Tour of sustainable buildings this weekend

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Sustainable living and renewable energy options have become trendy in today’s society.

And in Colorado Springs, people interested in lowering their energy bills can tour 15 net-zero homes, houses and businesses, as well as view the 6-megawatt solar array at the Air Force Academy at Saturday’s Pike’s Peak Tour of Sustainable Buildings.

The tour is essentially a day of open houses at homes and businesses with impressively-low carbon footprints, according to a release about the event. It’s part of the American Solar Energy Society’s 16th annual National Solar Tour.

However, this year’s event isn’t just about solar.

“We have expanded north into Monument and Palmer Lake, and broadened the focus from just solar power to comprehensive sustainable buildings,” tour organizer Cliff Kotnik said in a statement. “From retrofits to newly constructed net-zero energy homes the public can view examples of solar and geothermal renewable energy, ultra energy efficiency, ultra-water conservation, recycled building materials and much more.”

Along with the tour, there will be an efficiency and renewable energy expo at the Colorado Springs Utilities Conservation and Environmental Center at 2855 Mesa Road from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1. The tour runs during the same time. While at the expo, people will be able to talk with efficiency experts and solar installers. The advice  is free, tour tickets cost $2 each. Maps and brochures are another $5.