The tour, which will take place later this month, is part of the American Solar Energy Society’s National Solar Tour.
The solar tour includes, as it always has, a self-guided look at energy efficient and solar-powered homes in the San Diego area on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 21 and 22. But this year, organizers have added a guided look at innovative commercial buildings requiring less energy and using the sun for more of their power needs.
The commercial tour on Friday, Sept. 20, will carry energy efficiency directors, property owners and managers around town on a bio-diesel bus to see inspiring projects at commercial office, retail and multi-family housing complexes.
The tour starts at the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design platinum-certified San Diego Gas & Electric building.
“We’re eager to showcase not only the SDG&E Energy Innovation Center’s LEED Platinum-certified innovations, but to introduce property owners, building, sustainability and fleet managers to the workshops and certification programs we offer to keep them abreast of the latest in energy management solutions that can help them achieve their sustainability goals while improving their bottom lines,” said Ted Reguly, director of customer programs and projects for the utility.
The tour will stop at five different sites to give attendees a chance to see various types of innovative energy saving and producing technologies and how they can be incorporated into existing buildings.
The University of California in San Diego was named SDG&E’s 2013 Energy Grand Champion for its new 2.8-megawatt fuel cell system, solar photovoltaic panels, energy storage and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Also featured on the tour will be a net-zero luxury apartment complex with garages wired for electric vehicles and SunUp Energy’s new facility that will recover the cost of its solar PV system within five years. A tenant-owned office building and affordable housing complex outfitted with PV, solar thermal and EV charging stations will also appear on the tour.
Cities around the country are increasingly beginning to include commercial facilities in their solar tours as commercial building owners and managers make innovative energy efficiency improvements.
“This tour provides a day chock full of innovative energy solutions that can help San Diego businesses create more sustainable brands while improving their bottom line,” said Martin Learn, Home Energy Systems’ president and an event organizer. “It’s a time investment that – like the solutions we’re showcasing – can bring property owners meaningful ROI from day one and for decades to follow.”