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