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Environmental & Conservation Organization will showcase the energy and water saving features of five homes and a business during the 6th annual Green Home Tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
The self-guided driving tour will teach people about sustainable building materials, energy savings, stormwater management and local food production. Tickets are $15 each or $12 a person with more than one person in the car.
"The tour will let people get out and around and look at a variety of houses," said George Tregay, coordinator of the Green Homes Tour. "They can talk to the home owners about what they're doing, how it works and it if might be any interest of them."
Each house on the tour represents a different level of green living. Some of the homes are on the low price end of what green features you can incorporate into a home. Another set of homes, built by Habitat for Humanity, showcases a modest sized home with money-saving, green utility features. On the top end of the scale is a 2,000-square-foot home with solar panels and other sustainability features.
"People on the tour get a chance to talk to the owners about these systems," Tregay said, "and get information about what works and doesn't work from the home owner, not the contractor."
The recent trend in green homes can be beneficial to everyone, not just environmentalists.
"It's not just people super motivated for environmental reasons," Tregay said. "There are tremendous cost advantages, especially if you look over a few years. It's catching on. Not everyone is doing solar panels on the roof. But that's part of the tour; you can see other things you can do."
Green features save money on utility bills and can tax credits are also available. North Carolina offers a tax credit equal to 35 percent of the cost of eligible renewable energy property constructed, purchased or leased by a taxpayer and placed into service in North Carolina during the taxable year, according to N.C. general statutes and tax credit guildlines.
Hendersonville business building Biz611 will also be featured on the tour.
Only 100 tickets will be sold for the tour and they can be purchased through Aug. 17 at ECO offices, the Asheville Visitors Center and the Hendersonville Visitors Center.
For more information about the tour or about ECO, call 692-0385 or visit www.eco-wnc.org.