Demonstration homes and open homes

Community Energy Efficiency Toolkit

Demonstration properties and open eco-homes events are two different approaches to enabling people to see energy saving and renewable energy technologies in-situ.

  • Open eco- homes events enable people to see measures installed in people’s homes and to talk directly to host householders about their experiences and decisions. This can address concerns and encourage people to take similar steps themselves. Open homes events raise the visibility of sustainable energy and lifestyles already happening in an area and can be used to raise awareness of your project.
  • Demonstration properties are often used by social landlords to show tenants how their homes will be after carrying out improvement works. A demonstration eco-home can be used to showcase more ambitious retrofit measures or multiple measures in one home. A demonstration home would ideally include some interpretation to explain measures and their impacts on householders/energy bills.

Useful for:

Open eco homes

  • A variety of audiences where people may already have an interest in energy saving and renewable energy
  • ‘Able to pay’ audiences
  • If you want to encourage renewable energy and more expensive energy efficiency measures
  • If you have good local examples of domestic installations
  • People who may be uncertain or concerned about the implications of installing measures

Demonstration homes

  • Local authorities and social housing providers undertaking refurbishment
  • If your target audience are reluctant to install measures or make behaviour changes
  • If you want to monitor a family/demonstrate longer term impacts and changes
  • People who may be uncertain or concerned about the implications of installing measures

Download the full Open Homes and Demonstration Homes module of the Community Energy Efficiency Toolkit

Download an overview of how communities have delivered open homes events and demonstration homes under the Big Lottery’s Communities Living Sustainably programme.


Further info

Cumbria Action for Sustainability has produced case studies and advice sheets from their Green Build Festival, delivered through Sustain Eden under the Big Lottery’s Communities Living Sustainably programme.

Centre for Sustainable Energy has produced a comprehensive set of guidance on running ‘Green Open Homes’ events.

Green Open Homes provide a one-stop shop access to open homes, events and advice for organisers. They can assist community groups with demonstrating achievements, with the aim of encouraging others to act.

Carbon Coop have produced a Retrofit Factfile.


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