SolSmart Launches to Support Local Governments

May 4, 2016 by Erin Nobler

As a member of the Solar Technical Assistance Team (STAT) network, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) provides direct technical assistance to state and local governments on challenges that require solar market expertise. STAT is proud to support other programs that have the same goal, so it’s exciting to see the launch of the SolSmart program.

Also funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, the SolSmart program provides national designation to leading solar cities and counties. It empowers new communities to become solar leaders through no-cost technical assistance.

Business processes or administrative costs, the so-called “soft costs,” can increase the time and money it takes to install a solar energy system. These costs are passed on to solar customers and limit solar market potential. By taking actions to reduce these costs and earn a SolSmart designation, a community signals to solar companies and others that it is “open for [solar] business.” This signal can help attract new solar companies and lower costs for residents and local governments.

The SolSmart program will provide communities with no-cost technical assistance to lower these costs and achieve designation. Local governments are uniquely positioned to reduce soft costs and take action to promote solar in their jurisdictions. A core component of this technical assistance program is the opportunity for communities pursuing designation to host a SolSmart Advisor. This fully funded temporary staff member is committed to helping communities achieve designation.

NREL is one of the leading providers of technical assistance through the SolSmart program. Learn more by visiting the SolSmart website.

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