The Houston Solar Tour is made possible by the efforts of the dedicated Board of Directors and Team Members, as well as, the Houston Solar Tour partners, which include:
The Established in 1954, the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) is the nation’s leading association of solar professionals & advocates. Their mission is to inspire an era of energy innovation and speed the transition to a sustainable energy economy.
ASES leads national efforts to increase the use of solar energy, energy efficiency and other sustainable technologies in the U.S. They publish the award-winning SOLAR TODAY magazine, organize and present the ASES National Solar Conference and lead the ASES National Solar Tour – the largest grassroots solar event in the world.
The Houston Renewable Energy Group (HREG) was established in 1999 with the primary goal of educating the Houston region on the power of renewable energy. Houston ‘s climate and availability of conventionally-generated power create special challenges and barriers to the incorporation of Renewable Energy (RE) systems. The HREG network of RE enthusiasts, engineers, architects, specialists, and users provides a pathway to sensible energy conservation and generation, as well as a cleaner Houston . HREG is a non-profit volunteer organization and local chapter of the Texas Solar Energy Society, which is a 501 (c) 3 organization.
Houston has had a significant interest in Solar Energy since the 1970’s, particularly after the famed energy crises. Some of the current HREG members have been part of renewable energy interest groups throughout the 1980’s and 90’s. In the Fall of 1999, the Texas Solar Energy Society, upon the request of several TxSES members, began to officially recognize HREG as a local chapter. HREG is now a formal organization that serves to educate the Houston region about renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency and conservation, green building. Clean air initiatives, climate protection and improved economics have replaced the energy crisis as the primary impetus to adopt renewable energy. HREG has been the primary hosting organization for the Houston Solar Tour since the first tour in 2004.
The HARC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization based in The Woodlands, Texas dedicated to improving human and ecosystem well being through the application of sustainability science and principles of sustainable development. HARC’s mission is to move knowledge to action to improve human well-being and the environment.
HARC uses the tools of science, policy and technology to provide new knowledge about the complex balance between environmental, social and economic issues in our region. It is in specific regions with distinct social and ecological attributes that the critical threats to sustainability emerge and where progress will need to be demonstrated. HARC’s primary geographical focus encompasses the greater Houston area and the Texas Gulf Coast.
HARC employs a staff of about 45 researchers and administrators. Revenues are primarily derived from projects supported by government agencies, foundations and corporations. In 2005 HARC’s founder, George P. Mitchell, established the Endowment for Regional Sustainability Science, an endowment whose annual distributions are dedicated to providing HARC the institutional stability to pursue its regional sustainability mission.
HARC provided the Solar Tour’s on-line guide map in 2008. In 2009 HARC expanded their role in the tour by providing the tour map and additional information about solar systems to the public.
As a city that is historically based in the petrochemical business, Houston has demonstrated that sustainability is something every one should strive for.
In 2008 Houston became a Solar America City, a US Department of Energy Program. Solar panels were place on the City Hall Annex and the City Code Enforcement Building.The city opened the Code Enforcement’s Green Building Resource Center. Houstonians can visit to learn more about green building practices.
2008 was also the year that the City of Houston became a partner for the Houston Solar Tour. By facilitating the use of Discovery Green for the 2008 and 2009 solar social, and providing assistance in organizing the tour, the city has become an integral part of the tour.