Over the years, Boise has implemented numerous sustainability initiatives and policies in an effort to become “the most livable city in the nation.” To lay the groundwork, Boise sought SolSmart’s help to make locally generated solar energy widely available and accessible. Working together, the solar installation process was streamlined, and residents, businesses, and solar companies became increasingly aware that investing in solar energy in Boise was fast, easy, and affordable. After SolSmart, Boise saw a 47% increase in residential solar PV permits issued in fiscal year 2018. As of 2019, there were nearly 20 solar companies in the area.
- Created an online permitting checklist, increasing transparency for community members and solar installers
- Reviewed local zoning codes and identified restrictions that intentionally or unintentionally prohibit solar PV development
- Allowed solar by-right accessory use in all zones (so solar installations don’t require special permits or hearings)
- Cross-trained both inspection and permitting staff on solar PV
- Provided a streamlined permitting pathway for small PV systems