The Economic Impact of Bristol Green Doors

In May 2012 Dr Matthew Cole of the University of Bristol published research exploring The Economic Impact of Bristol Green Doors. This research draws some conclusions bound to be useful to other green open home networks.

121 people who visited Bristol Green Door open house events responded to an initial survey and 57 of these completed a follow up survey. The following are some of the conclusions drawn from the results.

1. Respondents tend to display relatively privileged social characteristics
This was manifested in high levels of household income, high rates of home ownership, an age distribution skewed towards late middle age.

2. Most respondents visited more than one home
Over two thirds of respondents visited two or more homes, suggesting high levels of commitment to BGD among respondents.

3. Follow-up events were poorly attended by respondents
Contrastingly, just under 1 in 8 respondents attended any of the ten follow-up events.

4. Local independent traders were by far the most popular
Local independent traders were chosen by 7 in 10 of respondents.

5. BGD made little impact on choice of trader
But, choice of trader was largely informed by prior knowledge.

6. Est. £233,326 spent on home improvements by respondents since BGD (after 15 months)
This estimate remains conservative.

7. BGD raised aspirations to undertake high cost improvements
BGD appeared to have raised aspirations among many respondents to undertake high cost improvements such as solar PV microgeneration and biomass heating.

8. BGD raised awareness and concern and empowered respondents to act
Raised awareness of energy-saving home improvements is the single most striking finding of the survey.

9. Direct householder contact especially valued by respondents
Free text responses suggested considerable ‘warmth’ towards the BGD experience among respondents, and emphasized the value of meeting householders and seeing home improvements ‘in the flesh’, as one respondent put it.