Smart Energy: September 2017

Annual Smart Energy Green and Solar Tour on Saturday October 7

By Al Walker


The Energy Champions Tour –“moving towards an energy independent community” is the theme for this year’s Smart Energy Green and Solar Tour presented by Douglas County Global Warming Coalition. Since 2002 Douglas County has had a Solar Tour. This year’s tour will be a fun guided trip with lunch and transportation provided for only $10.00.

A short presentation will feature solar basics as well as energy efficiency strategies for remodeling and new construction. An often overlooked fact is that energy efficiency is decreasing power consumption faster across the United States than the new solar installations are adding. LED lighting and ductless heat pumps are two of the important new energy saving devices that will be highlighted this year.

Energy incentives and tax credits will be discussed and the fact that Oregon Residential Tax Credit incentives are ending this year gives us all reason to consider going for some changes before the tax credits disappear.

One business and 3 homes will be on the tour. Homes featured include a home on the North Umpqua River that has a large solar electric array, solar hot water, hydronic heated floors, ICF block construction for R-50 insulation, generator backup and water storage. Another residence has recently added 3 ductless heat pumps to their home which also features large solar electric trackers. Tour participants will be able to talk with knowledgeable tour guides as well as homeowners about their questions.

The Tour participants will meet on Saturday Sept. 7 at 9 am at Phoenix School and will conclude around 3pm. As it will be limited to 40 participants, be sure to preregister to save your place at this year’s tour. Go to or call: 541-672-9819 to register.

Douglas County Smart Energy is a project of the Douglas County Global Warming Coalition. For more information about the Coalition, call 541-672-9819 or find them on Facebook at