RAYMORE RECEIVES “SolSmart Gold” AWARD FOR ADVANCING SOLAR ENERGY
As a SolSmart Gold designee, Raymore is receiving national recognition for adopting programs and practices that make it faster, easier and cheaper to go solar. A SolSmart designation is a signal that the community is “open for solar business,” helping to attract solar industry investment and generate economic development and local jobs.
“Our efforts to support solar-ready businesses and homes is part of a broader strategy to support new thinking when it comes to development,” Community Development Director Jim Cadoret said. “This is just one initiative of many our City has undertaken to become a regional leader as our community continues to grow.”
To achieve designation, cities and counties take steps to reduce solar “soft costs,” which are non-hardware costs that can increase the time and money it takes to install a solar energy system. Examples of soft costs include planning and zoning; permitting; financing; customer acquisition; and installation labor. Soft costs now represent roughly two-thirds of the total price of an installed residential system. Reducing these costs leads to savings that are passed on to consumers.
Since 2015, Raymore has developed a streamlined process for planning, permitting and approving solar projects. Staff has also taken a number of steps to partner businesses and homeowners with state and federal programs that offer tax credits and other incentives to help offset soft costs.
The SolSmart designation team, led by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), evaluates communities and awards them points based on the actions they take to reduce soft costs and other barriers to solar. Communities that take sufficient action are designed either gold, silver, or bronze.
As part of the SolSmart program, all participating communities are eligible to request no-cost technical assistance from a team of national solar experts to help them achieve designation. The SolSmart technical assistance team is led by The Solar Foundation.
Launched in April 2016, SolSmart aims to designate 300 communities during the three-year, federally funded program.
SolSmart is a national designation and technical assistance program that recognizes leading solar communities and empowers additional communities to expand their local solar markets. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, SolSmart strives to cut red tape, drive greater solar deployment, and make it possible for even more American homes and businesses to access solar energy to meet their electricity needs. Learn more at SolSmart.org.