Go Green: Green Home Tour

- If you're looking to save on home energy this fall, several areas houses are showcasing green options in a national tour of solar and energy efficient homes on Saturday, October 5.

Mark Thorn of Victor is one of the homeowners who will take part in the local green home tour.

The first thing you notice upon arriving at Thorn's residence is the wind turbine above his barn.  It's one of many green features he's installed.  "Obviously, I'm an environmentalist and I'm concerned about what we're doing to the planet, so you have to be green," he said.

Thorn also has solar panels.  The wind and solar energy that's naturally generated have replaced his daily consumption of propane and electricity.  "I've got a daughter and I'm trying to show the environment going forward, and she's going to get a lesson out of that and hopefully be inspired to do the same," said Thorn.

That very notion is the idea behind a national tour of solar and energy efficient homes which Thorn, as well as other homeowners in the Rochester area, will take part in next month.  They'll open their doors for folks to come in and see what's available.  "I'd like people to start seeing what their impact is and maybe take away some of the ideas that people have incorporated into their own homes," said Thorn.

For all the energy efficient features at his home, Thorn said the green home tour is an opportunity to be inspired and seek new ideas.  "Not everybody can put in a wind turbine," he acknowledged.  "But the lighting, the hot water, the efficiencies the people have done with insulating their homes and doing a lot of different features is certainly affordable."

Thorn noted the state offers tax credits for home energy improvements.  But while he appreciates the cost savings, improving the planet's health, now and in the future, is what drives him - and, he hopes, others.  "We need to look a little further down the road, and hopefully everybody walks away going, that's a good idea, I think I'll do that in my house," he said.

To find all of the locations for the local homeowners participating in the green home tour, click here.

Fore ideas on green home improvements, click here.

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