The Community Energy Fortnight hopes to raise awareness of renewable energy projects this September. As part of the national event, Bristol Green Doors – a community interest company – are showcasing a number of homes to the public, free of charge, on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th September. This occasion will demonstrate the energy saving measures householders have implemented to make where they live cheaper to heat, more comfortable and better for the environment.
Catherine from Bristol Green Doors told Blue & Green Tomorrow more regarding the project.
Tell us a bit about your initiative
Bristol Green Doors is a not-for-profit community interest company. We run educational events to inspire, encourage and enable green domestic refurbishment in our community and support others to do the same. We have been organising open home events since 2010, so that people can see the improvements, learn how savings have been made, and share their experiences of living in an energy smart home.
What benefits does energy efficiency bring to householders and communities?
At a household level, greater energy efficiency makes homes fit for the future, more comfortable, cheaper to heat and better for the environment. This can improve the wellbeing of householders and filter up to the community level; those who’ve experienced the positive impacts of green refurbishment share their enthusiasm with neighbours. Feedback from our events reveals the enjoyment people get from engaging with their community, meeting people with a common interest and creating connections through peer-to-peer learning.
What is the biggest challenge in improving energy efficiency?
To inspire people to take the first steps towards understanding what they can do to improve the efficiency of their home, and how they can go about it.
What great case studies have you seen?
Having been inspired at one of our previous events, a Westbury-on-Trym household made energy efficiency changes and are set to open for this September’s open homes weekend. This shows the Bristol Green Doors cycle in action; we provide a platform for people to be motivated by other’s experiences, and in turn share their own stories of green domestic refurbishment to encourage action in the community. This and many other case studies of our event households are available to download from our website at www.bristolgreendoors.org.
Would you encourage others to get involved in energy efficiency and community energy?
Absolutely – one of the main reasons Bristol is the European Green Capital 2015 is that a number of community groups that have been stimulating green change within the city. What better way to experience such community activity than to visit Bristol Green Doors open homes weekend on 13-14 September 2014 and let the householders speak for themselves?
Top 3 resources
-Bristol Green Doors case studies: These studies of the households featured in our open homes events detail the energy saving measures installed, the costs and benefits of each and their widely varying characteristics such as age, size and build type. Browse the selection to find property types matching your own home.
-Green Open Homes Network: visit www.greenopenhomes.net for information on Green Open Homes events across the country.
-People: the expertise of our householders, sponsors and partners is our most valuable resource. Find those in your community who have installed technologies of interest or have similar style properties for the some well-tailored advice.
The Community Energy Coalition (CEC) formed in 2011 and runs the Community Energy Fortnight.
The CEC is made up of 36 members, from of a wide range of organisations and charities, including Forum for the Future, Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and Co-operative Energy.
The fortnight hopes to inspire and educate people about the benefits of clean, green energy and encourages community groups to set up their own projects.
The public can see renewable energy projects close up with a variety of events and open days held across the UK from September 13–28.
Photo: Bristol Green Doors