Editor, Solar Today Magazine and Director of Communications, ASES
Why I Went Solar:
Photo Credit: CenturyRoofandSolar
5Ws of the Tour:
- WHAT is the National Solar Tour (NST)? The National Solar Tour is the world’s largest grassroots solar event. Now in its 17th year, it is a coalition of over 5,500 home and business owners, volunteers, solar installers, public officials and grassroots organizations who conduct open house tours of their energy efficient and solar-powered buildings. The sheer numbers of those involved – and the enthusiasm and participation the tour gains each year – make the National Solar Tour more than an event – it is a movement. Last year, over 165,000 people across 50 U.S. states, Mexico and Puerto Rico participated.
- WHEN does the NST occur? Regional tours affiliated with NST run from May through October, with the bulk of tours taking place on or about October 6, 2012. Some tours (like Alaska’s) take place earlier in the year to avoid inclement weather. Others are scheduled on different dates so as not to conflict with perennial local events.
- WHERE are tours scheduled? Tours are being scheduled in 50 U.S. states, Mexico and Puerto Rico. To locate tours across the U.S., Puerto Rico and Mexico, visit the “Find A Tour” section of the solar tour site. Tours in the US are listed on a clickable map and by state (in alphabetical order). Note: Don’t see a tour in your area? Think about organizing one – or please check back, as many tour organizers are in the planning stages and have yet to register their tours. ASES National Solar Tour Manager Ariel Braude can help.
- WHO participates in the National Solar Tour? The National Solar Tour is organized by the team at the non-profit American Solar Energy Society (ASES), who’s been in the business of educating Americans about the benefits and viability of solar energy for over 50 years. But the engine that drives this movement is the more than 400 grassroots organizations, installers and non-profits who locally coordinate sponsor, and promote these open houses. Also the home and business owners who share their personal solar experiences and educate others about the benefits of energy-efficient living is who makes this event a success.
- WHY does the National Solar Tour matter? There are many reasons why solar energy matters to all Americans. Billions of dollars have been invested in the new Clean Energy Economy which will drive energy independence, national security, and job creation. Renewable energy allows homeowners to drastically reduce their monthly energy bills. This industry creates green jobs that will boost America’s economy. The U.S. sends $24 billion each month to foreign nations but this money can be used to keep energy clean and domestic instead. The National Solar Tour allows citizens across America to be solar inspired with the remarkable progress this industry has made. And American’s have a voice in how they get their energy and the Tour allows people to learn about the issues and solutions our energy economy faces.