Fairfax becomes first county in Virginia to reach Solsmart Gold status


National Solsmart program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Fairfax County is leading the way in solar energy in the state, becoming the first local government in Virginia to reach gold status for their efforts to advance solar energy growth.

Their efforts earned them the gold designation from the National Solsmart program which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. To receive this top designation, local governments must have a process to make it faster, easier and less expensive to install a solar energy system. This includes streamlining permitting and zoning rules, as well as offering economic incentives.

“We have a easy to use solar permit checklist and some of our highlights include there’s no permit fee, we have same day permitting. There’s also a tax exemption from the county,” said Jessica Lavender, Senior Energy Analyst for Fairfax County.

County solar partners say the permit checklist has made Fairfax one of the easiest County’s to work with.

“Some counties make it very difficult for us to pull permits and then everything becomes more complicated so we applaud it that Fairfax County makes it easy on us to pull permits. Climate change is real, it will affect Fairfax County and I can only applaud it that our local government is doing something about it,” Herve Billiet, Co-Founder and CEO of IPSUN Solar said.

The county plans to launch a community-wide climate and energy action plan in the fall to outline goals to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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