By Julie Thibodeaux
The tour typically features around 15 homes scattered from Parker County to Rockwall County. According to organizer Mellen West, they like to include clusters of homes when possible. This year, there will be several stops in Duncanville, including Duncanville City Hall, which has installed solar panels.
(Above, a solar-powered garage with electric car on the 2012 DFW Solar Home Tour.)
A home is not required to have an expansive solar array to participate in the event. But it helps if the building includes other conservation features such as water efficient fixtures, rain collection systems or energy efficient roofing.
“We want homes that not only display solar power but include sustainable energy conservation updates,” said West.
One of the must-see stops on the tour includes Mike Renner's Weatherford home, which features a solar hot water system, a 100-foot turbine and a 7,500-gallon rain water reservoir installed by the homeowner.
“He’s a real do-it-yourselfer,” said West. “It’s a trip out there but it’s worth it.”
(Above, wind turbine at Weatherford home.)
The free tour lasts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and homeowners are expected to chat with visitors, which can range from 2 to 150 guests. More than 400 total attended last year’s event.
The free tour coincides with the National Solar Tour, now in its 18th year, organized by the American Solar Energy Society.
If you would like to participate or recommend a location, contact West at [email protected].
(Right, Irving Public Library. All photos courtesy of NTREG.)
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Julie Thibodeaux covers environmental issues, green topics and sustainable living for Green Source DFW. Previously, she worked as an editor and writer at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Contact her at [email protected]. See jthibodeaux.com.