See homes with ZERO $$ utility bills on HR Solar Tour

Imagine a home with No Electricity Bills.

If done properly, a smartly built green home featuring solar power, energy-efficient appliances, and proper insulation can result in the owner facing monthly electricity bills amounting to $0, or thereabouts.

This weekend is your chance to tour over two dozen homes on the the 2012 Hampton Roads Solar Tour, held on the Southside and the Middle Peninsula, Saturday October 6 and on the Peninsula Sunday, October 7, 2012.

The 2012 Hampton Roads Solar Tour is a self-guided tour of  Hampton Roads homes and businesses that run on solar energy. Selected sites in Norfolk, Newport News, Chesapeake, Poquoson, Williamsburg, Hampton, and Virginia Beach will be open for two days of free open-house tours to showcase technology and share information on solar energy. Experts will be on-hand at each site to answer questions.

franck home in williamsburgWant to save on your electricity bills? Be part of the largest solar event in America by joining thousands of neighbors, homeowners, students, teachers, developers, and contractors to learn how solar energy is transforming the region and the country. Homes and businesses on the tour demonstrate sustainable technologies like solar photovoltaic, solar hot water, solar pool heating, wind power, energy-efficient heating, geothermal heat, super-insulated and energy-efficient design, LEED-certification, green (living) roofs, rain-water cisterns, native plant landscaping, home (kitchen) gardens, rain gardens, and composting, as well as passive heating, cooling and ventilation. Owners and volunteers are available at each home to explain the technologies; their advantages, disadvantages, and financial benefits.

The 2012 Hampton Roads Solar Tour is sponsored by the Hampton Roads Green Building Council. The local tour is part of the 2012 National Solar Tour. This year, more than 170,000 participants are expected to visit some 5,500 buildings in 3,200 communities across the United States. This is the fourth year for the local tour here in Hampton Roads.

Want to Go ?

Who: Hampton Roads Green Building Council

What: 2012 Hampton Roads Solar Tour

Where: Locations throughout Hampton Roads, see details at

When: 10:00am to 4:00pm, Saturday and Sunday, October 6 and 7, 2012


For maps, schedules, touring instructions, and complete details, visit the 2012 Hampton Roads Solar Tour website at

South Side Tour Page

Middle Peninsula Tour Page

Peninsula Tour Page

Here are a few highlights of the Williamsburg/ Peninsula Tour:

Living Green House at the Va Living Museum  has a PV system, solar water heater, radiant heating, interactive fountain, day-lighting, passive solar architectural design elements. Many renewable technologies are demonstrated making it a great place to start your tour. 3-200 watt solar PV panels connect to the grid. An evacuated tube type solar water heater connects to a radiant floor heating system embedded in the slab concrete floor; portions are visible for the guests to view. Over 25 other green building techniques/products are also on display in this demonstration house.

Franck Home –First Colony, Williamsburg
This newly completed home designed by local architect Roger Guernsey has three solar PV arrays containing a total of 36 Shuco 210 V MAU-1 panels. This 7.5 kw system is expected to generate on average about 30 kwh per day. It also has a closed loop geothermal heat pump. Energy efficiency features include: Triple layer insulation system in the roof and exterior walls, conditioned crawl space, low-e windows, and tankless water heater

Compass Rose -  Lanexa
This home features  a 4 kW Solar PV, Solar hot water panels capable of 350,000 btu, Radiant floor heating using the solar heated water, and ICF block construction with Icynene spray-in foam. Landscaping (using drought tolerant plants) slows water run off and rain barrels are in place. Solar tubes, natural lighting, and CFL are used in all rooms. The high efficiency of house results in an annual electric bill of ZERO. The home was designed and built by the owners. Explore it here

solar home in williamsburg va compass rose lanexa

Garden Atriums in Poquoson Features: “Net Zero” home, Passive solar heating, PV system, Rainwater harvesting, Eco-friendly décor, Xeriscaping, Day-lighting.
The house is cluster zoned to maximize land use. It is heated 100% by passive solar heating, and 100% of the electricity needs are met by photovoltaics. 95% of the water needs are met via rainwater harvesting. No off-gassing materials were used; it has zero VOC paints, dye-free carpets, and solid wood cabinets. The CO2 level is kept the same as outdoors via broad-leafed plants, and oxygen levels are much higher than outdoors. Air toxins are eliminated via indoor plants. The site is terraced to maximize water absorption; no irrigation is needed. Day-lighting is maximized for better eye health, and windows are minimized for improved sound insulation and quietness. Recycled granite veneers and wood floors are used throughout.

Sizemore House –Graylin Woods, Williamsburg

This home had a solar hot water system installed in 2006 and a second collector was added in spring 2010. A grid-tied solar photovoltaic system (3.2 KW capacity, 16 panels) was installed in spring 2010. Both systems were installed by Solar Services of Virginia Beach. In the first month after installation, our net electricity usage was two-thirds less than the same month a year ago. With federal tax credit and state rebate, the homeowners expect to recover their investment in about seven years.

Psst.I’m a real estate agent.

This post was authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of the Williamsburg/ Hampton Roads area and  his expertise in the local real estate market.

I can help you access all the information you will need about choosing a neighborhood and buying a home in New Kent, Gloucester, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Smithfield, Williamsburg, Poquoson or the greater Hampton Roads area, including area information on schools, local government, shopping, activities for the children and more! Whether you have made a decision to relocate, retire or are just considering a move to Williamsburg or  Hampton Roads VA, let me help make your transition or PCS to the  area a smooth and enjoyable one!

You can reach me by phone at 757-254-8136 or email  [email protected]

I look forward to serving your real estate needs!



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