For the fourth consecutive year, the Southern Indiana Renewable Energy Network, or SIREN, will stage a Solar Tour in Bloomington on Saturday afternoon.
The Solar Tour showcases over fifty local businesses and residences that use solar technologies to cut back on costs and carbon emissions.
Tour organizer Amie McCarty says the event shows people how they can incorporate solar power into their homes. She says when people see their neighbors and local businesses using solar, they are more likely to use it themselves.
“You know it’s becoming more and more commonplace and they think if it works for them I could probably do it too,” she says.
Bloomingfoods uses solar energy for electricity and water heating in its stores and is featured on the tour. Bloomingfoods General Manager George Huntington says he is glad his business can be an example for others.
“So anything we can do to help educate the public about this we are more than interested in,” he says. “By employing the technology and allowing people to see them up close, we hope it helps provide education.”
One aspect of the tour focuses on how much businesses and homeowners can save by using solar power. Nick’s English Hut Manager Ritchie Bowling says his company has saved money by installing a solar water heater in the restaurant.
“So with the solar panels we’re not using a lot of power to heat our hot water, and we use a lot of hot water here.”
SIREN offers self-guided walking tours and a guided bike tour starting at the Farmers Market on Saturday.