SolSmart is a national program that helps local governments reduce barriers to solar energy use for residents and businesses. SolSmart is led by IREC and the International City/County Management Association, and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office.
SolSmart provides no-cost technical assistance to help municipalities and counties reduce barriers and open their doors to solar energy growth. Since the launch of the program, more than 450 cities, counties, small towns, and regional organizations have achieved designation as SolSmart Gold, Silver, or Bronze.
The SolSmart technical assistance team was first led by the Solar Foundation, which has since merged with IREC. In May 2022, the Department of Energy announced a $10 million award for IREC and ICMA to designate another 500 communities within the next five years.
Local governments have tremendous influence over the growth of solar energy. SolSmart helps communities achieve national best practices to encourage solar energy expansion at the local level. Our expert technical assistance team guides communities on planning and zoning, permitting, community engagement, and other programs and policies that impact solar market growth.
Each community proudly receives a SolSmart plaque once they have successfully met the criteria for designation. It is official recognition that the community is “open for solar business.”
How We Work
Open to Everyone
All communities nationwide are eligible to join SolSmart. Our network of SolSmart Advisor organizations provides hands-on guidance to municipalities and counties.
We’re committed to helping underserved communities, rural communities, and all others to achieve their goals — regardless of their experience level on solar energy.
Solsmart designees can receive recognition through the website, media opportunities, special events, and peer-to-peer outreach.
Making an Impact
SolSmart is helping communities expand solar markets. An independent evaluation found that Solsmart increased a community’s solar capacity by 69 kW per month on average.
States with SolSmart designees, plus DC, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands
People living in SolSmart-designated communities
Lynn JurichFormer CEO, Sunrun
“SolSmart has encouraged more people to adopt solar, created quality local jobs, and brought more reliable local clean energy to our energy system.”