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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Don’t Miss the All-Golden Tour of Solar & Sustainable Homes Oct. 6th

[Published Oct. 4, 2012, in the Denver Post and in four Jefferson County weekly newspapers]

Every fall I look forward to the local tour of solar and energy efficient homes, but this year is different for me in two ways.  First, all of the homes have Golden addresses, instead of being spread across the metro area.  And, second, my own home is on the tour!

Six of the homes are within the city limits, and five others are outside the city but have Golden addresses — four on Lookout Mountain, and one in The Trails subdivision just north of Golden.

This is not just a tour of homes powered by the sun.  My home, for example, is solar powered, but it also provides an education in the degree to which a home can be weatherized and daylighted to save energy. You’ll learn about air source heat pumps and the proper insulation of crawl spaces.

My contribution to the organizing committee (Golden Earth Days) has been to shoot video tours of every home on the tour — and I really learned a lot in the process!

The website for this year’s tour is a Facebook page, which you can get to via  The video tours have their own channel at 

You can register for the tour and receive the self-guided tour book between 9am and 4pm this Saturday, Oct. 6th, at the American Mountaineering Center at 10th Street and Washington Avenue in downtown Golden, but the homes on the tour are only open until 4pm. The book costs just $5 and is your admission to each home, which is described in detail, with directions to find it.  If you take the tour by bicycle, the book is free, so come on your bike!

On Friday evening, from 5 to 7, there is a reception with complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres at the AMC, plus an electric and hybrid vehicle round-up (see other post).

Both Friday evening and all day Saturday there is a Green Expo in the conference room of the American Mountaineering Center, where several solar and energy efficiency companies — and Golden Real Estate — will have booths and give out useful information. Our booth will be accepting polystyrene (aka “Styrofoam”) for recycling.

Every solar tour I’ve taken has taught me things I didn’t know about solar power, sustainability and energy efficiency, and this year’s tour is no exception.  Be prepared to learn something that you will want to implement in your own home. Get your questions answered about electric cars, weatherization, heat pumps, and so much more. I promise you’ll be glad you came!


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