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Open homes: see how others have improved their homes

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 15 August 2012 at 9:35 am

Every year there are more and more people opening up their homes, so others can see what measures they have taken to make them warmer, more comfortable, last but not least cheaper to heat. With energy bills on a steep upward trajectory, taking action to reduce your need for energy has never made so much sense.

But it's still a new field; builders and other tradespeople often don't know much about it, and it can be hard to know where to start. A great way to find out is to see what people living locally have done to their home. You can ask how it went, get referrals for good tradespeople, and see how it looks in situ. Nothing beats seeing (and touching) and talking with someone who's already done it.

We will list all the open house schemes we hear about below. Let us know if you've got one near you, or add details in the comment section below.


Superhomes was (one of) the first organisations to promote open eco homes. Its members have all reduced energy use in their property by at least 60%. 40 homes will be open in September. They are scattered all around the country. Find one near you here:

Transition Forest of Dean

is opening 26 homes and businesses from Brockweir to Kempley, covering much of the Forest of Dean and Newent areas. Visit the properties over the weekend 8th and 9th September, 10 am to 4 pm, and speak to the home openers. Find out why they have chosen the technologies, how well they have worked and how much money they have saved.

Eco homes in Dorchester

Dorchester’s first open eco-homes weekend is coming up on 8th and 9th September. Visits are free but some need to be booked in advance.  With fuel prices and government policy all pushing us to save energy, this is an excellent chance to find out how local ‘green’ householders are cutting their bills. greendor

Stroud Eco Renovation Open Homes

Twelve low energy homes in and around Stroud are opening their doors on Satruday 15 and Sunday 16 September. In addition, there will be eco workshops, presented by local renovation experts, and an opportunity to meet installers, at the Festival of Nature on Saturday 8 September. Stroud Open Homes.


The green homes network is holding an open day on 29 September. It's a collaboration between the Energy Saving Trust and the Scottish Government. Green Homes Opendays.


If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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5 comments - read them below or add one


JonasComment left on: 31 August 2012 at 12:29 pm

Visit also the Suffolk Green Buildings Open Days event taking place between 6-9th September.

To see other real examples of installed biomass boilers, meet their owners (for free!) and hear a warts and all account from a non commercial perspective - then take advantage of this opportunity.  This is a Suffolk Green Buildings Network event, supported by Suffolk County Council and UCS, featuring 15 different buildings across the county of Suffolk. For more details go to

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 31 August 2012 at 11:50 am

Thanks for adding that link Jonas.

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Tom Bragg

Tom BraggComment left on: 28 August 2012 at 12:36 pm

Cambridge Carbon Footprint runs Open Eco Homes annually:

This May 25 Eco-Homes, new-build and retro-fit, were open over 2 weekends. When you click through to each property you can see more detail on it, including a PDF Case-Study:

On November 10th we'll have an eco-renovation day for an estate of 400 post-war semi-detached homes:

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Gilly Jones

Gilly JonesComment left on: 22 August 2012 at 1:55 pm

The link seems to be okay now - must have been a blip. Here it is again:

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utility-exchangeComment left on: 22 August 2012 at 12:55 pm

Great idea to see how energy saving measures work in situ and how these measures are reducing energy bills! Not sure if it's just me or the time of day but I can't get the link for superhomes to work!

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