Home Innovation News

During the APA’s National Planning Conference, SolSmart announced the latest 22 designations.

May 8, 2017 | Upper Marlboro, MD

SolSmart Soars

Dozens of U.S. communities step up to help spur solar market growth

In early May, about one year after the SolSmart program launched, 58 communities in 25 states have achieved designation as "open for solar business." Representing more than 29 million people, these cities and counties are cutting red tape to reduce the cost of solar energy at the local level. The program continues to provide no-cost technical assistance to designated communities and is well on its way to the goal of having a few hundred designees over the course of the three-year program.

During the APA’s National Planning Conference, SolSmart announced the latest 22 designations.

Nine new communities achieved the highest designation of SolSmart Gold:

  • Atlanta, Ga.
  • Beaverton, Ore.
  • Davis, Calif.
  • El Paso, Texas
  • Hillsboro, Ore.
  • Huntington Beach, Calif.
  • Madison, Wis.
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Ypsilanti, Mich.

Two new communities were designated SolSmart Silver:

  • Ames, Iowa
  • Oro Valley, Ariz.

Eleven new communities were designated SolSmart Bronze:

  • Carrboro, N.C.
  • Chapel Hill, N.C.
  • Charlottesville, Va.
  • Cupertino, Calif.
  • Dartmouth, Mass.
  • Lincoln, Neb.
  • Miami-Dade County, Fla.
  • Natick, Mass.
  • Orange County, N.C.
  • Raymore, Mo.
  • San Antonio, Texas

In addition to the new designees, four communities that had previously been designated as silver or bronze were also “promoted” to SolSmart Gold:

  • Charleston County, S.C.
  • Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Saint Paul, Minn.
  • Somerville, Mass.

SolSmart is a national community recognition and designation program that supports the goals of DOE’s SunShot Initiative—to make it faster, cheaper, and easier to go solar. Towns and cities that pursue the SolSmart designation can get free technical assistance to help make the approval processes more efficient and decrease the burden on overworked local governments. These efficiencies are aimed at saving communities money, which DOE hopes will spur even more interest in utilizing solar energy.

As a SolSmart team member, Home Innovation Research Labs supports the program’s designation component, led by the International City/County Management Association. The Solar Foundation leads the technical assistance component.

If you’d like to help make it easier and more affordable for your clients to choose solar, and for your community to attract more solar-oriented businesses, visit SolSmart.org to learn more about the program and the benefits it can provide. Solar installations are complex and specific, and SolSmart can provide excellent resources such as sample code and policy language, statistics and data, expert advice by phone or email, and even on-site technical assistance.


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ABOUT: Home Innovation Research Labs, located in Upper Marlboro, Md., is a full-service research, testing, and consulting firm determined to improve the quality, durability, affordability, and environmental performance of single- and multifamily homes and home building products – in short, we aim to perfect the home. Founded in 1964 as a subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), our team has been integral in solving many of our client’s most difficult product and technology issues, and helping to introduce some of the most groundbreaking innovations in residential construction. Through an interdisciplinary research approach – including market research, building science analysis, laboratory testing, and standards development – we help to find a home for innovation in the residential construction industry.

NOTE TO EDITORS ON STYLE USAGE: To identify this company and its work correctly, first reference should be "Home Innovation Research Labs." In subsequent mentions, "Home Innovation Labs” or simply “Home Innovation” are acceptable and accurate alternative references; we are not identified by an acronym. Prior to February 12, 2013, the company was known as the NAHB Research Center.