And the 25th group to join the Federation is ... Bristol Green Doors

Bristol Green Doors is the 25th group to join the Federation of Open Home Networks!

Federation Director John Doggart said: “It's a real pleasure to welcome such an influential group on board. They've years of experience of running successful events and I’m sure their involvement in Bristol 2015 European Green Capital will make them an inspiring contributor."

The Federation held its first quarterly meeting in August 2013. At that point five groups were involved. Since then membership has grown to 25 groups. These represent over 1300 households that are actively sharing the benefits of energy saving home improvements through open days, tours, videos, articles, seminars, conversations and more.

Bristol Green Doors has flourished over the last five years under the charismatic leadership of Dan Weisselberg, Kate Watson and Tom Beale. Together they have run major projects such as the LEAF-funded Tackling the Terrace (a test bed for solid wall insulation) and the mentoring of new open homes groups as part of Ready for Retrofit and Green Open Homes, as well as annual open homes events.

Fundraising
Thanks to support from the Climate Change Collaboration (CCC) the Federation has been able to represent its members before DECC and potential sponsors and funders. The aim is to attract funding members could not normally access on their own.

Federation Chairman Andrew Warren said: “It’s vital that green open home groups attract sustainable funding over a longer time frame. We think there’s a real opportunity here for commercial sponsors as well as central government.”

Over the last year, the Federation has made grant applications, met sponsors, held member meetings and collated important research. In the first 12 months of CCC funded activity from summer 2014, the Federation succeeded in raising a further £45,000 from DECC. £37,500 of this has now been granted to green open home groups running events.

Recruitment and Representation
By growing its membership the Federation puts itself in a stronger position to negotiate sponsorship arrangements with a national commercial brand. The speed of membership growth demonstrates that the Federation is meeting a genuine need.

Research
Papers have been written on topics such as fundraising, sponsorship and visitor impacts. Visitor impact research has been collated. This yielded plentiful evidence that green open home events offering a touch and feel experience both inspire visitors and give them the confidence to green their own homes. 97% of 177 respondents to a survey by Bath Green Homes said they found their visit “useful” or “inspiring”. Around one third of all visitors are ready to invest over £5000 in energy saving improvements. These high levels of satisfaction and confidence are due to the unbiased user feedback received from real homeowners.

The Federation will be working with the National Energy Foundation and the Centre for Sustainable Energy to realise plans to help ensure a sustainable future for all green open home groups. We must secure support for this valuable grass roots activity to increase retrofits and reduce carbon emissions in the UK.

Ends 22/09/15

For more information, please phone Gordon Glass on 01908 256922 or email gordon.glass@foohns.org.uk

Notes for Editors:

Full media release here with Notes