Lyons, CO — The town of Lyons has earned certification as a Solar Friendly Community for adopting leading best practices designed to make it faster, easier and more affordable for its residents to go solar.
Lyons adopted enough of the solar streamlining recommendations to earn 715 points for bronze designation, and becomes the 14th Colorado community to be recognized since the program began in 2012.
The town will be honored at a regular Town Board meeting May 19 with the presentation of a road sign and a plaque to leaders.
“We are excited to be recognized as a community that promotes renewable energy alternatives. This recognition gives a chance to reflect on our accomplishments thus far, as we have made great steps in policy to help create a smaller carbon footprint,” said Town of Lyons staff member, Jeremy Matsen. Matsen helped craft the net metering ordinance for the town, which allows citizens to send electricity produced back to the grid. “The 12 Best Practices of the program also gives us something to strive for. While we are happy with what we’ve been able to do so far, we are always looking for ways to improve our services to the community.”
Solar Friendly Communities works to advance reforms to solar permitting, inspection and finance and was launched as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot initiative to drive down the costs of solar energy. The program uses an easy-to-follow roadmap of 12 Best Practices (explained in detail at www.solarcommunities.org) and rewards communities for endorsing these practices.
Lyons joins the City and County of Denver, Aurora, Lakewood, Fort Collins, Arvada, Nederland, Boulder County, Carbondale, Lafayette, Parker, Superior, Golden and the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department in earning Solar Friendly Communities certification. Together, the certified cities now represent more than 2 million Colorado residents.
“Lyons has proven that even small towns can work to streamline solar permitting and make it easier for citizens to go solar,’’ said Rebecca Cantwell, executive director of the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association. “One of the program’s most valuable benefits is now available to Lyons residents — the Solar Friendly Communities Discount Program in which participating installers offer $500 discounts on rooftop systems to residents.”
While the costs of solar panels have dropped dramatically in recent years, the “soft costs’’ of solar including permitting and inspection now account for roughly 60 percent of the total price. By adopting policies that cut the time required to get rooftop solar systems installed, Lyons is helping to cut the cost of the systems and making solar more affordable. With interest in solar growing, the streamlined processes will also help the city prepare for greater solar energy demand.
INFORMATION: Rebecca Cantwell – Solar Friendly Communities- (303) 333-7342