Taking place on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 November, the Open Homes event will enable visitors to learn how to make their own homes warmer and reduce their bills. In the face of the climate emergency and rising bills, residents of the open homes will share their knowledge of how measures they’ve used work, which businesses they used, what the process was like, and how much it cost them.

Visitors will be able to see a wide variety of homes, spanning Georgian, listed, Victorian, modern and art deco, showcasing energy saving features including solar panels, heat pumps, wall and floor insulation and bio diverse gardens and vegetable growing. Many open homes will also demonstrate effective low-cost DIY measures so visitors with a range of budgets for their own energy saving journey can find inspiration from realistic solutions.

Green Open Homes B&NES builds on the success of a series of Open Homes events from 2011-14. These events were very well attended, attracting over 700 home visits each time. With the cost of living and energy crisis expected to impact householders again this winter, 2023 is an important year to re-start the event.

The event is supported by our Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, providing support from academic expertise and an opportunity for students to get experience with the range and depth of home retrofit challenges in the community.

Alongside the Open Homes event, written case studies of the homes are being created, with expert support from the University, to share the learning further. All case studies will be available form the Green Open Homes website along with a range of resources and guidance. Visit the website to find the map of open homes and to plan your visit.

Professor Andrew Heath, Head of the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, said: “We are delighted to support this event as a fantastic opportunity for us to continue our work in supporting the transformation of our built environment in line with sustainability principles. The architecture of Bath presents many interesting challenges for energy-efficiency retrofit programmes and we hope that our experience will enable and empower homeowners to take effective action on this.”

Pete Phelps, Climate Action Project Lead, said: “Supporting our local community in its transition to net zero, as we do so ourselves, is a fundamental aspect of our Climate Action Framework. We hope that it will also support our staff and students – as with residents across B&NES, at Bath our colleagues and students want to see and be part of transformational change to fight the climate crisis and we also know that it can be a real challenge for them to do this alongside other priorities, such as dealing with the rising cost of living. This project offers us a small but significant way to effectively support tackling these challenges.”

Nicola Passam, Project Manager for Green Open Homes BANES, said: "The Green Open Homes weekend plays such an important part of helping people start their energy saving journey. It can be hard to know where to start, or what is best for your home, but this weekend provides a really tangible way of getting going, with the added benefit of speaking to people who have been through the process."

Volunteers needed

Are you an energy-efficiency or buildings enthusiast, concerned by climate change or the cost of living or simply want to support a local community event? Volunteers are needed to support homeowners and to welcome and chat to visitors. They will help run this large and successful event where hundreds of residents will become inspired to take action on their own homes, saving energy and carbon emissions. If you are interested in volunteering in this capacity, please complete the expression of interest form.

Green Open Homes B&NES is being led by Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE) in partnership with Bath & North East Somerset Council, Buro Happold, Bath Preservation Trust and Transition Bath.