Tom Butt for Richmond City Council The Tom Butt E-Forum About Tom Butt Platform Endorsements of Richmond Councilmember Tom Butt Accomplishments Contribute to Tom Butt for Richmond City Council Contact Tom Butt Tom Butt Archives
E-Mail Forum
Solar Richmond
January 16, 2006

Solar Richmond Media Advisory.doc


Gayle McLaughlin asked me to distribute the following information about www.SolarRichmond.org. I have always been excited about solar energy. My firm, Interactive Resources was founded during the first energy crisis of 1973 and was a pioneer in alternative energy use in buildings. See information at end of this email.



Contact:  Gayle McLaughlin, Richmond City Councilmember : 510-237-1256

Michele McGeoy, Solar Richmond Project Chair: 510- 858-6885


       Solar Richmond Project Launched


Not-For-Profit Community Project To Promote  Solar Energy and Jobs in Richmond


With the goal of making Richmond greener, building our economy and creating jobs for residents, the Solar Richmond project has been officially launched. Councilmember Gayle McLaughlin is putting out a call for Richmond citizens and workers to get involved. The first step is to go to our web site and sign up to be a member. On the 'Get Involved' page there is a list of ways you can help. Sign up now to be a part of the solution.


"I believe that many Richmond residents want to find ways to participate in generating solar energy.  Those who have already moved in this direction are very satisfied.  Others need support and facilitation. We want to create a wave of enthusiasm for lots of solar power in Richmond.  This is good for the environment, and additionally good for the local economy and jobs," said Gayle McLaughlin.


Michele McGeoy, the chair of the project says, "I am inspired by Gayle's leadership on this issue.  It is terrific to have a Councilmember committed to boosting our city's economics and taking care of the planet at the same time. I've lived in Richmond for 15 years and am honored to be giving back to this community."


Dr. Henry Clark, Director of West County Toxics Coalition, very recently has said: "Coming back from the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal and hearing the cry of the world for the U.S. to do something about global warming, the initiative of Solar Richmond is sweet music. I'll be there."


Who:   Councilmember Gayle McLaughlin opens the doors of Solar Richmond and invites all individuals and organizations, public and private, to become partners and contributors in building solar energy in Richmond.


Why:   Solar energy makes sense and its time has come. Promoting solar power in the city of Richmond is a way of building a better Richmond, to contribute to a cleaner environment, to save money and to develop job opportunities.  


Save the Date


 The first meeting of Solar Richmond will hear presentations on the state of the art of Solar Energy,

 and on creative ways in which households, communities, businesses and entire cities are advancing

 solar energy.


 What:    First Community Meeting To Envision The Solar Richmond Project 

 When:   Wednesday, January 25th, 2006, 7:00 PM- 9:00 PM

 Where   Richmond Public Library, Madeline F. Whittlesey Community Room, 325 Civic Center Plaza


The meeting is educational, free, open to the public, and wheelchair accessible.


Energy Conservation and Alternative Energy

Interactive Resources was founded in 1973 during the “first energy crisis” precipitated by a Middle East oil embargo. Similar to what is occurring now in 2001, there was a great interest in energy conservation and alternative energy sources.

The original partners of the firm, including founder Tom Butt, plunged into architectural projects that demonstrated innovative ways to save energy.

Some of the first homes in the Bay Area to incorporate active and passive solar energy applications were designed by Tom Butt and his partners at Interactive Resources. This set the pace in California in the years immediately following the energy crisis of 1973, influencing subsequent state energy conservation legislation and speeding the incorporation of energy conservation considerations into the mainstream of California architectural practice.

In 1975, Tom Butt and Interactive Resources organized and implemented the first statewide California Solar Energy for Buildings Conference, repeated in 1976 and 1977 with hundreds of building industry professionals attending.

In 1976, Tom Butt erected at his Point Richmond home the largest wind generator in California and the first to feed power into the PG&E grid. Fully instrumented by PG&E, it became a research project that paved the way for commercial wind power in California.

Until well into the 1980’s Interactive Resources remained a leading consultant in alternative energy applications and energy conservation in building, designing hundreds of projects incorporating passive and active solar heating and cooling, including six U.S. Government-sponsored grants for research or demonstration projects in solar energy, including the AIA Research Corporation Grant (sponsored by HUD) for Phase II Development of Energy Performance Standards for New Builders, 1978, and the Willow Park II Community Center Case Study, a DOE Research Project, 1983