Visit energy efficient houses during Ottery’s Environment Week

A selection of homes situated in Ottery St Mary are opening their doors to the public on the 5-6th October in order to the showcase the energy saving ideas and technology they are employing. These open days aim to show visitors just how easy it is to have an energy efficient home and to save money by doing so.

This event, called Open Homes, is a key part of Sustainable Ottery’s Environment Week, which is running from the 5th to the 12th October. Other events cookery demonstrations from Tim Maddams, the head chef at River Cottage and the Rusty Pig’s Robin Rea. They will be working with the schoolchildren of Ottery to show them what can be done with unusual ingredients. Other highlights include stalls, demonstrations and speakers.

Supported by Ready for Retrofit, a programme run by the Energy Saving Trust, the Open Homes Energy weekend has been set up to inspire visitors to become more energy aware and find out how to use new technologies in the home

Ranging from energy monitors that feed information to your PC through to solar panels and a ground source heat pump, there will be a variety of technologies to see installed and working with the householders on hand to explain how their installations work for them.

Jon Rattenbury, Ready for Retrofit Manager said: “Open Homes is a great opportunity for visitors to find out for themselves the benefits how new energy efficiency and microgeneration technologies work in the home and how much they can save, instead of only seeing it on TV.

“Ready for Retrofit helped out with advice and basic training as part of our remit is to support community organisations. We felt this was a brilliant showcase for local businesses and installers to meet the public and encourage other householders to take their first steps into becoming more energy efficient and even begin generating their own power.”

Tim Maddams, who now runs his own company, Green Sauce is also the keynote speaker at Ottery’s Environment Day on the 12thOctober, which marks the end of the week’s activities. He is familiar to viewers having worked with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on his River Cottage TV series, but has also worked for Alistair Little and Marco Pierre White.

Other events include a trip to Bicton Earth (10th) to see renewable energy technologies in action and an exhibition (12th) with speakers from the Met Office, You-gen and local food producers. Visitors can also view an eco-house under construction and a vegetable oil powered car.

Rupert Bannister, Chair of Sustainable Ottery said: “We are very excited about Ottery Environment Week. We’ve brought together a series of events that will appeal to everyone from the chefs getting involved with our schoolchildren to seeing technology in action in the home.

“We have focussed on food and energy security which are fundamentally important in this difficult economic climate, with soaring prices and the danger of brownouts when energy demand outstrips supply.

“The aim of the week is to inspire people. Becoming energy efficient doesn’t just help the environment but can save money. We want to show how easy it can be to make the switch from just consuming energy to actually generating it ourselves.”

Ottery Environment Week has been sponsored by Ottery St Mary Town Council, Gilbert & Stephens Solicitors, Recycle in Ottery (Rio) and Sustainable Energy Across Common Spaces (SEACS).

To find out more about Ottery Environment week, please visit

For more information on Ready for Retrofit please visit .

Ready for Retrofit

Ready for Retrofit is a three-year project offering a new funding opportunity for social landlords in the south west of England (except Cornwall) to improve the energy efficiency of their existing stock. The aim of the project is to grow the local supply chain for low carbon building retrofit by stimulating demand and supporting local SME businesses, in order to create a sustainable domestic energy efficiency and microgeneration sector. We are also helping to grow the market locally by working with local authorities and community groups.


The Ready for Retrofit project is part financed by the SW Competitiveness European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit