Westminster named state’s top solar friendly city

Westminster, CO — The City of Westminster has been certified as a Platinum Level Solar Friendly Community by an innovative partnership between local governments and the solar industry.

 

Westminster is the first community in Colorado to achieve the Platinum designation from the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA) as part of its Solar Friendly Communities Program.

 

The certification is earned by communities that are leaders in adopting best practices in permitting, inspection, planning and public education to help residents go solar. The program awards points toward certification based on the “12 Best Practices: A Roadmap to a Solar Friendly Community.”

“We’re excited and delighted to be a statewide leader in helping residents and businesses go solar,” said Westminster Mayor Herb Atchison. “This is a key objective identified in our recent strategic planning process, and it recognizes the important role the city can play to foster an environmentally responsible community.”

 

“Westminster has worked hard to implement many solar-friendly policies such as allowing permits to be submitted electronically, instituting low permit fees and only requiring a final inspection for standard rooftop solar energy systems,”’ said Rebecca Cantwell, executive director of the COSEIA. “We hope this recognition makes it faster, easier and more affordable for Westminster residents to go solar.”’

 

Recent studies have shown that more than half the cost of a typical rooftop solar system comes from elements other than the panels — so called “soft costs” — including the local permitting process. Streamlining local approvals is a way to drive down the cost of solar.

 

A key benefit of the solar friendly certification is there are more than 16 Colorado solar companies that offer a $500 discount on standard residential solar systems installed in Solar Friendly Communities.

 

Westminster earned 1,400 points of 1,600 possible, making it the first to achieve the Platinum level. Three communities – Denver, Fort Collins and Lafayette – have achieved the Gold level designation (at least 1,100 points). Westminster becomes Colorado’s 15th Solar Friendly Community, and together they represent a population of more than 2 million people.

 

The Westminster City Council will receive a road sign and a plaque during a ceremony at the August 11 City Council meeting.

 

INFORMATION: Rebecca Cantwell – Solar Friendly Communities- (303) 333-7342