July 11, 2018 – Oak Park’s efforts to make it quick, easy and cost-effective to get permits to install solar arrays have earned the Village gold status from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The Village is one of only 84 communities in the country to earn gold status and the eighth in Illinois. Currently, 19 Illinois communities are among the more than 200 communities involved in the SolSmart program nationally.
Oak Park’s one-day solar permit application approval process through the VillageView portal was critical to earning the gold status, which is the highest designation available through the federally funded SolSmart program.
Residents and businesses interested in utilizing solar energy can find a range of resources on the Village website at www.oak-park.us/solsmart, including information about obtaining a solar permit for a flat fee of $150 and links to several consumer protection resources.
The page also includes links to Google’s Project Sunroof, which allows users to find the solar potential for a home or property.
SolSmart is led by The Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office.
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 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 gold, silver or bronze.
For more information about the SolSmart designation or solar energy in Oak Park, contact the Village’s Sustainability Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 708.358.5770.