The Village of Schaumburg has received a SolSmart Silver designation for its efforts to reduce barriers to solar energy growth and to make it easier for homes and businesses to go solar.
This designation recognizes the village for taking bold steps to encourage solar energy growth and remove obstacles to solar development. For companies looking to expand, a SolSmart Silver designation is a signal that Schaumburg is "open for solar business." The village was recognized at an event held at Argonne National Laboratory on February 2.
In partnership with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, the Village of Schaumburg and 14 other local governments from around the Chicago region worked collaboratively to make changes to their local processes to reduce the time and money necessary to install a solar energy system. This included evaluating local permitting processes, as well as planning and zoning procedures. SolSmart designees also developed innovations in areas such as market development and finance.
Specifically in Schaumburg, the village streamlined its permitting process and updated the Solar Energy Systems Code. The village also created a new webpage at http://bit.ly/2C7J6s0, which offers resource guides, templates for plan preparation, and informational resources for funding and incentives, as well as consumer protection resources.
"The Village of Schaumburg is continually looking for ways to enhance the way we offer services to residents," said Village President Al Larson. "By making our processes more efficient, we open the door to increased innovation that can benefit our community in the form of new development, job opportunities and the ability to pursue additional sustainable initiatives."
All municipal participants are a part of the Greenest Region Compact 2, which was created by the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and its membership to guide and unify regional sustainability efforts. In addition to renewable energy, the Compact also expands opportunities for municipal leaders to take action in the areas of climate, economic development, energy efficiency, land use, leadership, mobility, greener municipal operations, sustainable communities, waste and water.
As a SolSmart designee, the Village of Schaumburg 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. The actions Schaumburg has taken will help encourage solar companies to do business in the area, driving economic development and creating local jobs.
For a comprehensive look at the Village of Schaumburg's sustainable initiatives, visit the village's website at http://bit.ly/2C1IUZD.
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 actions are designated either gold, silver, or bronze.
SolSmart is led by The Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. For more information, visit www.solsmart.org.
The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus is a membership organization of the Chicago region's 275 cities, towns and villages that fosters collaboration towards a common goal of improving the quality of life for the millions of people who call the region home. For more information, visit http://mayorscaucus.org.