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18 Dorset homes open to the public to demonstrate sustainable living

PUBLISHED: 10:59 02 September 2014 | UPDATED: 10:59 02 September 2014

Solar panels & solar conservatory at Manor Road

Solar panels & solar conservatory at Manor Road

Archant

Do you want to know how to keep warm and keep the lights on while paying less for your bills and even being paid to generate energy?

Eighteen local residents in Bridport, Lyme and surrounding villages will be opening their homes to the public to share information about how they have made their homes energy efficient, and energy generating between 12th – 14th September as part of an Open Ecohomes weekend.

Visitors will get the chance to see a whole range of measures, some very straightforward and inexpensive, others surpising and innovative. They can talk to people who have used traditional building materials such as lime and hemp, straw-bale constructions, as well as solar panels, rainwater harvesting, and wind turbines. Three of the properties are totally off-grid using only the electricity they generate onsite.

The event has been organised by Transition Town Bridport and Turn Lyme Green, in collaboration with Dorset Architectural Heritage Week. Open Ecohomes is part of the Communities Living Sustainably in Dorset (CLS) project, which is supported by the Big Lottery Fund.

Sam Wilberforce, from Transition Town Bridport, says “We are delighted to welcome visitors to these properties and really appreciate the hosts opening their homes. Last year we had over 800 visits, and hope to welcome as many again this year”.

Emily Bullock, Greener Choices Co-ordinator for CLS says, “we hope that this weekend will inspire visitors to make changes in their own homes and lifestyles. There is nothing like learning from someone who has first-hand experience and can tell you what they would do differently next time! So do go along and be inspired, and don’t let your circumstances put you off – the homes that are open include those owned and rented, fairly standard homes and bungalows, properties built from scratch, and listed buildings. Some of the hosts were on a tight budget and salvaged building materials from other projects or even the tip! Even if you are not in a position to do something to your home, there will be plenty of tips on simple no cost ways of saving energy and water, or how to make your garden productive”.

The event is free to attend, but some properties need to be booked in advance. For full details of the properties pick up our Open Ecohomes brochure or a Dorset Architectural Heritage Week brochure from your local library or Tourist Information Centre. Detailed descriptions of each property and booking information are available on the Transition Town Bridport website, www.transitiontownbridport.co.uk

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