Beyond Solar in Colorado

There are many energy-saving, resource-conserving, money-saving, energy-efficient, and just plain smart strategies for reducing a building’s carbon footprint.

Andrea Dumais

ASES intern Andrea Dumais hangs from a photovoltaic canopy used to charge an electric vehicle at one of the solar homes on the Golden Solar tour. Photo credit: Carly Rixham

 

It’s called a tour of solar homes, but the 3rd Annual Golden Solar Tour held Oct. 4, was more than that.

Solar technologies and strategies are critical to creating a more sustainable world, but they are most effective as part of a larger, more holistic approach to sustainability.

This year, Golden tour organizers made a conscious effort to include only properties that demonstrated this holistic approach.

 

 

This charming and colorful standalone sunspace was one of the 11 solar sites solar enthusiasts visited on the Golden Solar tour.  Photo credit: Andrea Dumais

This charming and colorful standalone sunspace was one of the 11 solar sites solar enthusiasts visited on the Golden Solar tour. Photo credit: Andrea Dumais

The 11 homes and one business on the tour demonstrated to the 250 paying visitors—50 percent more than last year—that there are many energy-saving, resource-conserving, money-saving, energy-efficient, and just plain smart strategies for reducing a building’s carbon footprint.

The larger turnout was thanks in part to a Denver Post feature article the day of the tour that touted the electric and hybrid vehicle roundup.

A dozen or more electric and plug-in vehicles were on hand, including Teslas, Chevy Volts, Nissan Leafs, and a Ford Focus.

Realtor Jim Smith gave about 25 lucky tour participants a ride in his 2014 Tesla.

 

Carly Rixham, ASES Executive Director, learns about the details of solar-powered radiant floor heating at a house on the Golden Solar tour. Photo credit: Andrea Dumais

Carly Rixham, ASES Executive Director, learns about the details of solar-powered radiant floor heating at a house on the Golden Solar tour. Photo credit: Andrea Dumais

The Golden Solar Tour was cosponsored by the Colorado Renewable Energy Society (an ASES chapter) and Golden Earth Days.

If you own or know of a property in the Golden area with multiple solar and sustainability features that might be appropriate for next year’s tour, please contact Sheila Townsend at sheilatownsend@q.com.

For more information, visit goldensolartour.org.

Maureen McIntyre is the editor and publisher of SOLAR TODAY. Special thanks to Sheila Townsend for information about the Golden Solar Tour.

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