If you’re considering finally adding that passive solar water heater to your home or, maybe, a wind-generated power plant addition for your livestock barn, next month is your chance to see and hear the practical costs and implications about “going green” from local clean power pioneers.
Next month a program Clarke and Frederick County will jointly sponsor a tour to visit innovative green power applications in use at eight homes and farms in our area. Tour participants will be able to speak to property owners directly to learn more about the costs and challenges of “going green”.
“For people interested in green building the tour will provide firsthand experience on green building technologies and techniques implemented around the area” said Alison Teetor, Clarke County Natural Resource Planner. “We’re inviting interested people to come out and see the range of green building and alternative energy approaches in an eight-home driving tour of Clarke and eastern Frederick Counties.”
In 2009, consumption of renewable energy sources in the United States totaled 7.7 quadrillion Btu â€” 1 quadrillion is the number 1 followed by 15 zeros â€” or about 7% of all energy used nationally according to the US Energy Information Administration (USEIA). Over half of renewable energy goes to producing electricity. About 10% of U.S. electricity was generated from renewable sources in 2009.
USEIA says that the production and use of renewable fuels has grown more quickly in recent years as a result of higher prices for oil and natural gas, and because of a number of State and Federal Government incentives, including the Energy Policy Acts of 2002 and 2005. The use of renewable fuels is expected to continue to grow over the next 30 years, although we will still rely on non-renewable fuels to meet most of our energy needs.
“We think that the Green Homes Tour will be a good way for neighbors to see what neighbors are doing to promote sustainability and energy conversation” Teetor said.
Teetor says that alternative energy is catching on in Clarke County. Approximately 25 homes in Clarke use alternative energy applications including solar, geo-thermal, wind and sustainable design techniques.
The Green Homes Tour is self-guided. Tour participants will receive a brochure that includes a map of the eight locations and may visit the properties from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Carbon travel offsets are sponsored by the local Valley Earthfest.
“The tour offers people with a chance to speak directly with home owners, contractors and architects at the properties” Teetor said. “It will also provide an excellent opportunity to ask questions and talk about costs, savings, installation challenges and design ideas. We’re hoping that it opens up ideas that people haven’t thought about before.”
The Green Homes Tour is Saturday, October 9th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The fee is $15 per guide brochure, one brochure per vehicle. Checks can be made payable to e-Cycle. Proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity’s “Build It Green” program.
For more information contact Alison Teetor at 540.955.5134 or (ATeetor@ClarkeCounty.gov) or Jon Turkel at 540.722.8300 (JTurkel@Co.Frederick.Va.US)