More and more signs are going up on homes around the Hill. I’m not seeing “for sale” signs, though. I’m seeing signs from solar panel contractors and new installations of photovoltaic (PV) panels. It’s very inspiring and gives me hope that solar energy is more attainable than it ever has been. If you’re interested in seeing these installations first-hand as well as learning about other alternative energy sources available to homeowners, mark your calendars for the Capitol Hill Solar & Sustainable Home Tour & Fair on Saturday, October 16. The tour and fair is hosted by the Capitol Hill Energy Cooperative.
Ten houses on the Hill will be featured on the tour, which runs from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m Each tour location will allow participants to see the actual solar installation or photos of it where inaccessible, and hear about the energy generation each home has produced to-date. Four community gardens and one rain garden will also be featured on the tour. Participants can purchase tickets for the tour in advance at several Hill locations, including Frager’s Hardware, Hill’s Kitchen, Riverby Books, or Coldwell Banker. Advance tickets will also be available at Eastern Market October 9 and 10. Advance tickets can be exchanged for a tour guide book at the fair starting at noon on October 16; the guide serves as admission at tour locations. Tickets or guides are $5 per household.
If you’d rather concentrate your learning in one place, the Fair may be more your speed. Hill residents who have switched to solar power will be on-hand to talk about their experiences, along with more than thirty vendors and exhibitors featuring solar energy systems, wind power, green roofs, sustainable landscaping, and even a solar-powered car. The fair is free and open to the public and will be held from noon to 2:00 p.m. at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212 East Capitol Street NE.
For those of you who also wish to take part in the Capitol Hill Renovators Tour (to be held on the same day), know that a ticket to the Renovators Tour also will get you into the Solar Tour locations. Purchase a ticket to the Solar Tour and receive a coupon for $5 off admission to the Renovators Tour.
October 16 will be a big day for residential architecture and alternative energy on the Hill. Maybe you’ll be inspired to make some energy changes of your own!