The SolarFest Winter Workshop Series

The beautiful 1786 Meeting House (2803 Route 153, Rupert, VT) hosts free SolarFest workshops presented by leading experts offering useful advice on the latest practical, how-to ways to live better, improve comfort and cut costs, all while helping to protect our future.

Pre-registration for in-person or online attendance


As heating oil and propane prices continue to skyrocket, now is a good time to learn about the advantages of cold-climate heat pumps. This panel includes experts in the pros & cons of both ground- and air-source heat pumps, domestic hot water, plus the latest on new technologies.

This panel includes experts in the pros & cons of both ground- and air-source heat pumps, domestic hot water, plus the latest on new technologies.

Sat. December 4th  HOME EFFICIENCY FOR SAVINGS & COMFORT   10:00 – 11:30 am

The basics are no longer basic, as building science includes everything from retrofitting to improve thermal gain & loss, moisture control, indoor air quality, to off-gassing, supply chain carbon footprint, materials recycling and even the gold standard of PHIUS House Alliance. Learn what you can do to affordably make your home more comfortable & healthier: weatherization, reducing drafts, improving air quality, insulation, moisture & vapor barriers, and more.

Sat. January 15th                 TRANSITION TO A GREEN JOB               10:00 – 11:30 am

Plans are being announced for an inclusive clean energy economy with good-paying jobs in construction, building and grid upgrades, transportation, renewable energy and storage. Hear from experts about the best new opportunities in finding a job or starting a business, whatever your interest: building science, electric vehicles, heat pump installation, photovoltaic solar energy, wind technology — planning, design, installation, service…

Sat. February 5th          SOLAR ENERGY + STORAGE SHOWCASE   10:00 am – 2:00 pm

A fun-filled way to get all the latest information on cutting costs and taking control with clean, safe solar photovoltaics and storage systems for your home. Talk to a wide cross-section of exhibitors and don’t miss the round-table discussion at noon where the leading experts will share the latest information on technology, permits, rebates and finance.

Sat. March 5th                         GETTING OFF THE GRID                    10:00 – 11:30 am

Before you “cut the cord” you need to know: conservation, building design, HVAC options, plus the latest on solar, wind and storage systems, including design, controls and finance. There are even ways to efficiently become partially independent from the grid, like starting with your refrigerator & freezer.

John Dear Book Tour

SolarFest was a sponsor of a presentation by Nobel Peace Prize nominee Fr. John Dear as spoke about the journey leading to his new book: They Will Inherit the Earth: Peace and Nonviolence in a time of Climate Change that Advisory Board member Bill McKibben calls, “A remarkable testimony.”

The event was very well attended on March 20, 2018 at the Grace UCC Church in Rutland, VT, hosted by Board member Steve Berry along with Pastors John and Tracy Weatherhogg.

SolarFest Cycling Team

Climate Ride events bring together bright minds, breathtaking routes for all cycling abilities, and the unforgettable combination of passion and purpose for environmental advocacy, education, and sustainable transportation.

In 2016 Dave Conna worked with Climate Ride to get SolarFest listed as a beneficiary alongside prestigious organizations such as the Union of Concerned Scientists,, and the Nature Conservancy, to name a few.

In September 2017, Catherine Bock joined Dave in launching the debut SolarFest Climate Ride Team at the Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains to Washington DC Climate Ride.

It was a stunning beautiful 3-day ride covering 208 miles through one the most acclaimed cycling routes in the world, with highlights including the Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah National Park, the Old Dominion Trail, and the National Mall. Plus, they raised over $4,000 for SolarFest!

Whether you are a veteran rider, or have never done an overnight trip, Climate Rides are a lot of fun. If you or someone you know would like to consider joining the SolarFest Team, please email Dave at

Energy $avings Day

Saturday March 25, 2017 @ SVAC in Manchester, VT
There are so many advances and policy changes impacting conservation and renewable energy that people need help to keep up. This showcase of leading experts and helpful presentations focused on practical, how-to information to help cut electric, heating, and cooling costs with the latest in energy conservation and renewable power ideas for homes and business. Discussions with skilled practitioners about slashing energy costs and reducing carbon surrounded by student artwork from 22 schools for a wonderful synergy of energy and art.

  • 9:00 am – Doors open
  • 10:00 am – Keynote Presentation: Zero Energy Now Program
    Building Performance Professionals Association (BPPA)
  • 11:30 am – Conservation Panel Discussion with Q&A
    Energy savings planning, design, lighting, finance & operations
  • 2:00 pm – Renewable Power Discussion with Q&A
    Solar PV, thermal, storage, and community solar


How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change

On Friday November 4, 2016, SolarFest hosted a screening and discussion of the latest film from Oscar Nominated director Josh Fox in the beautiful Arkell Pavilion at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester (See trailer here).

Climate change may be the greatest threat our world has ever known. How to Let Go of the World and Love all the Things Climate Can’t Change was shot in 12 countries on six continents, the movie asks what is it that climate change can’t destroy? What is so deep within us that no calamity can take it away?

Doors opened at 6:00 pm, with refreshments provided by local sponsors. A moderated discussion of climate change began at 6:30 sharp, with the 2-hour film beginning at 7:00 pm.