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MAYOR PARKER ANNOUNCES FEDERAL GRANT TO EXPAND SOLAR INSTALLATIONS
New Funding Will Make It More Afforadable And Easier For Houstonians To Install Rooftop Solar

June 7, 2012 -- The City of Houston has received $91,572.00 in grant funding to promote market readiness of solar technologies. Grant funding will be used to make installing rooftop solar photovoltaic easier, faster, and cheaper for homeowners and businesses by implementing streamlined and standardized processes that will dramatically improve local market conditions.

“This new funding will help Houstonians take better advantage of more affordable solar energy, reducing their energy costs as well as greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mayor Parker.

The purpose of the grant is to achieve measurable improvements in market conditions for rooftop photovoltaics with an emphasis on streamlined and standardized permitting processes, interconnection standards, net metering tariffs, and site restrictions. Hardware costs for solar have dramatically decreased over the past few years, but permitting and installation costs can still be high. This funding aims to reduce these costs by making permitting and installation consistent, easy and less time consuming.

The City of Houston will work with the cities of San Antonio and Austin to enhance existing policy and process frameworks and identify ways to increase efficiency while maintaining high standards, thereby reducing the administrative burden on local solar installers.

The grant funding will also be focused on simplifying the process for solar installers and consumers, educating citizens on homeowner association approval protocols, and informing the public on new financing options available from the last Texas legislative session, including community solar and third party solar ownership.

Funding for this project is through the US Department of Energy SunShot Initiative: Rooftop Solar Challenge to Induce Market Transformation.

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