National Solar Tour offers opportunity for Virginia solar homeowners to connect with their community

By Zach Schalk on August 17, 2018

This fall, solar homeowners across the nation will join together as part of the National Solar Tour. Hosted by hosted by the American Solar Energy Society and Solar United Neighbors, the Tour is the nation’s largest annual grassroots solar event. To date, more than three dozen homes around Virginia have signed up to host a solar open house during the weekend of October 6 and 7, as part of the National Solar Tour.

If you’re a solar homeowner, business owner, or have solar on your non-profit organization or place of worship and are interested in sharing your solar story with friends and neighbors, there’s still time to sign up to host your own solar open house as part of the Tour! We provide you with the support and resources you need to make sure your event is a success. The sign-up deadline for open house hosts is August 31.

Solar open houses are a great way to expand interest in solar in your community. While support for solar energy is strong and continues to grow, many people still think that going solar Is out of their reach. Inviting community members to your home to see solar power in action can play an important role in growing our solar movement!

Karen Smagala hosted a solar open house in 2017.

While this is our first year co-organizing the National Solar Tour, Solar United Neighbors has supported nearly 50 previous solar open houses around Virginia over the past few years.

Karen Smagala of Arlington, Virginia went solar as part of the Potomac Solar Co-op in 2016. She hosted a solar open house to help her friends and neighbors better understand the benefits of being a solar homeowner. She also used the opportunity to share information that might surprise some people who may be skeptical of solar power—like the fact that she often still generates more electricity than she uses even on cloudy days!

Wayne Nolde hosted a solar open house to help promote a new solar co-op in his area.

Others, like Wayne Nolde from Mount Sidney, Virginia, have used solar open houses to help build interest in solar co-ops. After going solar in 2015 with the Augusta County Solar Co-op, Wayne wanted to help more of his neighbors benefit from the solar co-op process. So he hosted a solar open house to help promote a new co-op round that launched in his area. Wayne’s commitment to community outreach and education helped make a difference in making the second co-op a success!

Be sure to find open houses on the National Solar Tour in your area by checking our Tour Locations map, RSVP for any that you would like to attend, and sign up to stay informed about the Tour as we get closer to October 6 and 7.