Clean energy begins in the community. Local governments have a pivotal and often underappreciated role in bringing new solar, wind, and energy efficiency to their residents and businesses.

IREC helps cities, counties, towns, and regional organizations use policy tools and resources to drive the growth of clean energy, address climate change, and create new jobs.

SolSmart: Making Communities “Open for Solar Business”

SolSmart is a national program that has helped more than 500 local governments reduce barriers to solar energy use for residents and businesses. It provides no-cost technical assistance to help cities, towns, counties, and regional organizations achieve SolSmart designation, a sign that the community is “open for solar business.” 

Today, SolSmart designees can be found in 43 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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.

Sustainable Energy Action Committee

Led by IREC, the Sustainable Energy Action Committee (SEAC) provides a national forum for stakeholders to address code enforcement and permitting for solar installations and energy storage projects. This forum brings together local officials including building and fire departments, contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, testing labs, and other clean energy stakeholders.

Clear and comprehensive procedures on permitting, inspection, and related areas are essential to ensure the safety and quality of solar and solar-plus-storage systems. This collaborative project will help identify and solve problems and achieve public safety objectives. Like the SolSmart program, it will also help reduce the non-hardware “soft costs” of solar and energy storage.

IREC has led SEAC since the spring of 2020 under a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Puerto Rico: Clean Energy and Resilience

IREC is committed to helping Puerto Rico and the Caribbean islands move toward a clean energy future. We lead groundbreaking programs to support solar energy, battery storage, and a more resilient electricity grid.

Our Puerto Rico programs support solar workforce development, finance solutions, and microgrid installations. We bring together businesses, community members, other nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and solar energy advocates to transform Puerto Rico’s energy system, working together to achieve a renewable and sustainable future.

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