Solar awareness highlighted by tour of two Johnson City businesses – Johnson City Press

Published October 11, 2011

Johnson City Press October 5, 2011

By Kate Prahlad – Press Business Writer

A tour of two local businesses and one Johnson City residence scheduled for Saturday is aiming to raise awareness and educate the public on the rewards of solar electric systems.

Sponsored by LightWave Solar, the Johnson City Solar Tour will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, and will include a ‘Solar 101’ presentation as well as showcase the three solar electric systems.

The tour begins at Nelson Fine Art Center, located at 324 E. Main St. in Johnson City, and is part of the 16th Annual National Solar Tour hosted by the non-profit American Solar Energy Society. Hundreds of tours will be taking place across the country the same day to educate participants on the “direct perspectives of businesses, home owners and installers about the costs, processes and benefits of going solar,” according to a press release from LightWave Solar.

The Bike Shop, at 3208 Bristol Highway in Johnson City, will be the second stop; the Ortola Residence at 137 Bart Green Drive will be the residence stop on the tour.

“The tour will show how people are using solar to slash monthly energy bills, reap rich tax benefits, create green jobs, reduce harmful carbon emissions and assert their energy independence, while improving property values and creating more sustainable communities,” according to LightWave. “The tours also give consumers a glimpse at how a variety of solar systems look in and around structures with different architectural styles.”

Solar systems can qualify for a 30 percent federal tax credit and businesses can receive accelerated depreciation benefits. TVA offers a one-time $1,000 rebate and a premium payback rate for all solar generation. Sites on the tour have little or no electric bill and some see a credit that rolls over each month.

“Until recently, many solar adopters were more compelled by protecting the planet than preserving what was in their wallets,” said LightWave Solar’s Technical Sales Manager, Jason Campbell. “But solar costs have dropped 25 percent in the past four years. With higher panel efficiencies, lower price tags and a treasure trove of domestic market incentives, today’s solar solutions are as much an economic play as an environmental one.”

This event is free and open to the public. For tour details, visit  , or call Paul Sutton at 737-0151.