Saturday, Oct. 2

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National Solar Tour features
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[OCT. 2, 2004]  BOULDER, Colo. -- The American Solar Energy Society's ninth annual National Solar Tour kicks off today (Saturday) with more than 1,800 homes, businesses and public buildings open to visitors in 800 communities across the United States.

Participants will have the opportunity to see firsthand the successful use of many forms of renewable energy, including passive solar design, wind energy, solar hot water and solar-electric generating systems in a variety of buildings. Strategies for integrating solar into buildings and the benefits -- such as lowering electric utility costs by as much as 60 percent and increasing comfort for building residents -- will be discussed in detail.

This year's tour is expected to draw as many as 40,000 visitors nationwide. Last year, more than 33,000 people toured 1,750 homes, schools and other buildings in 45 states.

"The National Solar Tour gives people the chance to meet directly with others who have incorporated energy efficiency and solar design features in their buildings to save energy," says Brad Collins, American Solar Energy Society executive director. "Visitors can experience the comfort of increased daylight in buildings, learn about the benefits of solar and other forms of renewable energy, watch electric meters run backwards, and see the actual savings on utility bills in buildings in their community. But most importantly, they can learn from their neighbors what works in their town." 

Many local tours showcase a variety of buildings, such as traditional city and suburban homes with solar features, schools and business offices integrating passive solar design, solar hot water and solar-electric generating systems, and rural homes not connected to the public utility grid.

Tour coordinators are working in communities nationwide to organize visits to solar buildings in each area. In addition to receiving tour maps and background materials on solar energy, tour participants can talk with homeowners and business owners about why and how they integrated solar designs into their buildings.

 

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Like many of the first-time attendees on the National Solar Tour, a number of the people showing their homes or businesses knew little or nothing about solar design and solar electric generation before deciding to integrate it into their buildings. Having made the decision to go solar, building owners report satisfaction not only with their buildings and energy costs, but also with the fact that they are producing energy that does not add to global warming or cause pollution when it is imported and transported yet again.

The nearest local tour will be at Stelle on Sunday (Oct. 3). For information, visit http://www.centerforsustainablecommunity.org/
solartour.html
.

To find tours in other areas, visit www.ases.org.

About the American Solar Energy Society

The American Solar Energy Society is the nation's oldest and largest organization dedicated to advancing the use of solar energy for the benefit of U.S. citizens and the global environment. The organization promotes the widespread near-term and long-term use of solar energy, sponsors the National Solar Energy Conference, publishes Solar Today magazine and Advances in Solar Energy, publishes white papers, sponsors issue round tables in Washington, D.C., distributes solar publications, organizes a Solar Action Network, and has regional chapters nationwide. The American Solar Energy Society is the U.S. section of the International Solar Energy Society.

[News release from the
American Solar Energy Society]

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