Real Estate

Home front: Solar info workshop; welcome to Palo Alto

Also, new study compares sleeping patterns between renters and homeowners

A roundup of local home and garden news and events, including an upcoming workshop on solar energy products, Palo Alto's welcome packet for new residents and a new study comparing sleep patterns between renters and homeowners.

SOLAR INFO WORKSHOP ... Palo Alto residents interested in learning about the how the Bay Area SunShares Program can make it easier and more affordable for them to go solar are invited to attend a free one-hour workshop at Rinconada Library on Saturday, Sept. 29. Through SunShares, which pools the buying power of individual participants to get more competitive pricing from solar companies, residents are eligible for a 30-percent federal tax credit when they go solar or purchase a zero-emissions vehicle. Workshop topics will include: the basics of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology, financing and incentives; the benefits of electrifying the whole home; and how to access the SunShares program discounts. Solar providers will be on hand to discuss their products and answer questions about going solar or buying/leasing an electric vehicle.

The workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to noon in the Embarcadero Room of the library, 1213 Newell Road, Palo Alto. To register for the workshop, go to

For details on SunShares, go to

WELCOME TO PALO ALTO ... When you move to Palo Alto, the city might not show up at your house with a welcome casserole, but it does have an online "welcome packet" on the Community Services Department's website (bottom tab in the left-hand column). The virtual welcome packet includes addresses, phone numbers, places to go, transportation, healthcare, school and child care information and a lot more, as well as a "welcome to Palo Alto" letter.

SLEEPLESS NIGHTS? ... According to an unusual study by online rental marketplace, renters sleep an extra 14 minutes per night, or 84 hours a year, more than homeowners. Renters also spend an average of 25 fewer minutes per day at home compared to homeowners, and 23 fewer minutes per day on household activities, including yard work, housework and maintenance.

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