Weekly Feature

2018-03-07 / Local News

Town of Tonawanda receives ‘SolSmart Silver’ Award

The U.S. Department of Energy through its The SunShot Initiative, known as SolSmart, has awarded a silver designation to the Town of Tonawanda for its substantial work to promote solar power.

“As a SolSmart Silver designee, the town is receiving national recognition for implementing programs such as its Solarize Tonawanda initiative and solar permit process, which made it faster, easier and cheaper to go solar,” said Town of Tonawanda Councilman William Conrad.

According to Conrad, 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 award demonstrates the Town of Tonawanda’s commitment to promote projects and programs that enhance the town’s sustainability and energy efficiency,” said Supervisor Joseph Emminger.

To achieve 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.

SolSmart is a national designation and technical assistance program that recognizes leading solar communities and empowers additional communities to expand their local solar markets to make it possible for even more homes and businesses to access solar energy to meet their electricity needs.

To learn more, contact SolSmart@SolarFound.org.

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