Lewes Eco Open Houses

We try and hold this event annually, depending on resources; both human and financial. Private houses open up to the public to demonstrate at first hand what can be achieved and pass on the benefit of their experience. These are houses where the owners have taken steps to seriously reduce carbon emissions and also reduce their energy bills. In many cases there have been reductions of 80 or 90% whilst making houses warmer. Take a look…



LED Lighting

Confused about lightbulbs and what to buy? Is it worth changing your existing ones for LED? 

  Read this excellent new guide: 
LED Lighting: A Beginner’s Guide (2016)
by one of our local Eco Open House hosts, Jill Goulder.

And a reminder that she also has a guide to neat and easy-to-install secondary glazing, including a useful video


Rockets in Cooksbridge: the rationale behind installing a rocket mass heater in Cooksbridge – keeping warm, keeping fossil fuels in the ground, keeping alive an old technology for a modern age. By Doreen du Boulay

  Rocket mass heaters are old technology; they have regained popularity in continental Europe as they use a renewable source of energy – wood – and can be adapted to fit the available space. My house has low ceilings but a brick fireplace to accommodate the rocket and its bench. Read more…




SNUG is a Transition Town Lewes enterprise, providing draught proofing services and workshops across East Sussex. Whether you want to draught proof your home yourself, or want an expert to do it, we’re here to help. more…

Snug Draught Busting Workshop 2013
On Saturday 19th October Snug held the first of their seasonal Draught Busting Workshops in Lewes. It was a fun, productive and buzzing morning with 15 eager participants learning and sharing useful DIY and draught proofing skills.  The workshop covered how to install durable, high quality draught proofing strips to a timber framed sash window and an external door.  We also shared tips, demos and advice on secondary magnetic glazing, seasonal glazing film (like cling film but stronger) chimney balloons, floorboard insulation fillers, door and letter box brushes, reflective radiator panels plus other draught proofing solutions and ideas too. As a follow up after the Workshop participants were sent a draught busting manual about the products and how to install them, and were also able to purchase the draught proofing materials at low cost directly from us.

What is the Energy group?

It’s a fricassee of high energy individuals who get together to discuss and find ways of reducing the town’s reliance on fossil fuels, re-localising our energy supplies and cutting energy consumption – in response to peak oil and climate change. Local resilience is the way forward.

How can I reduce my reliance on fossil fuels?
Reducing your energy consumption, as a householder or local business, is a great starting point. As a community we need to encourage the use of renewable forms of power, and enable the production of local renewable schemes to generate renewable power. Localising our energy supply is one of our main aims for building a more resilient future.

Welcome to OVESCo
We’ve set up an Industrial Provident Society, OVESCo which has been giving energy advice and administering Lewes District Council’s grants for insulation, heating and  renewables. OVESCo is also actively seeking potential roof space to lease for community PV systems, and looking at suitable sites for hydroelectric generation and for wind turbines.

See: Home tips for saving money & helping the environment – it’s a good check-list of things to do, most of which are very simple and inexpensive.

Below are a couple of events organised by the Energy group:

The 2010 Lewes Energy Fair – June 2010 
The Energy Fair was successfully held for the third year. There was a wide range of stalls run by local installers promoting solar thermal, PV, heat pumps, wood fuel, good insulation for homes and also building or renting an Earthship. OVECSo gave out information on the Lewes District Council’s grants and loans. OVESCo also promoted a home energy advice service, which for a fee includes a home survey for a home report on how make you home more energy efficient.

The Open Energy House Weekend – June 2010
The aim of the Open Energy House weekend was to help people to save money, protect the environment, reduce their carbon footprints and safeguard against future fuel shortages. About 250 people visited 13 open houses in and around Lewes to find out what others are doing, and what they could do themselves to make their houses more energy efficient and cheaper to run – as well as reducing their impact on the environment. 

TTL Energy Group images

Draughtbusting Day – February 2010
One household draughtproofed their home, invited people to visit and members of the Energy Group helped giving advice on methods of draughtproofing. More here…

Future Projects
The Energy group is looking at ways of providing advice on domestic energy efficiency, such as energy surveys or running classes to help people make effective changes to their lifestyles and homes. Another potential project is to investigate the supply of firewood in the district and set up a local depot for the supply and purchase of firewood.  Schemes to provide wood based heat and power are also being considered.

If you’re interested in any of these projects or have any ideas of your own, please join us. We meet every 3 weeks or thereabouts and have a wide variety of people who get involved in what we do.

Contact: Chris Rowland or Julia Waterlow

Further Reading

ED Milliband at TT confrence 2009 listen to the interview here

Click here for further details of the 2010 Open house event: ECO-HOUSES