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Cedar Rapids Receives Gold Designation as a Solar-Ready Community

Cedar Rapids Receives Gold Designation as a Solar-Ready Community

The City of Cedar Rapids earned a gold rating from SolSmart for efforts to make it easier for residents to go solar. SolSmart is a national organization funded by the Department of Energy which assists local governments across the U.S. in reducing barriers to going solar in their communities. Cedar Rapids is the first City in Iowa to earn the gold rating designation.

For Cedar Rapids to earn the gold rating, it had to earn more than 200 points across several categories, including Permitting, Zoning, Inspection, and Community Engagement. Early in 2017, the City of Cedar Rapids and Linn County jointly applied and were awarded 6 months of technical assistance from the Great Plains Institute in Minneapolis.

Communities that applied for a SolSmart designation of bronze, silver, or gold committed to making solar energy easier for their residents. Former Mayor Ron Corbett signed a solar commitment in February of 2017. Since then, City departments have worked to identify areas where City processes could be made easier for the public to understand solar requirements related to permitting, inspection, and zoning. Efforts included updating online material and creating a webpage dedicated to solar energy. The City of Cedar Rapids and Linn County also participated in a program called Solar Group Buy, which educated 500 residents on solar energy and resulted in more than 100 home installations throughout the community. The City has also recently completed four solar installations in City facilities including a transit garage and three booster stations.

Linn County and Johnson County were the only two counties in Iowa to earn SolSmart gold status.

More information on City of Cedar Rapids solar efforts can be found on the solar pages

More information on SolSmart and the 183 designated communities in the US can be found here: https://www.solsmart.org/

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