Homeowners across west Dorset will be opening their doors to the public this weekend to share tips on how they have switched to a greener way of living.

Starting this Saturday and over two weekends, 16 homes will be taking part in Transition Town Bridport’s Greener Homes event.

Four of the homes are self-build new homes and two are still under construction, using modern materials and techniques to insulate the houses and to heat them. Six homes have heat pumps, which extract heat from the ground or from the air, and two of the houses are heated with geothermal energy, with cold water being pumped down some 50 metres and returning hot. Most of the homes have PV solar panels to generate their own electricity.

A spokesman for the event said: “Creating energy-efficient homes does not need to cost too much money. John and Debbie have double-glazed their windows for less that £20 each, while Arnold collects his rainwater in cheap tanks, filtered through a tea strainer. Chris designed and constructed his home himself with the help of three friends, the beautiful home costing £36,000 to build.

“Most of our energy savings can come from growing vegetables, using an electric car, harvesting rainwater and living in town where a car is not needed. Retrofitting insulation in old houses is another approach which is showcased in several of the homes.

“Talking to the hosts and sharing their experience can be very informative and inspiring. Several of the people who went on to build in west Dorset have spoken of the useful lessons they learnt by speaking to knowledgeable homeowners about what went well and what didn’t.”

The homes will be open on Saturday and Sunday, as well as September 21 and 22.

For more information and a list of the homes open, visit transitiontownbridport.co.uk