As an installer, you know that many homeowners get inspired to go solar when other homeowners in their area go solar. Between seeing those beautiful PV panels gleaming in the sun and hearing about how much their solar neighbors are saving on their electricity bills, there’s a strong ‘viral’ component to clean energy revolution.
We’re a big believer in this effect, which is why we created a map on our website to show homeowners which homes in their area have already gone solar (check it out if you haven’t already!). But there’s no substitute for seeing those panels – and meeting those happy solar homeowners – in person.
That’s where the National Solar Tour comes in. It’s the largest grassroots solar event in the country, and it provides an opportunity for solar homeowners nationwide to educate their solar-curious neighbors and share their experiences. We think it’s a great way to build community and spread the good word about clean energy, and we’re encouraging all of our installer partners to participate.
What is the National Solar Tour?
The National Solar Tour is a series of solar open houses held across the country. The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) organized the first Tour all the way back in 1995, when solar energy largely meant passive solar design features solar water heaters. Since then, the Tour has grown to encompass participation from thousands of open house hosts and attendees spread across 60 American cities and towns nationwide.
At these open houses, attendees get to see solar technologies and energy efficiency improvements up close. In addition to showing off, hosts discuss what it’s like to go solar and all the ways it makes a difference, including:
· Cost savings (and incentives that can help save even more)
· Environmental benefits - both local and global
· Energy independence, including power during outages
· Enhanced reliability for the entire grid
This year, ASES is partnering with Solar United Neighbors (SUN), a national organization that brings together and supports the interests of solar homeowners in their communities and with policymakers. Together, they’re pushing to make this the biggest and best National Solar Tour yet.
How You Can Help Build the Movement
The success of the National Solar Tour hasn’t just happened by magic – it’s grown thanks to the work of more than 400 grassroots organizations, installers, and non-profits that have helped to spread the word among solar homes and businesses. That’s where you come in.
As you know, going solar tends to turn people into evangelists, and hosting an open house on the National Solar Tour lets your most solar-proud customers take their solar advocacy to the next level and lead the clean energy revolution in their local community.
Best of all, it’s easy. Homeowners simply sign up to host an open house on the National Solar Tour website and provide basic information about their home and solar installation. Their home is then added to the National Solar Tour Map, and they are provided with a wide range of support to ensure a successful open house, including:
· A personalized RSVP page to help organize their event
· Online toolkit and informational emails with tips for hosting
· Customized flyers to help homeowners spread the word in their communities
· Resource package with promotional materials and handouts for attendees
The majority of open houses will be held in October 6th and 7th, and potential solar hosts can sign up until August 31st.
Tell Your Customers – and Tell Us!
You might already know which of your customers would be ideal solar ambassadors, and they might not need more than a quick conversation to get going. It’s also a good idea to send out a short email to all of your customers explaining what the National Solar Tour is and how they can participate – you might be surprised how many homeowners embrace the opportunity.
Here is an email template to help you as you seek out customers for the tour. And if you do sign up some solar hosts, we want to hear about it! Send us your success stories and any pictures your homeowners take of their tours and we’ll feature them in an upcoming blog post.
Mosaic was founded by movement-builders, and events like these are incredibly helpful in spreading our vision of 100% clean energy for all. We already think our installer partners and their customers are absolute rock stars – it’s about time you went on Tour!