Builders and remodelers whose clients are interested in solar power know there’s a lot more to it than just installing a few photovoltaic panels. You have to deal with the permitting, rules about financing and incentive programs that often are confusing, and other potential hurdles that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says can add as much as $2,500 to the cost of going solar. That added cost and effort takes solar out of the minds and budgets of most home buyers or owners. With the launch of the SolSmart program, the DOE is hoping to help communities remove some of those barriers to solar deployment.
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 so they’re less of a 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.
Home Innovation Research Labs is a SolSmart team member and will support the program’s designation component, led by the International City/County Management Association. The Solar Foundation will take the lead on the technical assistance side.
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 the SolSmart website to find out more and to nominate your community for designation.