The first Saturday of each October (Oct. 6th this year) is an annual exhibition of solar and sustainable design in housing. The Metro Denver Green Homes Tour is sponsored by New Energy Colorado and the Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES). Think of it as a “green” version of the Parade of Homes.
The difference, of course, is that not all of the homes on this tour are new-builds. This year’s tour does include four new-builds, including the Geos Community of net zero homes in Arvada and a “tiny house” on the Colorado School of Mines campus.
Golden Real Estate’s office is included in this year’s tour. Be sure to stop by and learn about our conversion to net zero energy. With 20 kilowatts of solar photovoltaic panels, we not only heat, cool and power our office from the sun, we also charge five electric cars and provide free EV charging to the public without ever paying Xcel Energy over $12 per month for electricity. (Xcel removed our gas meter last year.)
If you are interested in reducing your own carbon footprint, you don’t want to miss this Saturday’s tour. For $10 per person, you can pick up the tour book containing a map of participating homes at Golden Real Estate, 17695 S. Golden Road or at Jefferson Unitarian Church (JUC), 14350 W. 32nd Avenue this Friday or on Saturday morning starting at 9 a.m. The homes on the tour are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. after which there is a reception with free wine, beer and food at JUC until 6pm. The reception features an Eco-Expo, where you can visit booths representing various sustainability vendors and organizations. During the reception a section of JUC’s parking lot will be set aside for an “Electric Vehicle Roundup” featuring numerous brands and models of electric and plug-in cars, including this year’s runaway best seller, the Tesla Model 3. Most of the cars will be exhibited by their owners who are happy to share their love of EV’s and maybe give you a test ride.
(If you’re thinking of buying an EV, there’s a 2016 Ford Focus Electric in Golden Real Estate’s parking lot. Its owner is relocating to Amsterdam. Purchased 2 years ago for $31,000, it’s being offered for $13,500, including a set of 4 studded snow tires mounted on sport rims, plus a 240V charging station for your garage. See www.EVsforsale.info for pix & info.)
Last Saturday, three friends and I went on the Boulder Green Home Tour. Although there were only seven homes of that tour (compared to over a dozen on ours) we learned a lot from touring them. In one case, a 1970s tri-level home was beautifully transformed into a near net-zero home, combining the use of solar power, heat pumps, and even a green roof, as well as other technologies. A couple newly built homes were on the tour incorporating geothermal (ground source heat pump) heating and cooling, solar thermal space heating, energy recovery ventilation and other technologies to reduce their energy usage to zero or beyond.
Unlike your typical home tour, the primary purpose of the Metro Denver Green Homes Tour is educational. The sustainable features of each home are explained to visitors. If you’re thinking of “going green,” don’t miss this event!