DRYDEN — In an effort to curb dependence on fossil fuels, a Dryden group has decided to take it one house at a time. That’s the idea behind a new monthly “kitchen-table conversation” called Solar Tour Dryden, sponsored by the Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition.
The home tour is designed to encourage homeowners interested in switching to alternative fuel sources to learn from those who have already made the change. The next open house will take place from 10 a.m. to noon March 16 at 812 Irish Settlement Road. Attendees will learn how the homeowners tightened up their historic house and cut electric usage by 75 percent, according to the DRAC website.
“(The tour) is for people who may not know where to start,” said tour organizer Marie McRae, a member of DRAC and Solarize Tompkins County. “It’s a place where people can ask questions and get ideas.”
The first tour took place at the home of Bob Armstrong, who installed a large solar array that helps heat his home and powers his electric car.
According to the town’s Sustainability Report, 5 percent of Dryden homes in 2010 were heated with fuels other than fossils fuels. McRae said that DRAC members would like to see a significant increase in the percentage of households using solar power in the near future.
McRae also encourages homeowners to take a survey at Solarizese.org to find out how their home can be a candidate for solar panels. The towns of Caroline and Danby are involved in the Solarize project, which helps take some of the obstacles out of installing solar systems. The objective of Solarize is to quadruple or quintuple the solar installations.