to. Home openers can talk honestly about what worked, what didn’t, what it cost and the resulting bill savings. If you’re trying to encourage take up of ‘green’ home improvements, visitors will trust these messages much more than a sales pitch from a stranger.
Events come in all shapes and sizes and are already happening all over the country. They attract visitors outside of the ‘usual suspects’ and can have a real buzz about them. We have seen event organisers include things like cycle tours, prizes and giveaways, tea and cake, activities for kids, flash mobs, bands in the gardens, and all sorts of other ideas.
CSE, together with Bristol Green Doors, set up the DECC funded national Green Open Homes network in 2013. The aim was to help new open homes events and networks get off the ground, grow those which were already established, and to increase the general feeling that making energy saving improvements is ‘normal in my neighbourhood’. Last year, more than 50 organisations got involved in the network, with more than 600 homes opening, and more than 10,000 visitors turning up.
Comments from event visitors really bring to life some of the reasons we think these events are so worthwhile:
“The most positive aspect was that you’re talking to real people who are not trying to sell you something.” And “We’d been looking into solar PV for a while, and after seeing an example today and talking to the owner at length, we’ve decided to go ahead.” Another visitor reported “All the owners answered our questions patiently and informatively. We found that since we have the capital to invest, what we really should be considering is ‘why aren’t we doing this?’”.
This feedback perhaps sums up the whole thing:
“I’ve had a thoroughly inspiring day – and I’m ready to go back and do it all to my house!”
So, if you are thinking about what to do in community energy fortnight, how about going to visit a Green Open Homes event (you can find your closest event on the national website, greenopenhomes.net). Better still, set up a new event in your area. Events take time to plan, and you’ll need a good team of people, but there is new funding available to support autumn events. You’ll find everything you need to get going in the organisers section on the greenopenhomes.net website.
27th May 2015