The Town of Zionsville has received a Bronze designation from the national SolSmart program for making it faster, easier and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar.
This designation recognizes the Town of Zionsville for taking steps to encourage solar energy growth and remove obstacles to solar development. For companies looking to expand, a SolSmart Bronze designation is a signal that Zionsville is “open for solar business.”
SolSmart is led by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. More than 400 cities, counties and towns have achieved SolSmart designation since the program launched in 2016.
“SolSmart builds upon our commitment to sustainable practices and our first Climate Action Plan by helping us be ready to make solar an easier choice for our businesses and residents,” said Mayor Emily Styron. “Our zoning and planning team have been working hard to streamline the deployment of solar energy in town.”
As a SolSmart designee, the Town of Zionsville is helping solar companies greatly reduce the cost of installations and pass those savings on to consumers. This allows even more local homes and businesses to obtain affordable, clean and reliable electricity through solar.
To receive designation, cities, towns and counties make changes to their local processes to reduce the time and money it takes to install a solar energy system. This includes evaluating local permitting processes and planning and zoning procedures. To achieve this designation, the Town of Zionsville has:
- Reviewed zoning requirements
- Trained planning and zoning staff on best practices in planning and zoning for solar
- Posted an online checklist detailing the required steps and permitting process for small rooftop solar
- Posted a solar landing page on the website with educational materials and resources
- Supported a community-wide group purchase program (Boone and Hamilton Counties Solar Co-op)
SolSmart uses objective criteria to award communities points based on the actions they take to reduce barriers to solar energy development. Communities that take sufficient action are designated either gold, silver or bronze. Communities can learn more at SolSmart.org.