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Solar Tour Saturday features Don Bently’s home

by Joyce Hollister

Tickets to this Saturday’s Solar Home Tour will be available at the locations on the tour, according to organizer Marion Barritt.

Two Carson Valley and two Wellington houses are on the annual tour this year, including Don Bently’s San Hachi Ranch home, as well as 14 others located in Incline Village, Reno, Carson City and Silver City.

“Mr. Bently is really committed to solar energy,” Barritt said, “and we are very pleased that he allowed us to place his home on the tour.”

Sponsors include the Sunrise Sustainable Resources Group of Nevada, of which Barritt is a member, and the American Solar Energy Society.

Though most of the buildings on the tour are homes, there are also a church and Patagonia’s huge service center in Reno.

The tour is self-guided, and participants use their “ticket,” a booklet describing the houses on the tour and giving various definitions and other information about sustainable living, as a map to the locations. Tickets are $5.

The four homes in Carson Valley and Wellington include:

n The 3,000-square-foot Don Bently home features an active solar hot water heating system with a hydronic loop for space heating and a passive solar design, plus solar-supplied radiant heating.

It is located at 2525 Highway 395, Minden.

n Marion Barritt’s 1,544-square-foot home in Chichester Estates is the first passive-active solar home to take advantage of the 1997 net-metering law, which allows customers to generate their own electricity and apply any excess electricity generated as a credit toward their utility bill for up to one year.

Installed on the roof are Sunslates, solar roofing tiles which manufacture 500 to 600 watts of electricity – enough to provide for most of the home’s needs.

Barritt’s home is located at 1301 Windsor Court, Gardnerville.

n The 2,236-square-foot house owned by Marty and Jamie Skaggs takes advantage of passive solar heating, has a geothermally heated hot tub, low-E windows, fluorescent lights in kitchen and great room, tile floor in sunroom and office and R-22 insulation in walls and R-60 in the roof and attic spaces.

It is located at 75 Wellington Cutoff, Wellington.

n The David and Mary Swain 6,000-square-foot home is under construction, but is unusual in that it is being designed to produce the total anticipated electrical load of the house. It features the installation of a 686 square feet of Sunslates, which should produce a nominal output of 6,608 watts.

The Sunslates have been placed on the roof, so that those on the tour will be able to see the installation. Though the house has been built to be independent, it will also incorporate net-metering.

The Swain house is located at 443 Upper Court, Wellington.

For ticket information, contact the Sunrise Sustainable Resources Group’s website at http://www.solarquest.com/hometour, call Barritt at 782-7353 or Edible Earth at 782-2735, or obtain a ticket at any one of these four locations.

The Record-Courier E-mail: rc@tahoe.com

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