Best Management Practices for Local Governments

Local governments that succeed at promoting solar are ones that remove solar barriers, such as restrictive solar ordinances and slow and confusing processes. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, up to 67% of residential solar installation costs can result from “soft costs”--defined as business process or administrative costs that can increase the time and money it takes to install a solar system.

The following resources are meant to assist cities with planning and soft cost reduction so that homeowners, businesses, schools, and other entities interested in solar energy have an easier path to getting solar up and running.  If your community already is, or is planning to, become solar-friendly, consider participating in SolSmart to receive technical assistance and national recognition.

Adopt a solar ordinance    Address Solar in the Zoning Code and Adopt a Solar Ordinance

Permitting checklist    Create a Permitting Checklist

Criteria for Expedited Processes    Develop Criteria for Expedited Processes

Standardize permit fees    Standardize Permit Fees

Pre-qualify electrical plans and installers    Pre-Qualify Electrical Plans and Installers

Create a central information source    Create a Central Information Source

Solar-Ready Ordinance    Develop Solar-Ready Guidelines or Adopt a Solar-Ready Ordinance

HOAs    Engage Homeowners' Associations





Icons courtesy of James Fenton, TukTuk Design, Kirby Wu, Symbolon, Rockicon, Bezier Master, Adrien Coquet, Zidney, and IYIKON from Noun Project.

Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA). "Solar Industry Data." (2017).