City of Chester Designated “SolSmart Bronze” for Advancing Solar Energy Growth
(CHESTER, PA) – Chester, Pennsylvania is receiving a Bronze designation from the national SolSmart program for making it faster, easier, and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar. This designation recognizes the City of Chester for taking bold steps to encourage solar energy growth and remove obstacles to solar development. For companies looking to expand, a SolSmart Bronze designation is a signal that Chester is “open for solar business.”
SolSmart is led by The Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. More than 100 cities, counties, and small towns have achieved SolSmart designation since the program launched in 2016.
As a SolSmart designee, the City of Chester 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 Chester has taken will help encourage solar companies to do business in the area, driving economic development and creating local jobs.
“Both the City of Chester’s Planning Department and our Building Code Officials have been working jointly to create a system that allows our residents the option of using solar energy in the very near future,” said Peter Rykard, Director of Planning for the City of Chester.
To receive designation, cities and counties make changes to their local processes to reduce the time and money it takes to install a solar energy system. This includes evaluating local permitting processes, as well as planning and zoning procedures. SolSmart designees also develop innovations in areas such as market development and finance.
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 action are designated either gold, silver, or bronze.
As part of the SolSmart program, a team of national experts provides no-cost technical assistance to help communities achieve designation. All cities and counties are eligible to join the SolSmart program and receive this technical assistance. Interested communities can learn more at SolSmart.org.