Eco Show Home

Grand (eco) designs: could get grander

Good news! People who visit energy saving open homes are not just going along for the ride.

Well, that’s not entirely true. We’ve been speaking to people attending a number of open homes in the last year, and seven percent of people attending open home events did tell us they were just there for a nice day out. But an overwhelming majority (around eight out of ten) do go to get inspired in home improvement or boosting their environmental credentials.

And what’s more, our new research shows that seeing green homes first hand tends to help to quickly overcome any barriers to completing their refurbishment projects – particularly where insulation projects are concerned. 63 percent of visitors attribute some of their action to the home they visited.

The most important motivators in getting people there in the first place seem to be the chance to speak to householders about their experiences and the presence of technical advisors, as well as obviously the technologies they’ll get to have a look at in the open home in question.

Our evaluation work, showcased last week at our energy saving open homes summit, also highlighted room for improvement, if you can pardon the pun.

People would like to have the chance to speak to tradespeople about how much measures are likely to set them back when they visit an open home – future Green Deal providers, take note – and there’s an obvious need to reach beyond the pioneers who attend this kind of event.

Our research also showed it’s vital that people with green homes right across the country are inspired to let other people have a peek – geographical proximity is key, with three quarters of attendees understandably visiting from within 10 miles away.

Our summit provided lots of reasons for optimism about the role open homes have to play in greening our housing stock, highlighting some of the most successful open homes, including Brighton Eco Open House and Bristol Green Doors, and featuring some warm words from speakers including veritable eco celeb, broadcaster Penny Poyzer and Simon McWhirter, Director of Great British Refurb.

You can find out more about open homes here – and for those who are interested in inspiring others by organising an event themselves, we’ve launched the first ever energy saving open home organisers guide. You can download it from our website.