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Join PennFuture's 7th Annual Solar Tour!

Ever wonder how solar energy works in a city as cloudy as Pittsburgh? And even if it does work, is it affordable?

All of your solar-related questions can be answered this Saturday, Oct. 14 at PennFuture’s Seventh Annual Pittsburgh Solar Tour, sponsored by Levin Furniture.

During this event, you will have the chance to meet home and business owners who went solar for various reasons throughout the Greater Pittsburgh Area. For instance, Fred went solar to help fight climate change, Bryan wanted to save money on his electric bills, and Marybeth wanted a stronger energy approach for her family. 

Others on the tour went solar because their neighbor made the switch, which isn’t an uncommon reason. In fact, two researchers at Yale and the University of Connecticut found the single most important factor driving people to go solar happened to be peer influence. 

With the Pittsburgh Solar Tour’s interactive online map, you can take a look to see if someone in your neighborhood went solar and get insight on how it works for their home. The Pittsburgh Solar Tour strives to make sure you have all of the resources available when making the decision to use clean energy from solar panels.

While homeowners will be able to talk about their perspective of what the process was like for them, and perhaps show you some recent energy bills, you will also have the opportunity to speak with various installers from companies including Energy Independent Solutions, Scalo Solar, and SolarCity. They will be able to explain and suggest if a solar loan or power-purchase agreement is a better fit for your needs.

This year’s tour features: Phipps Conservatory, Homewood’s Oasis Farm & Fishery Bio Shelter, The Aquaponics Project at Repair the World, Levin Furniture’s Wexford location, and the Telsa showroom in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. 

The Pittsburgh Solar Tour doesn’t just promote solar energy. As Adam Haas of Phipps Conservatory states in our video, “Sustainability isn’t a destination, it’s a journey. There’s always something else to improve.” By featuring other sustainable facets such as aquaponics and geothermal energy on the tour, even folks who have already switched to using solar panels can learn about next steps to take in their clean energy journeys.

There are many different venues a person can take to participate in this year’s tour. You can:

  • Take a free bus ride from noon to 2 p.m. and/or from 2 to 4 p.m. from the Frick Environmental Center, led by solar experts.  
  • Join the guided 2 p.m. East End Bike Tour, led by Solarize Allegheny’s Sharon Pillar. The tour will start at solar homeowner Fred Kraybill’s house at 7211 Thomas Boulevard in Point Breeze and end at the East End Brewing Company.
  • Download our free mobile app or use the online interactive map to do a self-guided tour

Be sure to secure your spot and register at

This tour is timely as Environmental Protection Agency Chief Scott Pruitt recently announced, “I would do away with these incentives that we give to wind and solar,” referring to solar’s investment tax credit. 

It’s critical that we create more incentives for people to go solar, including better tax credits, rebates, performance payments, and property/sales tax exemptions as, solar only powers 5 percent of Pennsylvania. By participating in the Pittsburgh Solar Tour, we hope you’ll see the enthusiasm these home and business owners possess and how we can continue to solarize Pennsylvania.

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