Silt recognized for making solar energy affordable |

Silt recognized for making solar energy affordable

Western Garfield County town receives Gold level designation from National SolSmart Program

Silt's SolSmart designation builds on a history of embracing solar energy. In this 2015 file photo, Silt Mayor Rick Aluise cut the ribbon for a solar array that fully powers the town’s water treatment plant. (Kelley Cox/Garfield Clean Energy)

The Town of Silt is receiving a Gold designation from the national SolSmart program for making it faster, easier, and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar. 

The SolSmart Gold designation is a signal that Silt is “open for solar business.” This designation recognizes Silt town government for regulatory reforms that make it easier for homeowners and businesses to gain approval to install solar energy. The Town’s solar permitting rules now include:

• Issuing permits within three days of application;

• Providing inspections within 48 hours of the request;

• And capping the permit fees at $50. 

These changes reduce costs for solar companies working to secure permits, allowing savings to be passed on to customers.

“This was a no-brainer for the Silt staff and Town Council to make the necessary changes to streamline the process for our residents and businesses who want to install solar,” said Town of Silt Community Development Director Janet Aluise according to a news release.

Silt is the second member jurisdiction in the Garfield Clean Energy collaborative to receive a SolSmart designation, following the Town of Carbondale’s Silver designation in June of this year. Nationally, more than 320 cities, counties, and small towns have achieved SolSmart gold, sliver or bronze designation since the program launched in 2016.

“We can all agree that solar energy is an important part of Garfield County’s energy mix,” said Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky according to a release. “Silt and Carbondale both have taken steps to make it easier and more affordable for solar businesses to serve their customers, and I’m proud to work with both as a county commissioner and as the county’s representative Garfield Clean Energy.”

SolSmart is a federally funded program that provides assistance and recognition to communities working to support the adoption of solar power in homes and businesses. It is managed by The Solar Foundation, a 42-year-old nonprofit that promotes solar energy use, and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), an organization that helps local governments adopt best practices that support good governance and economic resiliency. The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office funds it.

“We are excited that Silt and Carbondale are leaders in the region. We hope this encourages more jurisdictions to streamline their permitting processes leading to increased growth of solar across the region,” said Katharine Rushton, the Renewable Program Director at the nonprofit CLEER, which implements the programs for Garfield Clean Energy, according to a release.

Garfield Clean Energy is a joint effort of all seven local governments in Garfield County plus the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority and Colorado Mountain College that works to expand energy efficiency, renewable energy and alternative transportation fuels for households, businesses and local governments.

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