Parker, CO — The town of Parker has earned Bronze Level certification as a Solar Friendly Community for adopting best practices in solar permitting.
The town will be recognized with a road sign and a plaque October 21 at a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees starting at 7 p.m. at the town hall. Parker residents will be eligible for a $500 discount on residential systems if they do business with an installer that has chosen to be part of the Solar Friendly Communities Discount Program.
Solar Friendly Communities works to advance reforms to solar permitting, inspection and finance 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 atwww.solarcommunities.org) and rewards communities for endorsing these practices.
Parker becomes the 10th community in Colorado to be recognized, and the first in the south metro area. Parker joins the City and County of Denver, Aurora, Lakewood, Fort Collins, Arvada, Boulder County, Nederland, Carbondale and Lafayette in earning Solar Friendly Communities certification.
Parker earned 760 points out of a possible 1600 to qualify for Bronze Level recognition. The town has adopted solar permitting practices such as providing a checklist of requirements for both solar PV and solar thermal systems, adopting a standard expedited permitting process, and allowing for speedy permit submissions.
“As solar grows more affordable and more popular, we are pleased that Parker is getting ahead of the curve with these streamlined permit practices,’’ said Rebecca Cantwell, senior program director for Solar Friendly Communities. “The recognition demonstrates that Parker is working to make it faster, easier and more affordable for citizens to go solar.’’
While the costs of solar panels have dropped dramatically in recent years, the “soft costs’’ of solar such as permitting and inspection now account for roughly half of the total price. By adopting policies that cut the time required to get rooftop solar systems installed, Parker 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 town prepare for greater solar energy demand.
Solar Friendly Communities is led by the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association in partnership with Boulder County, along with the City and County of Denver, Fort Collins, Golden, Rocky Mountain Institute and the American Solar Energy Society.
INFORMATION: Rebecca Cantwell – Solar Friendly Communities- (303) 333-7342