Colorful road signs proclaiming "Solar Friendly Community" are about to start popping up in Denver and around Colorado. But, what does being a Solar Friendly Community mean and how can Colorado Springs and other Pikes Peak region communities join Cities such as Denver to become one?
On Dec. 12, Program Director Rebecca Cantwell will present Solar Friendly Communities’ 12 Best Practices: Roadmap to a Solar Friendly Community as a free City Green Bag Lunch-n-Learn on how communities can work on streamlining their processes and make solar permitting easier for both citizens and city or county staff. The new program offers a menu of 12 best practices and technical assistance to get any county, city or town on its way to achieving bronze, silver, gold or platinum recognition as a Solar Friendly Community.
The lunch-n-learn runs over the noon lunch hour, from 12:11 to 12: 49 p.m., at the City Administration Building, 30 S. Nevada, in Suite 102. Attendees are encouraged to bring and enjoy their lunches during the presentation. Those who come have the opportunity to win a door prize tote bag made from recycled City banners.
With 300+ days of sunshine per year, Colorado is ideal for solar activity. And, according to Solar Friendly Communities the hardware costs of rooftop solar systems—such as panels—have dropped up to 70 percent in just three years. Yet, the “soft’’ costs such as permitting, installation, regulatory and other related costs have not dropped and now account for up to 40 percent of the total cost of rooftop solar system. Streamlining processes and bringing those costs down makes solar a more affordable option.
Solar Friendly Communities is led by the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA) as one of 22 Rooftop Solar Challenge teams funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative.
Each month, the City’s Office of Sustainability has sponsored a lunch-n-learn topic on an environmental issue. Questions? Contact City of Colorado Springs Sustainability Coordinator Carrie McCausland, 719-385-CSGN (2746) or firstname.lastname@example.org.