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and Tucson Solar Tour
— now a year-round opportunity to see how sustainability works in Tucson!

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Solar Alliance of Greater Tucson

Community and Choice for a Brighter Future
Sustainability in action!

"I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait till oil and coal run out before we tackle that." - Thomas Edison

The Tucson Solar Alliance is a non-profit community coalition dedicated to helping people access solar energy and related measures more easily on a practical and cost-effective basis.

The Solar Alliance doesn't sell anything. No one who does is on its Board of Directors or has any decision-making role in, or influence on, its decisions or actions. The Solar Alliance is on your side, with good, unbiased, noncommercial, expert advice and support. Through Cooperative Buyers Groups, it helps in obtaining such products at greatly reduced prices.

Through the Alliance's Community Solar Program, which includes dozens of non-profit organization partners, as well as the City of Tucson, Pima County and the State of Arizona, Tucson became the first community in the nation to be accepted on that basis for participation and funding in the national photovoltaic program. The Tucson homeowners and builders who have taken advantage of that program have been able to obtain top-quality pv systems for prices far lower than anywhere else.

You are invited to join the community and join in the solar revolution.

The latest help for you from the Solar Alliance
It's a good time to solve your energy crisis. The many costs of the continuing energy crisis become more serious every year. To address this, starting in January, 2009, new federal tax credits, offer owners and builders of home and commercial buildings a variety of incentives for putting energy efficiency measures and renewable energy to good use, including a 30% tax credit for solar energy equipment. In addition, the State of Arizona offers a $1,000 tax credit, and Tucson Electric Power offers up to $3,000 in rebates on solar systems. To get expert, unbiased, non-commercial information and advice on getting the best deal without getting burned, get in touch with us.

  The Tucson Solar Alliance can help you. It's a non-profit, non-commercial community program that does not sell anything - it just helps you get the best and most appropriate system for you at the best price, with the best unbiased expert information and advise in town. It is not affiliated in any way with any companies or sales programs. Considering what happened the last time such high tax credits were available, things are going to get wild in the solar marketplace. You will want to choose the right equipment, the right manufacturer and the right installer very carefully to avoid disappointments. With demand spiking, the prices are likely to go up soon too.
  Cooperative Buyers Groups are now forming. Click here for information on how to get in touch with us.

New information, consulting and referral services. The Tucson Solar Alliance now offers expert help for a wide range of solar services and products for your home and business. It's a non-profit, non-commercial, community sharing program that helps you get the best unbiased expert information and advise to satisfy your needs and the best value for your money. Join the Tucson Solar Alliance or the Tucson Homeowners Alliance and you can get simple questions answered at no charge, as well as complete consulting at greatly reduced rates. This works like Consumer Reports: these organizations are not affiliated in any way with any business and do not receive money or other considerations from any commercial enterprise. Click here for information on how to get in touch with us.

Advances in solar energy and other sustaining technologies and practices are providing new ways of living better and more affordably in harmony with the natural environment.

America’s energy situation is changing. Global warming, weather disruptions and damage to the atmosphere are uniting the world’s nations to reduce fossil fuel use. Continuing oil crises and wars remind us of severe economic and geopolitical consequences. Responding to public demand, Arizona was the first state in the nation to require privately owned utilities to start using solar energy and other more sustainable, environmentally- and people-friendly technologies. The Solar Alliance provided advice to the Arizona Corporation Commission and utilities during that process.

Energy policies developed through lengthy public processes at local, state and national levels all identify solar energy as one of the most important priorities for our energy future. Federal, state and local initiatives have been launched to foster greater use of solar energy.

Over the years, increasing awareness of the need for clean, renewable energy sources has driven a surge of technological development. In developing new electrical generating capacity, renewable sources are now more cost-effective in many places than fossil fuel or nuclear plants. The rapidly growing photovoltaic industry now surpasses $1 billion per year in sales.

This is an exciting time for solar energy, which is being put to practical use in a steadily expanding range of applications, including passive solar design, space heating and cooling, water heating, pool and spa heating, natural daylighting, water distillation, cooking and food dehydration, communications and industrial process heat. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory reports that solar energy will also become important for water purification, detoxification of chemical pollution and the production of fuel for fuel cells.

Tucson's Situation
Tucson is recognized as having one of the greatest solar resources in the nation. An area a fraction of the size of Pima County could supply more solar power than the entire current electric consumption of the United States.

Solar energy has enormous economic potential. Taking the local energy situation of Tucson as an example, the metro community spends over $1.5 billion per year on energy. This amounts to about 10% of the entire local economy. Around 70% of that money leaves the local and state economies – a huge financial drain.

On the other hand, Tucson has been steadily expanding its reputation for work in solar energy and sustainable building. As a result, Tucson has had one of the lowest rates in per capita energy consumption in the nation. This offers the basis for important new technological industries to meet rapidly growing local and global needs in energy and housing.

Community Solar Program
The Community Solar Program works by community sharing, people helping each other. It connects those interested in solar and related technologies with local and national experts, local pioneers who already use them, and other sources of reliable advice and technical support.

It also helps to bridge the gap between those who want such products and services and those who would like to provide them – in ways that benefit both. This cooperation is basic to human nature and our success as a species. For how long has one person looked at the efforts of another and said, “Hey, that’s a great idea! How did you do that?”

This program started when the Tucson Solar Alliance was selected for participation and funding in the national solar program. Encouraged by this success, the Tucson Solar Alliance has expanded its program to help people with other solar, energy and related products, including solar water heating and associated home space heating and pool heating.

The Solar Alliance can also help with passive solar design, energy efficiency, alternative building materials, water efficiency, rainwater harvesting, graywater and other measures that provide for better living in ways that fit in better with the natural environment. In addition, the Alliance offers seminars, workshops and tours on design and construction for new and existing homes.

Solar Energy for You
Southern Arizona has the greatest natural solar resource in the nation. If you live here, you have a choice: you can get in the flow and put solar energy to good use, or you can fry and continue paying ever bigger utility bills. The Solar Alliance can help you find all kinds of ways to put solar energy to practical, cost-effective use and also save a lot on your utility bills.
   Using Solar Energy - the key to better living at lower costs, today and in the future
   Solar that works! - a consumer advisory on how to find it and how to keep from getting burned

What You Can Do
Solar energy really works for many people – and it can work for you too. Put the power of community on your side. Join the Tucson Solar Alliance. Here's how!

The Solar Alliance succeeds in fostering practical, cost-effective choices through community sharing. If you are interesting in such choices, we will be glad to help you. If you would like to help, or if you have news, suggestions or advise on good products, materials, suppliers, contractors and other services, please be sure to get in touch with us.

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Credits: We would like to thank the City of Tucson, Pima County and the U.S. Department of Energy for support and funding, as well as the many organizations and individuals who have contributed to making these community initiatives such a success.

© Copyright 2007 Solar Institute, Inc. ® Solar Alliance, Tucson Solar Alliance, Solar Alliance of Greater Tucson, Tucson Innovative Home Tour, Next Generation Home, Next Generation Home Alliance, Next Generation Building Institute, Tucson Homeowners Alliance, Natural Living Alliance and Tucson Community Solar Program are registered trade names of the Solar Institute. All rights reserved.