Free solar workshop today to offer public information on home energy savings, installation

3 cities combining resources for program on residential use of solar power

The cities of Pleasanton, Livermore and Dublin will jointly host a free workshop starting at 10 a.m. this morning that is designed to provide the public with an overview of solar technology for residential use.

A highlight of the workshop will be a presentation by Peter Shoemaker of PG& E who will provide an overview about residential solar energy: How it works, average costs, how to determine if homes are best situated for its use, and how state and federal government incentives work.

A question and answer session will follow the presentation and a number of solar installers will be on hand to meet with the public, display solar panels and products and answer questions in an informal setting.

Building inspectors from all three cities also will be available to discuss the inspection process for solar installations. Exhibits on water conservation and recycling also will be on display with staff who can respond to questions from the public.

A growing awareness of the developing technology for solar energy combined with a desire to make communities more sustainable has fueled a new interest in solar energy. Research indicates that the solar power industry is expected to see triple digit growth as it approaches $12 billion by 2012.

Locally, Pleasanton has seen an increase in solar energy permits since the Solar Cities program was implemented with 37 permits issued in 2007, jumping to 67 last year for an 81 percent increase. Livermore also saw an increase, with 91 permits issued last year for an increase of 110 percent over the 43 permits issued in 2007.

The workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the Pleasanton Operation Services Center, located at 3333 Busch Road (off Valley Avenue). For more information, sign on to

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