Nationwide solar home tour on tap for Saturday
Homeowners interested in adding solar panels to their homes should circle Saturday’s date on the calendar.
The American Solar Energy Society’s National Solar Tour, the world’s largest grassroots solar event, will be held Oct. 2. Although some regions started early by hosting tours last week, Saturday’s event will feature more than 5,500 homes in 3,200 communities nationwide. More than 165,000 people are expected to visit some of the most innovative solar systems in the world.
“This is a terrific way for homeowners to learn from their neighbors about the benefits of going solar,” said Terri Steele, communications director for the National Solar Tour. “In addition, they get to talk to installers and homeowners about the ins and outs of installations, the kinds of savings they see, arrangements with utilities and the specific tax benefits that exist in the area.”
A recent study by ASES found that participation in the tour increased the likelihood that someone would invest in energy efficiency or renewable-energy building features. In fact, 78 percent of last year’s tour attendees expressed a desire to do so. Steele said the tour demonstrates that solar has reached a tipping point, with more people adopting it because they can see the economic benefit in doing so.
As part of the National Solar Tour, more than 200 people toured 20 green homes in Hampton Roads, Va., last weekend. As for this Saturday’s tours, one of the largest will be hosted by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association. The event is billed as the largest sustainable energy event in the Northeast, and features homes in seven states (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Pennsylvania). Last year, more than 15,000 people toured 500 green homes in the Northeast.
“In the wake of the largest man-made environmental disaster in U.S. history, learning about clean, job-creating energy options that provide tax breaks, [help] lower energy bills and create cleaner communities for all of us is something everyone can do to address America’s dangerous addiction to fossil fuels,” said Richard Burns, manager of the National Solar Tour.
“The ASES National Solar Tour is bringing families real-life examples of how their neighbors are harnessing free energy from the sun to generate electricity to warm and cool their homes and heat their water—without polluting our environment.”
ASES hosts a unique regional green house finder on its web site. Click here for a state-by-state directory of green homes included on the tour. Click here for a virtual tour of a San Diego green home that uses the latest in solar power technology.