Up Close & Renewable: Solar Homes on Display

Tomorrow, October 6, thousands of Americans will open their energy efficient, solar, wind and renewable energy powered homes and businesses to show their community how to incorporate energy saving technologies into their own lives.

Hundreds of local organizations in partnership with the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) are coordinating what has become the largest demonstration of installed renewable energy technologies and energy efficient building practices in the country, the National Solar Tour.

Most tours are scheduled on Saturday, October 6, 2007 with tours from September through November included. To find business and homes on display in your area click here.

Visit the Solar Village in DC
From October 12 through October 20, teams from 20 of the world’s leading universities will transform the National Mall in Washington, DC into a solar village.  The teams are part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) third Solar Decathlon.

University-led teams will come from across the U.S., Spain, Germany, and Canada to design, build, and operate the most efficient and attractive solar-powered homes.  Many of the solar power and building technologies that will be showcased on the National Mall are currently available for purchase and use. Teams have worked for more than two years designing, building and testing their homes—this competition is the culmination of that work.

The Decathlon’s prototype solar homes are zero-energy, yield zero carbon, and will include the latest high-tech solutions and money-saving benefits to consumers, without sacrificing comfort, convenience, and aesthetics.  Each house must also produce enough “extra” energy to power an electric vehicle. 

This year, in addition to the largest number of competitors ever, the Solar Decathlon will include a new contest called “Market Viability,” which will evaluate each home’s market appeal, its ability to meet expectations of potential homeowners, and cost effectiveness of construction.

The houses are open for tours weekdays from 11:00AM – 3:00PM and on weekends from 10:00AM – 5:00PM, except on Wednesday, October 17, when the village is closed for competition purposes.


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