After being in our homes more than usual with Covid-19, it’s a good time to plan how to improve them. Can you make yours more comfortable and energy efficient for the coming winter?

The upcoming government Green Homes Grant offers homeowners and landlords grants up to £5,000 covering two-thirds of the cost of many home energy improvements. It goes live at the end of September and unfortunately it closes at the end of March, which is a ridiculously short time span, needing quick action when you can apply!

To help with home energy improvements, Cambridge Carbon Footprint is running an Autumn Season of Open Eco Homes online Talks and Tours, after 10 years doing this live. There will be talks on Insulation and Heat Pumps, which could attract a Green Homes grant, covering practical details and next steps. There’s also a talk on the Green Homes Grant on 21st September, with the latest information and advice on the eligible improvements, preferably in the context of a whole house plan, and how to choose a registered installer, of whom there are currently far too few.

Online home tours start mid-September with volunteer homeowners showing and discussing how they’ve made delightful, low energy homes.  You can see measures for energy-efficiency and comfort in a real home and hear what the homeowner thinks of them.  Of these 8 local homes, some are new builds (one is a self-build), while most are older houses that have been retrofitted (some with lots of DIY) to be comfortable without much heating.  There’s a Victorian family home with 21st century insulation and a factory-made house that was built in 3 days.  With this variety of tours, if you’re a homeowner, you’ll find ideas, inspiration and information to help you improve yours.

See details on and register for free 1 hour online tours and talks.

By Tom Bragg – a version of this blog post first appeared in the Cambridge Independent on the 19th August 2020