Green Open Homes smashes its targets

Local events inspire over 10,000 people

24 June 2014

We’re celebrating the success of the Green Open Homes network. Since we launched it last autumn, a huge 49 organisations have run (or planned) a local Green Open Homes event, 43 of which we helped to fund through our competition.

What’s a Green Open Home? Read about the project here.

Now for the stats: we’ve seen 27 new events spring up (including some dormant ones revived). In all, 607 individual homes have opened up to visitors and been listed on the national website at www.greenopenhomes.net. The website has had over 20,000 visitors, and more than 10,100 people have been along to an open homes event!

This means that we've smashed all of our targets for the project! We are really encouraged by the vision and drive of the local organisations and groups around the country who have run with this idea, and it’s exciting to see the Green Open Homes movement rapidly gaining momentum.

All sorts of approaches have been tried out. We’ve heard about bus, cycle and walking tours alongside drop-in events. There have been events big and small, some on one day, and others taking place over several weekends. There have been houses with building work in progress, and homes where all the neighbours have come along. And the organisers have created some great publicity, from TV, Twitter and inviting the neighbours, through to bands, bus shelter posters and flash mobs.

Together with our project partners, Bristol Green Doors, we have loved meeting and talking to all those involved, many of whom have put in a huge amount of voluntary time to make their event a success.

What do the visitors think?

Most importantly, these stats mean that over 10,100 people have visited a neighbour to see their energy saving home improvements – and hopefully been inspired to make some changes of their own. “We’ve been looking into solar PV for a while but after seeing an example today and talking to the owner at length, we’ve decided to go ahead,” said one couple.

Others visited an event for different reasons: “We were very interested in seeing what people have done to deal with condensation problems, which we have in our old house. This is giving us some good ideas!”

Only 64% of visitors said they knew anything about eco-renovation before they came to an event. But 88% found their visit useful, and 70% said they now had a clear idea of how they might tackle improvements to their own home. Perhaps most encouragingly, 71% of visitors said they now intended to install energy saving or low carbon technologies in their home in the next five years, with 77% saying they would try to save energy at home by changing their habits.

The general consensus from visitors to Green Open Homes seems to be summed up by this visitor’s feedback: “I’ve got lots of information I can now use and I found everyone very friendly and approachable.”

It’s great to hear these comments demonstrating what we already knew – that local open homes are a very effective way of inspiring people to take action!

The national Green Open Homes network will continue to grow and develop – we’re looking forward to the events still to come this year. Apart from being a national directory of open homes, the website contains a wealth of expert advice and information for organisations wanting to run their own event, which we have put together over the year with input and feedback from event organisers who’ve taken part. Check out www.greenopenhomes.net


Images copyright of the groups involved; don't reproduce without permission.

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