Cool House Tour showcases energy-efficient homes in Austin

June 8, 2018

The 22nd annual Cool House Tour opens Sunday, June 10, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with some of the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly homes in Austin. All the homes on the tour are built to the highest standards of energy efficiency, comfort and sustainable design and have been Austin Energy Green Building (AEGB) rated. AEGB has rated nearly 15,000 single family homes since creating the nation’s first green building rating system in 1991. 

This annual one-of-a-kind, self-guided tour co-produced by Austin Energy Green Building and Texas Solar Energy Society showcases homes that are a resource for learning how to live comfortably in the hot Texas climate. Tour goers will be greeted at the tour stops by homeowners and building professionals who will personally spend time discussing home features, design strategies and sustainable building practices that can help you create your own cool home.

Tour goers are encouraged to get a jump on this year’s tour by purchasing a guidebook ticket early to map out the tour day in advance and explore a wealth of green building ideas. The tickets for the tour are available online for $26 and at retail sponsors Treehouse and Electric Avenue for $25 (cash or check only). Children 12 and younger attend for free. Visit www.coolhousetour.com to view photos of the homes, read more about the tour and purchase tickets online.

"Austin Energy thanks the participating homeowners, designers and builders for sharing their homes, experiences and expertise so others can replicate their success," said Debbie Kimberly, Vice President of Customer Energy Solutions and Corporate Communications at Austin Energy.  

The tour showcases six homes, one multifamily community and one green neighborhood amenity center. Three remodeled homes illustrate that even historical and existing structures can be modified with green building methods. Six of the selected projects have most energy needs met by onsite solar photovoltaic (PV) installations. A couple of the homes incorporate rainwater collection systems that help water landscaping. Some of the homes integrate rain gardens to reduce soil erosion and slow the flow of storm water going into community creeks.

Other homes showcase healthy living features and interior finishes and furnishings that protect indoor air quality. Several of the homes are built in the urban core, just a few steps away from shops, restaurants and public transit. The green master-planned community has recreational and natural areas, including a future 600-acre park, as well as community gardens. 

Green building has become part of the mainstream, making it more affordable to buy an energy efficient, sustainable home. About one-fourth of all new, single-family homes built in Austin are now green building rated. AEGB develops and maintains its own Austin-specific rating systems that allow them the flexibility to carry out Austin’s ambitious climate protection goals.  

About Austin Energy
Austin Energy, the City of Austin’s electric utility, serves more than 475,000 customer accounts and more than one million residents in Greater Austin. The utility's mission — to safely deliver clean, affordable, reliable energy and excellent customer service — has guided Austin Energy in powering the community and supporting the region’s growth since 1895. As a publicly owned utility, Austin Energy contributes more than $109 million annually to support important City services such as streetlights, parks, libraries and public safety. For more information about Austin Energy, visit austinenergy.com.

Last Updated: 6/8/18

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