Solar Tour & Energy Efficiency Workshop in Sedona Nov. 21

SEDONA -- There is a lot of news floating around about the federal stimulus money and the green economy. But how can this funding benefit us, here in Sedona? Come hear some answers on how tax credits and utility rebates can help you make your home more comfortable and energy efficient.

Sustainable Arizona and the Arizona Solar Energy Association are hosting back-to-back events on Saturday, Nov. 21. The experts can help you figure out how to green up your home or business and save money while you do it. It's free and open to everyone.

The solar electric tour runs from 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and will feature small to large solar photo-voltaic systems on homes and buildings in Sedona. There will be six locations on the self-guided tour. You can follow the maps to visit any of locations and find out how the systems help their owners save money and reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

Maps and descriptions will be available in advance at the information desk of the Sedona Public Library. Tour guides are also available for downloading at www.SustainableArizona.org. Just click on the Events Calendar and go to the solar tour entry for Nov. 21.

After the tour, Sustainable Arizona will be hosting a workshop on energy efficiency and weatherization for homes. From 3-5 p.m. there will be displays and information in the Community Room of the Sedona Public Library in West Sedona. Representatives from APS will join the director of the NACOG weatherization program to provide you with information on new programs that can help you save money.

According to John Neville, the president of Sustainable Arizona, the time has never been better to upgrade the energy systems in your home or business. "The utilities are offering generous financial assistance to people who want to make their homes or businesses more energy efficient. Our workshop will have experts ready to answer questions about lighting, insulation, windows, heating and cooling and solar. They'll be ready to fill you in on all the tax credits and rebates."

There will be a good range of solar installations to see, all within a few miles of each other. Right on 89A across from Airport Road is La Tierra Plaza with one of the largest photovoltaic solar electric installations in Sedona. The owner, George Moore, incorporated a 52 kilowatt system into the carports over the parking lot. Al McNulty was the master electrician on the project. He will be on site to provide guided tours of the photovoltaic collector arrays and the equipment room. You will also get to monitor the output of the system during your visit. Even during cloudy days, these collectors produce a substantial amount of electricity.

"The Moores wanted a medical building that both fit into the natural setting of Sedona and had a very low energy footprint," explained Mike Bower, principal architect with Design Group Architects. "This building uses very little energy, and most of it comes from the sun."

Arizona Sun Power installed a tracking solar system at the Osborne Residence at 70 Cathedral Rock Trail in Sedona. This ground-mounted 10-kilowatt system follows the path of the sun to maximize output. Matt Bonnstetter, the project manager, will be on site to explain how the system works.

Solar Works installed two of the photovoltaic systems on the tour: the Deal Residence at 120 Gambel Lane in the Chapel neighborhood and the Skiver Residence located at 20 Paint Pot Circle in the Village of Oak Creek. Wayne Espland will be available to describe his creative installation, which features custom collectors to fit the contours of the roof and maximize the solar gain.

Carl Ramsey, Architecture and Environmental Associates, built a model green home at 245 Arrowhead Drive in the Village of Oak Creek. This home incorporates energy efficient design and solar systems. Carl will be there to answer your questions.

The largest photovoltaic array on the tour is on the Big Park School at 25 West Saddlehorn in VOC. As part of their energy upgrades, the school installed a 100 kilowatt thin-film photovoltaic system. Dave Young, the project supervisor, will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate the whole school monitoring system.

After visiting these solar installations, be sure to stop by the Community Room at the Sedona Public Library for an Energy Open House from 3-5 p.m. This workshop will feature representatives from Arizona Public Service Company and Northern Arizona Council of Governments Weatherization Program to explain about the utility and government programs to help you reduce your energy costs. Verde Solair, Banker Insulation and BMC West will be there with displays on insulation, window systems, hot water solar and energy efficient heating and cooling systems. You'll have the chance to talk to the experts about your home and learn what you need to become more energy efficient.

The workshop and the tour are free to the public. Sedona Community Foundation has provided a portion of the funding for the workshop through a grant to Sustainable Arizona.

Sustainable Arizona is a resource and education council dedicated to improving the quality of life through the pursuit of sustainable development. You can learn more by visiting www.SustainableArizona.org.

Arizona Solar Energy Association strives to educate the people of Arizona about solar energy, its applications, and the benefits of utilizing solar technologies to improve the economy and protect the natural environment.

The Sedona Community Foundation matches donor interests with community needs. SCF currently manages funds totaling more than $5 million in assets built on gifts of cash, stock, annuities, personal property, business assets and real estate. SCF is an affiliate of the Arizona Community Foundation, one of the largest philanthropic organizations in Arizona and among the top 30 community foundations nationally.

For more information on how you can create a lasting impact in your community, contact Delstene Atkinson at 282-1058, email datkinson@azfoundation.org or visit www.sedonafoundation.org.

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