Image credit: ASES
Largest Grassroots Solar Event in America: Register Now!
Imagine 140,000 people participating in a national tour of solar-powered homes and institutions - all in one day. That's what happened last year at the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) National Solar Tour - and this year looks set to be even bigger. Whether it's DIY solar homes and solar cars, new homes with solar as standard, or utility-scale multi-megawatt solar installations, TreeHugger is not short of stories about how solar power is leading us away from fossil fuel dependence and helping to stem climate change. But while change is beginning to happen, it's not happening anywhere near fast enough. That's why the ASES tour is so important - getting people in front of real, live solar installations, showing them how they work, and encouraging folks to go solar themselves. Read on to find out how you can participate. This year ASES has created an online registration tool for the National Solar Tour to help communities across the U.S. participate in what is says is the largest grassroots solar event in America.
This year's National Solar Tour is slated for October 3, 2009. Now in its 14th year, the ASES National Solar Tour provides free organizational support, signage and logistical insights for thousands of green building, civic and environmental groups interested in conducting tours to highlight the solar-powered solutions benefitting their communities. ASES also provides 100,000 "Get Started" solar buyer's guides for the individuals participating in this year's tour. According to pre- and post-tour surveys, 44% of those taking the tour are interested in purchasing clean energy technology for their homes. After the tour, that number jumps to an astounding 73%.
Burns, whose office is dominated by a U.S. map touting push pins that represent the thousands of tours he supports across the U.S., hosts monthly conference calls for tour organizers to offer logistical support, marketing and sponsorship tips, while encouraging organizers to share best practices to optimize turnout.
"People interested in contributing to this effort should be thinking about how they wish to be involved. The time to start planning for a successful tour is now; the time to register your tour — or to join a tour already slated for your community — is today," he said.
The tour has traditionally focused on residential solar projects - but with more and more businesses and public institutions going solar, the decision was made to expand to cover these types of projects too. Boulder County will be the first public agency showcased on the tour, which has installed 615 kilowatts (kW) of solar electric equipment on eight county buildings in partnership with Conergy (the folks who created the much talked about thin-film versus crystalline solar installation in California).