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Ready to get started? Interested communities can apply for designation using the simple Online Application.

Upon receipt of the application, the Designation Program Administrator (led by the International City/County Management Association) will conduct an assessment to determine which criteria the community currently meets based on previous efforts and which actions, if any, are still required before designation can be granted.

Communities committed to pursuing SolSmart designation will be eligible for no-cost technical assistance (“TA”) from the Technical Assistance Provider (led by The Solar Foundation) and its team of national solar and local government experts to help communities meet the criteria for designation.

We encourage all applicants to read the full program guide before beginning the application process.

Paper Application

Before you begin, we recommend reviewing the SolSmart Program Guide and Frequently Asked Questions. Due to the comprehensiveness of the form, we also recommend printing and reviewing the SolSmart Program Guide which contains the same designation criteria information as the online form. Circulating it to your colleagues in relevant local government departments and collecting verification documents before beginning will make information easier to enter in fewer sittings, and may help to expedite the processing of your intake form.

Criteria Categories

  • PERMITTING – Implement permitting best practices to provide solar developers and installers a transparent, efficient, and cost-effective approval processes that also protects your community’s valuable staff time.
  • PLANNING, ZONING, & DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS – Provide maximum siting options for rooftop and ground-mounted solar projects while preserving your community’s character and historic resources.
  • INSPECTION – Protect public health and safety while ensuring compliance with state and local codes.
  • CONSTRUCTION CODES – Adopt applicable codes and standards that provide clear guidance on solar installation requirements and solar-ready construction.
  • SOLAR RIGHTS – Protect the right to sunlight for current and future solar consumers through solar access ordinances or easements.
  • UTILITY ENGAGEMENT – Discuss and implement your community’s goals for solar energy, community solar, net metering, and interconnection with local utility.
  • COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT – Support local or regional solar energy development through public education and engagement efforts, group purchase programs, and participation in state-level solar conversations.
  • MARKET DEVELOPMENT & FINANCE – Lead the way with solar installations on public facilities and grow the local solar market by providing information on, or expanding, local financing options and incentives.

Contact Us

If you hit a snag, contact us:

SolSmart Hotline: 202-962-3595

SolSmart Email: admin@solsmart.org