Kicking off a month of local energy awareness activities, Open Neighborhoods and the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign will be hosting the Westside Solar Tour Saturday, Oct. 1.

The tour will combine guided and self-guided excursions of local structures, including residences and businesses such as The Sidewalk Cafe, The Brig and The Electric Lodge in Venice and the Oasis Healing Center in Mar Vista.

The Mar Vista tour is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and the Venice events will take place at 2 p.m.

The solar tour is part of a nationwide series of grassroots events hosted by the American Solar Energy Society, which expects 165,000 attendees to view 5,500 buildings in 3,200 communities across the country.

Innovative green buildings and homes will be showcased to demonstrate how homeowners can use energy efficiency, solar energy and other sustainable practices to reduce utility bills, said an event organizer.

Topics that will be explored on the tour will cover a range of issues, including the benefits of solar power, researching solar power, choosing an installer, costs and financial incentives, the installation process, system design, effect on the monthly electric bill, and maintenance.

Solar-powered residences and businesses in Mar Vista, Venice, and other Westside locations are invited to participate in the tour by signing up at: http://openneighborhoods.net/solartour, where a map of the residences and buildings can be found.

Information, Spike Lewis at spike.lewis@gmail.com or (310) 490-1477.

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