Accelerating the Clean Energy Transition with Automated Permitting (Solar APP+)

Adopted at the 90th Annual Meeting in 2022

  • WHEREAS, The United States Conference of Mayors has previously advocated for and acknowledged the importance of a transition to a clean energy economy; and

    WHEREAS, The United States Conference of Mayors has declared a climate emergency through the Comprehensive National Response to Climate Change resolution; and

    WHEREAS, transitioning to clean energy mitigates climate change, increases energy reliability, and spurs economic opportunities that will provide jobs to millions of Americans deploying clean energy technologies; and

    WHEREAS, The United States Conference of Mayors has acknowledged the societal value of rooftop solar, energy storage, smarter energy infrastructure, and grid modernization and resolved to remove barriers to its deployment; and

    WHEREAS, ongoing climate disasters and our most comprehensive understanding of climate change underscores the need to tackle this clean energy transition with the utmost urgency and make it faster, cheaper, and more effective for all Americans to participate; and

    WHEREAS, the potential growth of rooftop solar and energy storage is diminished by administrative burdens, red tapes, and "soft costs" of permitting; and

    WHEREAS, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a division of the U.S. Department of Energy, has released free software called SolarAPP+ that cities can adopt to process permits for residential solar and energy storage systems; and

    WHEREAS, SolarAPP+ can ease cities' administrative burden and accelerate clean energy deployment by reducing the time and complexity of solar permitting, and by lowering costs, making solar more accessible to low- and moderate-income Americans; and

    WHEREAS, jurisdictions that have deployed SolarAPP+ have safely approved thousands of permit applications, reduced permit review time, and saved thousands of staff hours; and

    WHEREAS, the Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, has publicly endorsed the tool and encouraged United States Mayors to adopt SolarAPP+.

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges city leaders to move swiftly to implement automated online solar permitting platforms, like SolarAPP+, to reduce permit review time for solar energy and energy storage systems.

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