BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - They were thinking "off the grid" in Buffalo on Saturday. Homes striving to rely on more natural sources for power were showcased.
The 16th annual Solar Homes and Green Buildings Tour took place Saturday in Buffalo. It is held nationally, but Buffalo has the largest participation in New York State.
Tour chairperson Bernice Radle said, "The idea of this event is to teach people who are interested in learning about solar or geothermal or renewable technology to teach them how the process is, how much it costs, what the savings are, so people can take what they learned and then install it on their own house."
Susan Shea is one of the 45 stops on the tour and she has installed a geothermal heating unit that replaced gas heating. Solar panels power the unit as well as the rest of her home.
"The gas bills were roughly $2,000 a year, depending on the weather, and we were able to save that much every year, obviously, not having gas. Our electric bill was $1,300 annually and now we produce more then we use," said Shea.
The tour was not isolated to just homes. Montante Development has installed solar panels at Riverview Solar Technology Park to power the office and warehouse space.
Montante Vice President Matthew Montante said, "We chose solar energy because of our ability to deploy it. We have people in house that understand the technology very well; we can deploy it on a small scale and a large scale as opposed to other technologies out there."
Currently the panels supply roughly 10 percent of the energy that the offices use, but Montante hopes to get that up to 20-30 percent in the next five years by using more panels.
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