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A step by step tool kit for local governments to go solar


The step by step tool kit for local governments to go solar contains an array of strategies that can be implemented on the local level to bring solar power and energy efficiency to the residents of Californian communities.

As part of Governor Schwarzenegger’s vision of one million solar roofs in California by 2016, the California Energy Commission’s New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) was created to encourage installations of solar-electric systems and energy efficiency features in new home construction statewide. The NSHP provides builders of energy efficient solar homes with financial incentives, marketing support, and other forms of encouragement.

This toolkit is one of the many ways the Energy Commission is working together with local governments across the state of California.

It is intended for review and use by a variety of local municipal officials and staff, including local planners, building and safety officials, city managers, city attorneys and elected officials. Additionally, this tool kit can be widely distributed, as there are many ways local government can help encourage developers to install solar on new highly energy efficient homes, and opportunities to support this effort can arise in multiple municipal departments.

The tool kit provides an array of strategies and options that local governments can implement to help encourage solar developments in their region. While some strategies require more resources than others, the tool kit provides a variety of options that can be tailored to meet the individual circumstances of each municipality. Some of these suggested strategies include: amending general plans, incentivizing energy efficiency measures and solar installations and educating local home builders about existing solar incentives.

The kit also contains an array of useful materials provided to support the implementation of the suggested strategies. These materials include:

  • background information on the NSHP;
  • supporting materials on the benefits of combining energy efficiency features with solar energy;
  • suggested local municipal strategies for encouraging solar installation;
  • a builder outreach brochure;
  • a recognition certificate for builders;
  • sample model ordinances;
  • sample text for press materials; and
  • available resources and contact information.

Read A step by step tool kit for local governments to go solar.