Information on how to reduce your home's carbon footprint will be shared through a week of events.

For the sixth year, 14 homes around Bridport, Dorchester, Beaminster, Lyme Regis and surrounding areas will be opening their doors.

The event, organised by Transition Town Bridport, provides an opportunity to ask a neighbour about an energy saving improvement that they've made, and to see whether they can replicate that in their own home.

EcoHomes tend to be well insulated,and generate renewable energy from solar panels, sustainable wood stoves or geothermal boreholes, and may be made of low-impact materials.

A spokesman for Transition Town Bridport said: "As more than 25 per cent of our energy and carbon footprint is from our homes, this is an important avenue for fighting climate change, and perhaps adapting to it as well.

"Most people assume this means that you have to have deep pockets to achieve an efficient house, in fact many of these involve a simpler lifestyle and reducing waste at no extra cost.

"The main problem with renewable energy is that the supply is not constant. The sun doesn't shine at night, and the wind cannot be relied on.

"Clearly a sustainable economy requires a way of storing energy. Four of these homes have installed battery storage to use solar-generated electricity at night."

Some of the homes are new to Open EcoHomes.

Forest Farm in Monkton Wyld has been expanded by the owners using green wood and traditional timber frame construction, using wood grown on their own land.

Marles Farm near Wayton will showcase how to renovate an old farmhouse to modern standards of insulation and comfort while retaining all the features of the original building and satisfying conservation officers.

The New Hive in Ryall uses geothermal energy from two boreholes to heat the house, as does Yeldon in Higher Eype.

Other homes demonstrate aquaponics (growing fish and vegetables together), permaculture, electronic switching, electric cars, pellet boilers, green roofs and rainwater recovery.

The spokesman said: "In all these homes, the visitor will find enthusiastic and well-informed hosts willing to explain their journey, what went well and what they would do different.

"It is hard not to be inspired by them."

Events for Open EcoHomes will take place from Saturday, September 22 until Sunday, September 30.

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