About the Tour

Solar open houses and local solar tours demonstrate purpose, possibility and progress

The National Solar Tour is the largest grassroots solar event in the U.S., providing an opportunity for solar homes and businesses around the country to open their doors to neighbors and solar supporters in their communities. Whether you are brand new to solar or have had panels on your roof for twenty years, the Tour is an opportunity to build community, learn about the latest technologies, and celebrate solar energy!

Communities participating in the National Solar Tour help educate people about how renewables are improving quality of life around the globe and in their own backyards. From pollution mitigation to energy independence, cost savings and incentives to new trends and technologies, the Tour has been the place for people to see it all in action. We’ve featured solar-powered homes, vineyards, farms, public agencies, condo complexes, as well as solar-powered businesses that run the gamut from dental offices to corporate offices and donut shops to ceramic shops.

New this year

Solar United Neighbors and the American Solar Energy Society are excited to be organizing the 2019 National Solar Tour in partnership. Building on a successful partnership on the 2018 National Solar Tour, together, Solar United Neighbors and ASES are working to organize the largest national solar tour in history.

To help us get there, any solar home or business owner around the country can sign up to host a solar open house on the National Solar Tour, regardless of whether there is a local ASES chapter tour in their area. Non-profit organizations, municipal buildings, places of worship, schools, and community solar gardens are also invited to host open houses on the Tour!

Yes, that means anyone who has solar across the country can now participate in the National Solar Tour! All you need to do is sign up to host a solar open house. Every solar open house host that signs up will receive a resource package in the mail as well as an individual online RSVP webpage and flyers to help promote your solar open house with your network and in your community. Your solar open house will be added to our National Solar Tour Map and we’ll stay in touch with you to provide more information and helpful solar open house tips, leading up to the Tour. If you’re participating in a local ASES chapter tour, let us know when you register and we’ll note your local ASES chapter affiliation.

History of the National Solar Tour

For years, ASES has organized and delivered the largest grassroots solar event in the U.S., the National Solar Tour. What began in 1995 as a proof of concept grew into an annual showcase of real-world, right-now renewable energy and sustainability technologies. As these technologies progressed from simple passive solar design and solar thermal to advances in solar photovoltaics (PV) and other renewables, the National Solar Tour helped drive the progression from fringe technology to mainstream prevalence.

Today’s tours are held across the country in more than 60 cities and towns, most in early October. They feature residential and commercial properties, exciting displays of renewable energy and energy efficiency, and examples of green building and other design elements.

Educating your community

Each year, attendees have opportunities to tour new sites and learn from others in their community about:

  • Technologies including green building design, passive solar, solar photovoltaics (PV), solar thermal, geothermal, wind, storage, and energy efficiency
  • Cost savings and incentives
  • Pollution reduction
  • Energy independence
  • Grid reliability

Communities hosting tours also benefit in many ways, including:

  • Educated communities conserve more energy and other resources;
  • Economic lift for architects, engineers, designers, installers, contractors, financial institutions and other professionals impacted by the renewable energy industry; and
  • Streamlined policies and permits stemming from increased awareness and demand.