Solar Friendly Communities offers a way to recognize and reward communities that go to the effort of making their solar energy permitting system more streamlined. At right you will find an application form that walks you through the “12 Best Practices: Roadmap to a Solar Friendly Community.”
Where Did the Best Practices for a Solar Friendly Community Come From?
The 12 Best Practices: Roadmap to a Solar Friendly Community was developed based on national best practices and dozens of conversations with local officials and industry leaders. We identified ways to speed up solar permitting and inspection processes as well as ways for cities and counties to help their residents learn about solar options. Each is detailed and explained on its own page on this web site. Links are provided to show examples of communities that have already enacted each of these practices.
What Are the Steps to Becoming a Solar Friendly Community?
First have a look at our application for recognition. You can start this application online, save it by identifying your email address, and then come back later to continue filling in in. The recognition process presents communities with a menu of options to allow for maximum flexibility and choice. You can choose what makes sense for your community.
The “12 Best Practices: Roadmap to a Solar Friendly Community’’ lays out a total of 1600 points for adopting various policies. Most steps are cumulative, unless noted. The program offers choices to accommodate communities with differing levels of resources, and there are many different paths a community can take to earn recognition. Communities can earn different levels of recognition as a Solar Friendly Community:
- Bronze – 700 points
- Silver - 900 points
- Gold - 1100 points
- Platinum – 1400 points.
As you fill out the recognition form, you will see that we ask you for a link or other evidence to show you have met the requirement. (For example some of the steps ask you to post information online). Once you submit the application, we will check the links and other information. We may call you for clarification. We will recognize you as a Solar Friendly Community once we verify that you have gained enough points to qualify.
The Recognition Benefits
We will recognize you in a public ceremony of your choice. On this page is a photo of the Boulder County Commissioners holding the plaque we presented at a special meeting. We will also present you with a large, street-worthy road sign and ask you to post it in a prominent place in your community. We will issue a news release about the honor and work with you to invite the local media to attend your ceremony. Perhaps most tangibly, your residents will become eligible for the Solar Friendly Communities Discount Program enabling them to get $500 off from a standard system from participating installers (see details under Discount Program on the site) Additionally, your community representatives will be invited to join other Solar Friendly Communities in ongoing educational and community-building activities.