Local politicians from all three major political parties backed Open GreenHouse: local climate change campaigners opening their homes on Sunday 10 July to show neighbours how to cut energy use. Steve Brine MP, Brian Collin, a Councillor in both Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council, and Chris Pines, a Winchester City Councillor, came together to support the campaign to cut the  carbon footprint of domestic fuel consumption.Greening Fulflood combined with Winchester Action on Climate Change (WinACC) for the third Open GreenHouse event.Visitors could see what members of the groups had done to make their homes more energy efficient, and ask questions about what, practically, they had done. Most people wanted to know how much things had cost, and whether they had  really made a difference by  keeping their house warmer, and cutting electricity and gas bills.Steve Brine commented before the event:

“I am delighted to see that once again Greening is taking the initiative, and right here where I have my constituency 'shop' in Fulflood! I am sure that many people will take a deep interest in the practicalities of installing these very smart devices and will be fascinated to hear all about the benefits, not least in terms of reducing household bills. I do congratulate the generosity of local activists on the third Open GreenHouse weekend in opening up their homes and I am only sorry that an extremely packed schedule on Sunday means I am unable to take advantage myself."

Councillor Brian Collin said:

“I think it's really important to have the whole community is involved, which is why I spent a lot of personal time helping to set up the Oliver’s Battery Greening Group.  This has already engaged the whole community where I live and has probably cut CO2 emissions by about five per cent.”

Approaches to energy-saving on display included: ·        

  • double-glazing for traditional sash windows that people find hard to tell apart from the original·        
  • insulation that goes under bare polished floorboards ·        
  • the new, high power low-energy LED light bulbs that are simple replacements for the recessed GU10 fittings in modern kitchens ·        
  • solar electricity (photovoltaic) panels that now get government subsidy, so that householders can recover their costs in about ten years and then have free electricity for life.

In all, 40 different ways to cut your carbon footprint were on display, backed up by briefings on roof, wall, and floor insulation, and government funding for renewable energy. Anyone who missed visiting the houses and wants the briefings can go to /   or ring 01962 827083.

The idea of opening local homes is catching on across Hampshire. Andover took Winchester’s idea and ran its own Open GreenHouse event recently. On the weekend of 9-11th September 2011, homes and community buildings in the New Forest will be open to anyone to see what they have done to reduce their energy requirement, to use renewable energy, to grow their own food and engage in a more sustainable lifestyle, thanks to New Forest Transition in conjunction with New Forest National Park Authority.Greening Fulflood is particularly pleased that the event attracted people from parts of Winchester that haven’t been involved before, including St Cross and Harestock. The group is meeting this week to decide on their next community project for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Anyone who’d like to join the group is welcome – contact the chair, Phil Gagg, on 01962 864956.

Notes to Editors:·  For further information, please contact Phil Gagg, Chair, Greening Fulflood on 01962 864956 email  philgandchrish@tiscali.co.uk, or Chris Holloway, Director, WinACC, 01962 827083 / 07779 283451 email press@winacc.org.uk  ·  Winchester Action on Climate Change was formed in October 2007 to engage every household and every organisation in Winchester district in cutting the carbon footprint of the district by a third by 2015.·  Greening Fulflood was founded in 2008.