Welcome to the Year of Solar + Storage

A message from E2 Solar, presenting sponsor of the 2019 Green Tour.

Solar + storage may be a new term for many, but the 2019 Green Tour marks a transition point for solar + storage in Central Oregon and beyond. You will have a chance to see, in person, solar + storage systems that allow businesses and homeowners to have resiliency in the event of prolonged power outages and decrease their use and reliance on the utility grid.

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Green Tour Volunteer Spotlight: Kerie Raymond

Our annual Green Tour highlights innovation in sustainable design while still demonstrating how everyday people can save energy at home and at work. Kerie Raymond, a naturopathic Doctor at Hawthorne Healing Arts Center, has volunteered during this event for the past five years! Kerie has personal interests that align with the Green Tour, including energy efficiency and reducing her carbon footprint. Kerie has seen the event grow beyond residential homes and new construction to more businesses and retrofits, and enjoys seeing guests learn what they can apply to their homes.

While volunteering, Kerie reflected on gaining a lot of time with different people, including builders, home and business owners, and community members. Kerie appreciates the opportunity to increase her knowledge and to be able to spread her experiences beyond the Green Tour to inspire Central Oregonians to make a change under their own roofs.

“The Green Tour is a part of the environmental influence that makes Bend, Bend,” Kerie shared.

Green Tour volunteers greet guests as they arrive at each home of the Tour, help collect information, and answer questions. Whether you’re brand new or have worked in the energy efficiency industry for decades, it’s a great way to build your network and learn what steps people in our community are taking to save energy and go solar. This year, we’re excited to showcase residential retrofits, commercial sites, irrigation systems, and electric vehicles.

Everyone is encouraged to volunteer, even if you’re completely new to energy efficiency, although most volunteers join to share their personal interests. Sign up for your shift here!

Green Tour Seeking Applications

The 19th annual Green tour will highlight positive solutions to save energy in Central Oregon and we want you to be part of it!

The Energy Challenge is seeking applicants to showcase their homes and buildings on the 2019 Green Tour on Saturday, September 28th. The tour highlights innovation in sustainable design while still demonstrating how everyday people can save energy at home and at work.

The Green Tour highlights both residential and commercial projects and will bring awareness to the opportunities that exist to build energy savings into the design of new buildings as well as how our existing building stock can be retrofitted to be more efficient.

This year the tour is seeking properties that put an emphasis on getting to zero energy use, utilizing solar plus storage, efficient ADUs, or sites that have installed or are planning for electric vehicle charging.

Home or commercial energy retrofits are an equally important part of the tour because they allow us to make a more tangible connection to the kinds of upgrades that we can make in our very own homes and offices.

Designers, builders, realtors, home performance contractors, solar contractors, and homeowners are all encouraged to apply to put a building on the tour.  Those who are interested in applying are invited to fill out a quick and easy preliminary application by Friday, August 2nd.

The tour will take place on September 28th, 2019 from 10:00-4:30.

Green Tour Sneak Peek #3-Locally generated renewable energy

Homegrown renewable energy is expanding in Central Oregon–both for residential use and utility-scale and rightfully so. We have some of the best solar potential in the US. This is an opportunity to visit a solar farm and get behind the scenes.

Local Cypress Creek Renewables staff will be on site at the solar farm on Neff Road to discuss the development process, the energy generation, give you a tour, and answer any questions you may have about utility-scale solar projects.

This 10 MW solar project covers 62 acres on Neff Road and just east of Big Sky Park. It produces enough energy to power 3,000 homes. The power that is generated is sold to Pacific Power. With 67% of Pacific Power’s current energy mix coming from coal, this is a really big and important step in the direction to creating a clean energy future here in Central Oregon.

Close-toed shoes required. You will be required to wear safety equipment and sign a liability waiver.

Only 10 spots available per hour. On the Green Tour, tours will start at the top of the hour from 10:00 – 4:00. 

Reserve your spot on a solar farm tour!

