Secretary Bodman Opens Solar Decathlon Competition on National Mall

October 6, 2005

Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman officially opened the 2005 Solar Decathlon on October 6th on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. During the event, 18 teams from 13 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Spain will compete to determine which house best blends aesthetics and modern conveniences with maximum energy production and optimal efficiency. The competition runs from October 6th through the 14th, and the homes will be open to the public through October 16th, except on October 12th. See Secretary Bodman's comments at the opening ceremonies.

The teams will be judged in 10 areas encompassing architecture, livability, and comfort, as well as energy generation for space heating and cooling, water heating, and powering lights and appliances. Each solar house must also produce enough extra power to charge an electric car. To track the event, journal entries and photos are posted on the Solar Decathlon Web site each day, and scores and standings will be posted during the competition. See the "Solar Decathlon Today" section of the Solar Decathlon Web site.

Many of the teams participating in the Solar Decathlon hope their houses will serve a far greater purpose beyond that of the competition. The University of Maryland is donating their house to a community farm that provides jobs for adults with developmental disabilities, and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is donating their home to Habitat for Humanity in Louisiana. Many other teams plan to use their homes as educational centers. See the DOE press release.