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Solar tours feature energy planning help
Two area homes have successful solar solutions
danielson living room masonry heater bench
The living room of the Rob Danielson home near La Farge features a masonry heater bench that distributes warmth throughout the house without a noisy ventilation system or electric pumps. - photo by Contributed photo

Is now is the right time for your house, farm or business to “go solar?” Do you have key questions like:  Do I have a good location for solar?  Can I enjoy impressive savings on my budget?  Can I do some of the installation myself and save money?  Can I finance the investment and still save?  Where can I get best solution ideas from experts who are not motivated to sell me equipment?

Two opportunities to see successful energy solutions in operation and receive personalized answers to questions like these can be found Oct. 3 in La Farge and Viroqua from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Crittenden-Rudolfo household on a rural ridgetop near Viroqua features both solar and wind installations adjacent to their ranch style home, expansive garden, greenhouse, roof water storage, pond and orchard.  The couple took extra care in constructing the house with eco-friendly permaculture materials and making sure it will be easy to live in as residents get older.  All of the facilities from the house, greenhouse to storage pond involve ingenious energy efficient solutions. Other experts from the Viroqua area who have overseen solar installations and unique energy improvements will also be on hand.  The Crittenden-Rudolfo home is located at E8022 Bakkom Road or

The Danielson house is located along the Kickapoo River Valley one mile north of La Farge at S3897 Plum Run Road  After completing their energy efficient home in 2010, the family found a number of ways to achieve an additional 80% reduction in energy use.  A key investment is their ultra low emission “russian style” masonry wood heater that requires less than 3 cords of wood to heat the 2000 square foot house each winter.  The heater preheats water for an “on-demand” propane hot water heater as well. Their 8kW grid-tied solar array provides enough power to operate their house and another average use Wisconsin home.  Calculation tools for all Wisconsin utilities and expertise will be on hand to help you plan a solar installation and compute savings specifically for your home.  To take full advantage, bring a recent electric bill or two and photos facing east, south, and west from the spot you are considering placing solar panels.

While you are in the area, plan to enjoy an excellent biking or hiking trail on the Kickapoo Valley Reserve starting across the street from the Danielson house.  You can also take a short drive to visit Wisconsin’s first community solar farm at Vernon Electric Cooperative near Westby:

Call Rob Danielson at 608-625-4949 or Kelvin Rodolfo at 608-637-6159 with questions. For other solar tour locations in Wisconsin, visit