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A Bright Idea

House of the Sun solar tour.

May 27, 2010
Sarah Ruppenthal

On Saturday, June 5, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., the Hawai‘i PV Coalition will host its annual 2010 House of the Sun Solar Tour, offering Maui County residents a unique opportunity to learn more about photovoltaic (PV) energy, solar hot water systems and energy efficiency by touring a number of innovative, “green” residential and commercial buildings located across the Valley Isle.

This free, “self-guided” tour will provide participants with an opportunity to get “up-close-and-personal” with a number of solar installations by Rising Sun Solar & Electric, Provision Solar and Maui Solar Project at a number of residential and commercials buildings in Maui County. With some of Hawai‘i’s leading solar experts on-hand to provide information and answer questions, the daylong event will shed light on solar options available to island residents, as well as energy-saving techniques, sustainable building design, energy efficient appliances and use of green materials during construction or remodeling.

According to Maui Solar Project’s Eddie Alberton, “Attending the tour will save you time, energy and money when looking into solar. You can see what different kinds of panels and arrays look like and you can see how they might beautify your home.” But most importantly, he said, “You will be introduced to the most reputable solar companies on Maui.”

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This year’s House of the Sun Solar Tour, sponsored by the Hawai‘i PV Coalition, will feature a number of solar installations at residential and commercial buildings across the Valley Isle. The daylong event will take place on Saturday, June 5, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Additionally, from 1 to 2 p.m., the tour will feature a question-and-answer session with Rising Sun Solar & Electric’s Brad Albert and CPA Doug Levin of Levin & Hu, LLP.

Formed in 2005, the Hawai‘i PV Coalition works tirelessly to support the use—and more rapid diffusion—of solar electric applications across the state by teaming up with business owners, homeowners and local and national stakeholders in the burgeoning solar industry. As policymakers and utility companies continue to debate the use of grid-connected renewable energy systems, the Hawai‘i PV Coalition is working to move the PV agenda forward by actively participating in state legislative sessions, supporting pro-PV and renewable energy bills and educating elected representatives on the benefits of Hawai‘i-based solar electric applications.

Now in its fifth year, the House of the Sun Solar Tour offers practical, real-world examples of sustainable energy choices that can help lower utility costs, support energy independence, protect against power outages and reduce carbon emissions. Last year, the House of the Sun Solar Tour drew more than 250 participants, and event coordinators anticipate even more this year; therefore, early registration is encouraged.

Upon registration for the event, participants will receive a tour program that includes a map, driving directions and list of properties with descriptions of solar system types, sizes, brands and energy efficiency measures. Carpooling is recommended—and questions are strongly encouraged.

“The objective of this event is to share, perhaps even demystify, the solar process,” said Albert. Regardless of your “Solar IQ,” Albert assures that you can expect to learn something new—and have some fun in the process.

“This year’s tour is coming at a great time, because there have been a number of policy changes, as well as rumors about these changes, which may have confused and potentially discouraged residents considering solar,” said Albert. “We hope that we will be able to answer questions and encourage Maui to ‘go solar.’ The truth is, there is increased access to the Maui grid, and the prices and incentives have never been better.”



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