Tour Guides

Eric Prezzia, O&M, Cypress Creek Renewables

Amy Berg Pickett, Cypress Creek Renewables;


21836 Neff Rd, Bend

See the full map and detials of Green Tour sites!

ClearPine Cottages-Green Tour Site #10

An innovative cottage development in Sisters

ClearPine Cottages- An innovative cottage development in Sisters

ClearPine’s site on the 2018 Green Tour is a 1004 sqft cottage called Blue Fescue, one of nine cottages in a development cluster. Situated in the center of ClearPine, a sustainable, Earth Advantage community. The ClearPine Cottage cluster was designed and constructed under a special code section jointly created by the Developer and the City of Sisters. The emphasis of the code is on land conservation, absence of cars, and a livable common space and community garden shared equally by the cottage residents. The ClearPine Cottages are situated directly adjacent to a new community park, and are within easy walking distance to all necessary services in downtown Sisters.

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Transforming our communities to a solar future

There are many reasons to thank Nikola Tesla when it comes to modern technology, had capitalistic greed not stood in his way, Tesla’s contributions to society could have gone significantly further. Despite his mental breakdowns later in life that were likely caused by detractors and capitalists who refuted his utopian visions for society, Tesla created a plethora of inventions, with the goal of transmitting energy to the world at little to no cost.

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Open the door to energy savings with EPS

Experience the beauty of energy efficiency at this year’s Central Oregon Green Tour. You’ll find homes built for quality, comfort and efficiency, with an EPS™ to prove it. EPS, brought to you by Energy Trust of Oregon, is an energy performance scoring system that gives you an inside look at the energy impact of a newly built home and how much it costs to operate.

With EPS, you can easily compare homes based on efficiency and find those that offer superior comfort and savings. Qualified homes are built to be at least 10 percent more energy efficient than required by current building codes. When you buy a home with an EPS, you know you’re getting a higher level of performance.

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Green Tour Sneak Peek #2

In addition to green homes, this year’s Green Tour will also showcase two commercial buildings that are leading the way to a clean energy future. Both happen to be nonprofit organizations and are demonstrating that energy efficiency and renewable energy is good for the bottom line.

The new Bend Science Station is a living laboratory for students to better understand the connection of technology, design, innovation and our environment.

The Bend Science Station is a zero energy building. This means that on an annual basis, the building will produce as much energy from the solar electric panels on the roof as it uses. They will pay $0 for electricity usage each year!

“Our motivations were also based on fiscal responsibility,” said Lisa Bermudez, Development Director. While the net-zero benefits of our new building were instructional compelling, the savings in operating costs and utility bills were equally considerable.”

Other cool features? You betcha! The building has a rooftop tower, which is not only a unique architectural feature, but also provides natural ventilation. This enables the team to passively control temperature (which complies with Zero Energy standards) AND provides specialized space for physics experiments.

Stop by on the Green Tour, Saturday, September 29th from 10:00-4:30 to learn even more! 

Green Tour Sneak Peek

This year, the Green Tour will showcase a whole spectrum of homes that are doing their part to save energy. Each year, we are fortunate to find homeowners, businesses, and builders who are willing to show us what they’ve been working on and share their ideas so that we can all find the energy-saving potential of our own homes and offices. We’ll be showcasing off-grid homes, zero energy homes, accessory dwelling units (ADUs),  homes that have undergone energy retrofits, and commercial buildings.

Here’s a sneak peek of just one of the zero energy homes:

Photo credit: Sunlight Solar Energy

  • Estimated Monthly Energy Costs: $0
  • Solar electric system: 8.4 kW
  • Estimated electricity production: 8,972 kWh
  • Estimated net electricity usage: -274 kWh
  • Carbon footprint: 0 tons/year (this home build to code would have a footprint of 81 tons/year)
  • Space heating: Electric heat pump
  • Water heating: Electric heat pump water heater
  • Water conservation: Low fixtures and toilet
  • Transportation: Electric vehicle (Tesla Model S)