The Environmental Center is excited to announce this year’s Bend Energy Challenge Week and the 16th Annual Green Tour – a week of energy education and inspiration for everyone – businesses, residents, and the building community. The schedule of events includes sixteen educational workshops, an Electric Vehicle Ride & Drive event, and a diverse tour of eight innovative, energy-efficient homes.
The week kicks off at The Environmental Center on Monday, September 19 at 5:30pm with “ Zero Energy Living” presented by Bruce Sullivan of BASE Zero. This session explores how everyone can reduce consumption, and increase health and comfort. From construction projects to daily choices, you’ll get new ideas for living large with less.
“This week is designed to inspire and educate everyone in our community and empower them to take meaningful action at home and at work,” said Lindsey Hardy, Bend Energy Challenge Director. “It will focus on highlighting all the great things that are already happening in our community. We want to be able to show people that they are already making a difference, encourage them to give themselves a pat on the back, and find out about more ways that they can save energy.”
The week of sixteen workshops runs from Monday, Sept. 19 through Saturday, Sept. 24, with one extra on September 27th for people who are designing a new home or ADU. Workshops are tailored toward both residents and professionals, with topics focusing on commercial and residential energy, solar, and efficient building construction; plus home performance, electric vehicles, community biomass and more. Various speakers and organizations are presenting, such as the Energy Trust of Oregon, Central Electric Cooperative, and Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council. Professional credits may be available for some, and lunchtime sessions will offer lunch. Visit bendenergychallenge.org/BECweek for a full workshop schedule.
Thursday night (Sept. 22) is a collaborative Green Drinks event featuring Kôr Community Land Trust – who is working on fulfilling the need for permanently affordable housing in Central Oregon. Kôr will build homes with a goal of net-zero energy, as well as foster a commitment to sustainable building, living, and diversity in their communities.
The 16th Annual Green Tour is designed to inform and educate Central Oregon residents on ways to use less energy, and to expose the building and real estate industries to the latest trends in green building. No matter where tour goers are in their home journey, they will find information that can be applied to old and new homes alike. The tour is a free, public event on Saturday, September 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring eight homes packed with energy-saving features, plus a tour of the new CEC Community Solar Project.
New this year on the tour day is a Good Energy Fair and Electric Vehicle Ride & Drive event at Bend High from 10:00 – 4:00. Tour goers will be able to pick up a free cup of coffee and Tour Guide to kick off their day. Vendor booths with local experts will answer questions, and mini-workshops will offer details on duct sealing and electric vehicles. The Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, and BMW X5 40e will be available for test drives.
Participants will be able to pick up a Passport to Savings as they start the day, and if they visit 5 of the 9 sites, they will get a free LED light bulb! View a full listing of sites, features and addresses at bendenergychallenge.org/tour. You can pick up a Bend Energy Challenge Week and Green Tour guide in The Source Weekly from September 15th – 21st. You can also view the full Green Tour guide online.
See for yourself why rethinking where our energy comes from and how we use it is important to a healthy, happy future, locally and globally.