Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Take a Tour, Then Tune Into Solar

Almost every week now, I learn about one more lodging establishment incorporating solar technology to either heat water or generate electricity. The latest one is the Irving House at Harvard in Cambridge, Mass. This month they are installing a system that will provide about 30 percent of the energy needed to heat water for the hotel. The system is expected to last 20 to 30 years.

For those of you interested in learning more about solar systems, I highly recommend participating in the 14th Annual National Solar Tour. The event will be held on October 3 all over the United States. According to the American Solar Energy Society, which is organizing this year's event, more than 150,000 people are expected to participate. Those attending this year’s tour will discover a diverse solar landscape—including solar-powered duplexes, houses, condos, businesses—even solar-powered funeral homes, schools, farms, courthouses and donut shops.

“With thousands of practical examples of how solar works in homes, businesses and public agencies similar to theirs, the National Solar Tour demystifies the allure of solar while inspiring people across the U.S. to harness its power and the many economic benefits it brings,” said Charles Hanasaki, president of Sanyo’s Energy USA Solar Division, a National Solar Tour supporter.

Solar tour locations, dates and times are listed by state at www.NationalSolarTour.org. Those attending the open-house tours will learn how to use solar and energy efficiency tactics to save on monthly utility bills, enjoy big tax incentives, improve property values, create a hedge against rising energy costs, and help preserve the environment.

For additional information on lodging establishments that are using solar technologies, go to Green Lodging News and search using the word "solar."

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