Warm Hearth Village (WHV) retirement community and the Sustainable Blacksburg nonprofit community organization are supporting a solar event and home solar demonstration as part of the American Solar Energy Society’s National Solar Tour on Saturday, Oct. 7, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., at the WHV Village Center, 2387 Warm Hearth Dr., Blacksburg.
The event will showcase solar technologies, home energy efficiency analysis and passive solar home design, as well as electric powered vehicles, bikes, trikes and personal mobility devices. Exhibitors include local solar installers, homeowners, energy efficiency evaluation and building experts, electric vehicle owners and community organizations working to encourage the use of these technologies. Attendees can also learn about how the Inflation Reduction Act can help fund part of renewable energy projects.
Bill Baker, the primary organizer for the event, was the first WHV resident to install solar panels on his home in 2015. Since then, 15 of his neighbors have gone solar such that 30% of homes in the neighborhood now have solar panels.
Baker’s 31 panels provide most of his home’s electricity needs and he estimates that through energy savings and renewable energy credits he will recover his investment within 10 years. In addition, more homebuyers are recognizing the value of solar panels to reduce their energy costs. Baker and other WHV residents also appreciate being able to reduce their carbon footprint as a legacy for the next generation.
In addition to the exhibitors at the WHV Village Center, Baker’s home will also be on the tour and attendees will be able to see his solar panels, battery electric vehicle (BEV) charger and energy monitoring system as well as plans for energy storage. Light refreshments and a water bottle refill station will also be available at Baker’s home.
Although other homes in Warm Hearth Village will not be available for touring, many other solar arrays are visible in the community and homes with solar will have identifying markers on that day.
Exhibitors planning to be at the open house include Baseline Solar, Citizens Climate Lobby, Shelter Alternatives, Solar Connexion, Solar Holler, Solar United Neighbors, Sustainable Blacksburg, Warm Hearth Village Solar Owners, and more to come.
Submitted by Sustainable Blacksburg