We are committed to communities who seek to advance environmental sustainability. SolSmart is a partnership recognizing communities that increase accessibility to solar. If you are part of one of those communities - apply for your SolSmart designation today!
SolSmart is a new national designation program, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative through the Solar Powering America by Recognizing Communities (SPARC) initiative, designed to recognize communities that have taken key steps to address local barriers to solar energy and foster the growth of mature local solar markets.
The SolSmart program primarily seeks to address “solar soft costs,” or business process or administrative costs that can increase the time and money it takes to install a solar energy system — costs which are then passed on to solar customers. While only certain local government procedures (such as permitting, planning, and zoning) are the source of some soft costs, local governments are in a unique position to reduce soft costs and take action to promote the use of solar locally.
The SolSmart designation program will provide high-profile, national recognition for communities that have made it cheaper and easier for solar customers to invest in solar energy. In addition, achieving designation will send a signal to solar companies that a community is “open for solar business,” attracting new businesses and helping designees share in the economic development benefits attached to the solar industry. Interested communities can apply for designation using the simple online Intake Form.
Upon receipt of this application, the Designation Program Administrator (led by the International City/County Management Association) will conduct a baseline assessment to determine which criteria the community currently meets based on previous efforts and which actions are still required before designation can be granted. Communities committed to pursuing SolSmart designation will be eligible for no-cost technical assistance (“TA”) from the Technical Assistance Provider (led by The Solar Foundation) and its team of national solar and local government experts to help communities meet the criteria for designation.