City of Goshen receives “SolSmart Gold” Award for Advancing Solar Energy Growth
The City of Goshen has been awarded a Gold Designation from SolSmart, a program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, for taking the important first steps to encourage solar energy growth.
As a SolSmart Gold designee –and first community in Indiana to do so– Goshen 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.
“This initiative will help put us at the top tier of communities in Indiana that are striving to become more environmentally friendly,” Mayor Jeremy Stutsman said. “And our efforts shouldn’t stop here. I would like to invite everyone in the community to help us find efficiencies that will continue to benefit our quality of life.”
To achieve a 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.
In Goshen, some of those steps included:
• Creating a landing page with all necessary resources for residents interested in installing solar panels in their properties
• Training all building inspectors to know what to look for in solar panel installations to ensure they are safely installed
• Training all firefighters to learn how to properly disarm solar panel systems in the event of a fire to keep everyone safe
Mayor Stutsman commended everyone who took part in every step of the way to lead the City to receive the SolSmart Gold Designation.
“I would like to thank MACOG, SolSmart Technical Adviser Leah Thill, the City Council, staff and residents who participated in these discussions to help us get to this point,” Mayor Stutsman said.
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