Press Release - 2nd August 2013

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Lewes and district Eco Open Houses is running its fourth annual event showcasing homes that inspire with ideas for green living and cutting energy bills. It will be held on the weekends of 14th-15th and 21st-22nd September.

This year, 16 eco-friendly homes will open their doors to the public, nine for the first time.  Lewes homes will open on 14th-15th September, and Barcombe, Ditchling and surrounding villages will open on 21st-22nd September.

The inspiring homes on show range from renovated Victorian cottages to 1960's conversions and stunning architect designed new-build properties.  Properties in the villages and countryside feature exciting off grid measures such as air, ground and water source heat pumps, as well as being examples of good eco building. All have drastically cut their electricity, gas and water bills as well as carbon emissions. 

The homes are free to visit and all are welcome.  Visitors can see and hear how - with a bit of determination and imagination - it is possible to make cost effective alterations that will significantly reduce a home's energy consumption.

Further information, case studies and photos can be found on our dedicated website - - and a brochure with full details will be available from late August in local shops, the library and tourist office.

Lewes highlights include the popular Wille Cottages, a model of what can be done in a Victorian cottage, with super-insulation, magnetic strip secondary double glazing, creative use of LED lighting, and land-share vegetable growing.  An architect designed new-build property in the Wallands area features solar roof tiles and maximises passive solar gain with a glazed southern facade.

Village and countryside properties featured include Knowlands Farm Granary with a water source heat pump, large solar panel array, and sustainable woodland.  Visitors can also see The Cube, an innovative compact home that provides everything a single person might need within its 3x3x3 m interior.

Cllr Ruth O’Keefe, Mayor of Lewes, said, “Anyone who is concerned about rising gas and electricity bills will find inspiration and practical information about how to cut their fuel bills and stay warm in winter.  Cutting energy use doesn’t have to be expensive and disruptive, and there are some ingenious and cheap ideas here, such as finding the right LED lightbulbs and new secondary glazing products that are almost invisible on your windows."

Neil Williams, organiser of the event, whose Lewes home will be opened to the public on 14th and 15th September, said, “The UK’s CO2 reduction targets and ever increasing fuel prices mean that houses like these are going to have to become the norm, rather than the exception. Events like this are crucial for giving practical insights and inspiring people to follow their example.”

Notes for editors

1.  The event is organised by Transition Town Lewes Energy group in collaboration with Barcombe Energy Group and Hassocks, Keymer, Ditchling Transition.

2. Further information regarding the event is available from the organiser, Neil Williams, at [email protected]. For anything regarding publicity, please contact ´╗┐Kirsten Firth, who can be contacted via Neil.

3. Photos available from this website at

4.  Ovesco is hosting a community energy event as part of the Community Energy Fortnight at the Linklater Pavilion on Friday 6th September.  Further details available at