The Abdalla House in Dallas, one of the homes on the tour, features a Tesla solar roof. Photo courtesy of NTREG.
Sept. 29, 2022
The DFW Solar Tour is back!
The 13th annual event, hosted by the North Texas Renewable Energy Group, will be held Saturday, Oct. 1, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Like many other organizations, the nonprofit hosted the event virtually for the past two years due to the pandemic.
This year, the free self-guided tour returns in-person with six locations.
SPOTLIGHT ON SOLAR
The local grassroots event, held in cooperation with the Texas Solar Energy Society and the American Solar Energy Society's National Solar Tour, has been beacon for educating North Texans about renewable energy since 2009.
In the years leading up to the pandemic, the DFW Solar Tour reached the status of the biggest solar tour in Texas, expanding to include 50 residences and 9 education centers in 2018. That year, the tour spanned from Weatherford to Garland, west to east, and Denton to Grandview.
The DFW Solar Tour features homeowner hosts who are willing to share their experience switching to renewable energy. PIctured, Jim Cochran, host of the Cochran House. Courtesy of NTREG.
In 2019, the event won the Green Source DFW Volunteer of the Year Award for its outstanding outreach and the massive volunteer effort it required.
Today, the DFW Solar Tour remains a unique opportunity to learn about solar without a sales pitch and ask homeowners questions about their experience.
Event-goers can also learn from other volunteer experts on-hand about the various ways that solar can be incorporated into their home and how renewable energy technology systems can work together.
“Advancements in energy storage technology allow some home and business owners to generate, store and consume most of their energy on site,” said Lissa Magel of NTREG. “DFW Solar Tour visitors may also learn how ownership options for purchasing and financing, as well as third party ownership options like equipment leases and Power Purchase Agreements empower the consumer with more energy choices.”
The Abdalla House on the DFW Solar Tour features a battery storage system. Courtesy of NTREG.
This year, organizers are hosting a well-curated tour with an intriguing lineup . Highlights include:
The Abdalla House is hosted by Mohammed Abdalla, founder of Good Faith Energy, an ethically minded solar installation company. Abdalla gave up a lucrative career in the oil and gas industry for more meaningful work in renewable energy.
Abdalla received the Green Source DFW Award for Environmental Science and Innovation in 2020.
While one of the family's EVs is typically charged at Abdalla's office, the family's second EV is charged exclusively at home. Still, their energy bills have been almost zeroed out.
"My total electricity cost over two years was just under $400," said Abdalla.
The Alvarez House features solarized patio lighting. Courtesy of NTREG.
The Alvarez House is the residence of Susan Alvarez, the assistant director of Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability. Alvarez is leading the implementation of Dallas’s first Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan.
In addition to solar panels, her home features an EV charging station and solar patio lighting.
"With my work in encouraging climate action in Dallas, it was important for me to explore both installing solar energy and switching to an electric vehicle, as a part of “walking-the-talk,” said Alvarez.
The Motta House was installed to withstand Texas weather. The homeowners' investment paid off during the Big Freeze in February 2021.
“The house generated power doing the daytime and the batteries powered the house at night during all the brown and black-outs experienced across Texas,” said the homeowners about their experience last winter during statewide power outages. “In fact, neighbors were able to come by and warm-up, shower, cook, etc. during the extended outages providing a valuable community service opportunity.”
Meanwhile, the Le Bel House homeowner boasts that theirs was the first solar installation in their neighborhood in 2012. Tour goers can benefit from learning about their decade of experience.The Erickson House, on the DFW Solar Tour. Courtesy of NTREG.
DFW Solar Tour 2022
About: The DFW Solar Tour enables event-goers to learn how their neighbors are using solar energy, energy efficiency, batteries and other sustainable technologies to save money and reduce their carbon footprint. The 13th annual self-guided event is hosted by North Texas Renewable Energy Group in cooperation with the Texas Solar Energy Society and the American Solar Energy Society's National Solar Tour.
When: Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. There's also a Zoom presentation at 8 a.m. on the day of the tour.
Where: Six locations, in Dallas, Plano and Frisco.
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