Eldorado Solar Forum and Home Tour – March 24-25th, 2012 – 10am – 3 pm

ELDORDO SOLAR FORUM AND SOLAR HOME TOUR WEEKEND

March 24th and 25th

Eldorado has an amazing history as a solar community.  As we look ahead, we have many great opportunities to move from passive to active solar.  The upcoming Solar Forum will help inform and equip Eldorado area residents as we take steps to become more sustainable, more energy independent and to save some green as we GO GREEN!

Come to this educational solar forum and home tour created and organized by SERA (Sustainable Eldorado Residence Alliance) and co-sponsored by the ECIA, the Sierra Club, and La Tienda that will be presented on Saturday, March 24th, from 1 to 4pm at the Performance Space in La Tienda.  The home tour will be held on Sunday, March 25th from 10 to 3 consisting of 9 homes to give everyone an opportunity to see a wide variety of solar solutions and talk to the homeowners about their system.  This promises to be a very instructive and enlightening weekend for anyone who has been considering adding solar to their homes.  Please come early as we expect a capacity crowd!

The forum format will consist of 4 workshops; solar photovoltaics (PV), solar thermal, solar financing and cost benefits, and conservation and usage.  Each workshop will be facilitated by specialists in that respective field and will be 45 minutes in duration. Forum attendees can choose any two workshops to attend.  After the workshops, the workshop leaders will participate on a panel where they will answers questions from the audience.

Here is a more detailed description of what each workshop will cover:

Solar Photovoltaic (PV):

Instructor:  Xubi Wilson, Renewable Energy Programs Coordinator, Santa Fe Community College

Xubi will cover a basic description of a photovoltaic system and its components including:

  • The various configurations from off grid to grid tied to battery backup and hybrid systems
  • Site considerations including sun availability
  • Aesthetics, safety, mounting systems and expense of installation
  • Sizing a system and potential for expansion (including expanding for that electric car you have been eyeing)
  • System economics – incentives and tax credits

Solar Thermal Systems

Instructor:  Peter Page, co-founder of AMEnergy, conducts project consultations, system design and selection, and installation of equipment for thermal energy systems.

Peter will be orienting the audience to Solar Thermal Technology (most confuse it with Solar Photovoltaics) and the various applications in which it can function and help save on energy costs.  Topics include:

  • What is Solar Thermal?
  • Solar Thermal vs. Solar Photovoltaic (PV)
  • Solar Thermal Applications (domestic hot water, integrated space heating)
  • Mounting Options / Aesthetics and Functions
  • Economics and Benefits of Solar Thermal Technology including tax credits

Financing Options and Cost Benefits: 3 segments

1) Solar Financing Options

Instructor: Rob Lochner, Homewise loan agent

Rob will give an overview of the Homewise energy efficiency and renewable energy lending program.

  • How does the program work?
  • Who qualifies?
  • What are the rates and terms?
  • What types of home improvements can be funded with Homewise funding?

2) Deciding to Go Solar – Cost and Benefits, Selecting System Size

Instructor: Craig O’Hare, Santa Fe County Energy Programs Specialist, Public Utilities Division

Solar photovoltaic (i.e. electric) systems have dropped nearly half in price in the last five years.  But homeowners are still faced with challenging questions in deciding to go solar.

  • How big of a system size makes sense?
  • What if I transition to electric vehicles in the future?
  • What about financing? Are the federal, state and utility incentives going to be around much longer?
  • How long is the “pay-back” period?
  • What will a system do to the value of my home?

3) Current and future prospects for financing renewable energy projects in Santa Fe County

Instructor: Kathy Holian, Santa Fe County Commissioner

Kathy will provide an update and the role the County will play in such things as:

  • Municipal utilities
  • Assessment-based financing
  • Revolving loan funds, and more

Conservation and Usage

Instructors: Jan Deligans and Amy Bertelli, local energy conservation experts

This talk will cover the basics of energy conservation and how to conserve effectively. Bring a few months of your electric bill and Jan and Amy will help you analyze your own situation. Topics included:

  • How electricity is measured – what is a kilowatt hour?
  • What is the average usage and how does my usage compare?
  • How much energy do different appliances use?
  • How to use a kilowatt meter and analyze the cost effectiveness of changing appliances to energy star.
  • How to buy an energy efficient refrigerator.
  • What would it cost if I conserved first?

 Eldorado Solar Home Tour

Sunday, March 25th, 10am to 3pm

The Eldorado solar home tour will give everyone a chance to see a wide variety of solar solutions and talk with the home owners about the process of integrating solar energy into their homes. The homes have been chosen as examples of sustainable living and also feature energy savings through creative water catchment, window insulation, food gardens, passive solar use and much more. There are 9 homes on the tour.

Click here for full information on each of the homes. Under the link “Listings” you can print out a page with the listings and addresses. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore Eldorado’s renewable energy pioneers. This will be your chance to see real results in your own home town.

For more information about SERA and the solar forum, please contact Marilynn Jacobs, 466-6707 mkjsantafe@comcast.net JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING or Don McAvinchey, perfectlifecoach@gmail.com JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING

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