Community Engagement

community engagementCommunity Engagement is one of the special focus categories for the SolSmart designation program. To achieve a Bronze designation, a city must earn at least 20 points across the six Special Focus categories. A city must earn at least 100 points overall for a Silver designation or at least 200 points overall for a Gold designation. Below is a list of regional guidance and best practice documents. When regional examples are not available, national examples are available through SolSmart resources.





Convene an active energy task force or solar working group which meets at least three times per year (10 points).



Create a solar landing page on the local government's website with information on the community's solar goals and local resources for solar development (10 points).


City of Plano Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

City of Cedar Hill Solar Panel Energy Systems



Encourage solar PV on non-profit or community facilities through fee waivers, technical assistance, or other support (10 points).



Support or host a community-group purchase program (e.g. Solarize) (20 points).

**Earn an 10 additional points (CE-4b): Design program or create financing support options to encourage low-to-moderate income participation in community solar initiatives.



CE5-a: Host a solar workshop open to the general public and/or local government staff explaining solar PV opportunities and policies (5 points).

CE-5b: Create and distribute educational materials at relevant community events and through local government channels (5 points).

CE-5c: Establish partnerships with local non-profits or organizations on solar with multi-year goal or planned initiatives (5 points).

CE-5d: Publicly encourage community solar projects or solar PV projects on community facilities (5 points).

CE-5e: Engage the community in robust, ongoing discussion around climate, energy or sustainability plans (20 points).

Resources & Best Practices

Community Resources Toolkit (CE-5a & CE-5b)



Create and publish job training and placement opportunities for solar in coordination with local community colleges (20 points).



Conduct feasibility analysis for solar PV on brownfields, landfills, formerly contaminated lands and/or other under-utilized properties (10 points).

Resources & Best Practices

Cost-Benefit Analysis Report & Fact Sheets



Install or lease land for solar PV development on brownfields, landfills, formerly contaminated lands and/or other underutilized properties (20 points).

Resources & Best Practices

Putting Underutilized Land to Work for Solar Webinar

Cost-Benefit Analysis Report

Solar on Landfill or Other Underutilized Sites Fact Sheet



Engage with regional organizations on advancing solar policies in the region including, but not limited to, unified permitting processes and group procurement opportunities (20 points).


City of Plano's Participation in Solar Ready II



Demonstrate activity in state-level conversations regarding solar PV (20 points).



Create and/or share an interactive solar map for your community (20 points).



Local Innovation: Please describe your local innovation regarding Community Engagement. Be sure to explain how this helps reduce the soft cost of solar PV in your community (up to 20 points).




Icon courtesy of IYIKON from Noun Project.