The Solar Decathlon is a college competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy every two years. Students compete to design and build the most attractive and efficient solar home. Students from Europe and Canada besides the USA participate in this unique event. Besides being energy efficient, the houses have to be realistic as well. The current Solar Decathlon opened on October 9th for visitors at National Mall between the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument. The visitors waited for hours in line to tour the 20 houses in this competition. The house that caught our attention was the one designed by the Ontario/British Columbia team. This house was the most expensive in the competition, with the construction cost ranging between $650,000 and $850,000! A hi-tech home, it can be controlled remotely through the Internet or iPhone applications. If the homeowners ever forget to turn off the lights or close the blinds, they don’t need to fret and rush back home as they can do so via the internet.
Each team received $100,000 from the Department of Energy to start the project but raised additional funds for construction, transportation, and other expenses. The winners of this competition will be announced on Friday.