25 Sep 2008

Digesting the Open eco-homes success

Last night we had a Transition Energy group meeting at one of the homes that was opened in the recent Open Homes event - see here about how hugely successful the event was - the home was the solar thermal and PV in Stonehouse.

Photo: Love this cartoon from Russ - below clipping from Citizen with a photo of mine of the wood pellet bioler in the Bowbridge home

Ten of us met, including some who helped organise the event - it was a great chance to debrief - the press release I wrote after the event was covered by The Citizen but sadly missed so far by the SNJ - I've written to them again as we need the support of local papers to get the messages out there about energy efficiency and renewables. Plus with hundreds of people visiting - and over 1,150 visits it should get a mention!

This week I've also been talking to the other Open Homes projects around the country - there are basically only 3 others that we know about - and all those have paid coordinators and big budgets - we managed on £750 for leaflets and the website - Brighton for example had a 3mth full time worker and £20,000 - they got 2,500 visits to 14 properties. It was also great to hear about how they ran their events - and get ideas for next time - I especially liked Brighton's idea of an eco pledge....

Photos: Below I've included (as a result of a request from a local resident) the info sheets from the home in Townsend that opened to show off it's garden watering system - hope you can read them!

Anyhow I am now collating this info to put a report together to look at what might be poss next year.....more info on that soon - certainly the Open Homes event is not sustainable in the current format - coordinating this project was hard work and many days - we hope next time we can get funding for a post to organise it...anyone interested in helping plan next years???

The meeting also fed back lots of positive info - including that we were invited to submit an application to the SW Green Energy Awards - I rather threw that application together as it would be great to see other towns in the SW adopt their own projects like this one. Another positive move has been by the Civic Society who want to have an evening with some of the eco-homes householders to talk green stuff - plus I've had various emails from folk who either thanked us or wanted another event.

We also talked about next steps for the website:
www.stroudopenhomes.org.uk/

We will be looking for help with updating and adding further info - plus there is talk of some small events between now and the next Open Homes - a sort of peak at a few homes - an eco-peak evening perhaps? Anyway too tired to write more now but a big big thank you again to the homes taking part.

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