Green Home Tour highlights all-electric, climate friendly homes

by Contributed Content on September 22, 2022

 Project Green Home and the Campaign for Fossil Free Buildings in Silicon Valley are offering a Green and Electrified Home Tour of 20 climate-friendly homes on Saturday, September 24, 2022, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

With Congress having recently passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which offers rebates to homeowners who switch from gas-powered to electric appliances, this tour offers the chance to learn about electrification first-hand.

Talk with homeowners about how they chose energy-efficient water heaters, furnaces, dryers, induction cooktops, stoves and more. Learn about the cost — and the rebates you can get. Discuss whether to select a contractor — or do-it-yourself — and how to create a plan that fits your family’s finances while improving your home’s comfort and healthy, indoor air quality.

As you visit each home, you’ll find QR codes you can scan for details about each feature. Student volunteers will also be on hand to share more information. With 20 homes on the tour, you can pick a route based on how much time you have and which communities you’d like to visit.

Some of the homes are still in the process of becoming all-electric, and visitors can ask these residents how they decided what to prioritize in making the change, and how they are phasing in the switch over time. Most of the residents have retrofitted electric appliances into their existing homes; a couple have been built as “green” from the start.

Sponsored by Peninsula Clean Energy, Silicon Valley Clean Energy, and Menlo Spark, the tour is free, but visitors must register in advance to receive the locations of homes on the tour:  Green Home Tour

The 20 homes are located throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, including Menlo Park, Woodside, Cupertino, Hillsborough, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Millbrae, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Carlos, San Mateo, San Jose, and Sunnyvale.

Features of the homes include electric appliances such as heat pump water heaters, heat pump furnaces, induction cooktops and ranges, electric dryers — and a couple even have electric fireplaces! Many of the homes also include other climate-friendly features such as rooftop solar panels, solar battery storage systems, passive solar design, electric vehicles and charging systems, water-conserving toilets, drought-tolerant landscaping, organic food gardens, recycled wood interior cabinets, and more.

Other activities at some sites will include:

  • demonstrations and tasting of food cooked on electric induction cooktops
  • see how an electric fireplace works
  • sit behind the wheel of an electric vehicle to check its visibility, comfort, etc

City of Palo Alto Utilities is sponsoring the EV viewing at several sites.  Other community partners who are helping include 350.org Palo Alto Team, Acterra, Burlingame Citizens Environmental Council, Climate Reality Project – Silicon Valley Chapter, Green Town Los Altos, Peninsula Interfaith Climate Action, Sustainable San Mateo County, Sustainable Silicon Valley and  THIS Is What We Did.

Photo shows home of Sven Thesen and Kathy Kramer in Palo Alto

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