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Photo of the entry to the Solar Decathlon workshop tent. A sign lists the day’s workshop schedule, and a visitor looks inside.

Solar Decathlon offers numerous consumer workshops to help visitors learn more about renewable energy, energy efficiency, and green jobs.

Solar Decathlon 2009

Consumer Workshops

Presented below are the consumer workshops offered at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2009. These documents are available as Adobe Acrobat PDFs. Download Adobe Reader.

Building for the Future: Sustainable Home Design

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers

What is green design? How can you employ green design and green technologies in your home? This workshop provides guidelines for green design considerations and examples of green design and green technologies from the real world. (PDF 9.8 MB)

Energy Efficiency for the Homeowner

U.S. Department of Energy

This workshop covers ENERGY STAR® appliances, energy efficiency improvements for new and existing homes, home energy assessments, and residential energy tax breaks. (PDF 3.6 MB)

Green Building Standards and Guidelines

National Association of Home Builders

This workshop explains the national green building standard and how it is being applied across the country. (PDF 3.4 MB)

Green Jobs: A Conversation on the Economy and Energy Policy in the 21st Century

American Institute of Architects

This panel introduces people employed in green jobs. Speakers include an architect whose primary focus is green buildings, a green building consultant who works with homeowners and commercial property owners to retrofit to green standards, and a policy expert on these matters. These individuals describe what led them to the sustainability industry, the future of the green-collar workforce, and the transformative potential of green collar jobs. (PDF 531 KB)

Green Jobs

U.S. Department of Energy

This workshop addresses green jobs, the types of jobs available, and green job training and resources. (PDF 960 KB)

High-Tech Consumer Products

Texas Instruments

Wondering what the "smart grid" means for your home in the coming years? Curious what energy-efficient consumer products will be in Solar Decathlon homes in 2011? See an action-packed demonstration and review of yet-to-be-released product concepts that will reshape residential electrical energy distribution and use in 2010 and beyond. Gain insights from the inventors behind the products and get an idea of when some of these products will make their debut. (PDF 1.1 MB)

How Can We Make the Most of Our Energy?

Schneider Electric

Our world is based on energy. Although we can add new capacity, we must make effective use of the energy we have. Eliminating waste and increasing efficiency can provide other dimensions to our energy plan. This presentation describes our current environment, steps we can take today, and the future of residential energy management. (PDF 3.2 MB)

How Solar Works: Residential Installation


This workshop will cover topics that determine whether a residential solar retrofit is suitable for your home. In parallel with a virtual solar home tour, speakers will cover solar insulation, roof orientation and composition, available tax incentives, and financing options. (PDF 1.2 MB)

Inside the Utility Room: The Biggest Opportunity for Residential Energy Savings

4 p.m.


Learn how to make a home's utility room as energy-efficient as possible. (PDF 1 MB)

LEED for Homes and ReGreen: Solutions From Remodel to Gut-Rehab

U.S. Green Building Council

This workshop explains LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for homes and the ReGreen program, which provides residential remodeling guidelines. (PDF 3.1 MB)

Making Smart Choices To Manage Your Electric Bill


With energy prices increasing, households are dealing with higher bills, and the economy is making it difficult for many to manage those bills. Come learn why electric prices are high and what you can do to manage your bill. Learn more about tools, technologies, and programs that can save you money and where to find energy assistance. (PDF 1 MB)

Maryland Residential Solar Program

This workshop explains the highlights and availability of solar incentive programs in Maryland. (PDF 452 KB)

Solar Energy for the Homeowner

U.S. Department of Energy

This workshop explains the basics of solar energy and energy efficiency. It addresses U.S. solar resources, solar hot water and home heating, solar electric power, electric metering, financial considerations, system planning, and installation considerations. (PDF 1.1 MB)

Solar Panels and the Smart Grid


With the implementation of a smart grid, electronic meters will allow solar electric system owners to take advantage of dynamic price signals that more accurately reflect the cost of energy and reward solar electric systems for energy provided when prices are higher. Learn from Pepco's representative how you can make solar panels work for you. (PDF 1.4 MB)

Solar Systems for Existing Residential Installations

Schneider Electric

The majority of residential photovoltaic systems installed today are placed on existing homes. This presentation is targeted to homeowners and builders interested in purchasing a solar electric system. (PDF 2 MB)

Spray Foam: The Answer to Our Energy Challenge

Demilec USA

This workshop addresses the applications and benefits of spray foam for home insulation. (PDF 21.6 MB)

When the Stars Align

D&R International

Now is the time to recycle and replace your old appliances. In this workshop, learn about the benefits of energy-efficient ENERGY STAR® appliances, how to maintain these appliances for peak performance, and financial incentives and rebates for their purchase. (PDF 1.6 MB)