Promoting energy efficient lifestyles and reducing our carbon emissions is not an easy task, although vital to tackling arguably the greatest challenge facing humanity. Austerity politics tends to push green issues off the agenda.
However, saving money and saving carbon are not mutually exclusive activities. Local groups in the area are showcasing the achievements of local people in reducing their carbon footprint and saving money.
Truro Eco Energy, Fal Energy Partnership and Transition St Agnes, all local groups run by volunteers, have been awarded grants from the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) in Bristol to run Green Open Homes Events.
This is where residents who have made energy efficiency improvements or installed renewables invite others into their homes to show them what they have done and talk about the benefits and how the installation went etc. It is an informal event that is supported by the groups, but the hosts set the agenda.
“Thanks to the CSE grant many more people will be able to see eco improvements in over 10 properties in our area, from installing a couple of solar panels to living completely off grid”, said Jo Pollack, of Transition St Agnes. “We have added a bike and minibus tour, made possible by the funding, to reduce the carbon emissions of the event”.
One of the hosts, Ben, has made extensive improvements to their 1960s home, which has resulted in drastically reduced energy bills. “The children even have washing machine windows in their reclaimed play cabin”, said Ben. “We are really looking forward to sharing the highs and lows of our retrofit with people who want to do the same”.
A similar event, the first in the city, held in Truro in May attracted much interest and the groups were encouraged to build on their successes by offering a ‘Coast to Coast’ experience in the autumn.
The St Agnes area event is on 19th and 20th September and Truro and Falmouth will take place from 5th to 11th October (click on poster on right to view full size)
There will also be a talk in Truro on 14th September outlining how the south west could be totally powered by renewable energy. The speaker, Dr John Green, will present a report from the Sustainability Centre commissioned by Molly Scott Cato, MEP.
Community energy has the advantage of being controlled by the local community and having financial and social benefits to that community.
If you would be interested in opening your home and showing people what you have done and live in the area from Falmouth through to St Agnes, please email:
We are particularly interested in low cost, DIY improvements and sustainable lifestyle changes, and look forward to hearing from you.
More details www.greenopenhomes.net