City and county staff time can often be stretched thin. Public servants must ensure that all of their community’s needs are met, day in and day out. That’s not an easy task. The SolSmart team appreciates that staff time is a precious commodity, which is why we are lending a hand. With the opportunity to host a SolSmart Advisor, SolSmart is helping communities achieve national solar designation and implement solar best practices without having to give up pursuing other priorities.
SolSmart Advisors are program-funded and trained staff that are embedded in a community or region for engagements lasting up to six months. Advisor candidates are chosen through a robust application process and then provided with a week-long, in-depth training course by solar and local government experts. Following this introduction, Advisors are sent to their respective communities to begin working with staff on solar-specific goals.
At the outset of an engagement, an Advisor will evaluate local solar procedures and programs. The Advisor will then develop an action plan and apply proven best practices based on this review. Through these efforts, Advisors will assist communities in addressing soft costs and achieving SolSmart designation.
To apply for an Advisor, a community must already have submitted a SolSmart Intake Form. Once involved in the SolSmart program, a community needs to complete the “2016 Host Community Application” form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Communities that apply to host Advisors will be reviewed through a competitive selection process that weighs several factors. The deadline for applications in June 20th, 2016. There will be another opportunity to apply for an Advisor in Summer 2017.
In addition to cities and counties, we encourage regional organizations, such as Councils of Governments or Regional Planning Commissions, to apply for SolSmart Advisors. Regional organizations have the ability to reach a large population and coordinate efforts between communities, which can help maximize the benefits of an Advisor. To be eligible, these organizations must demonstrate that at least one of the communities with which they work has completed a SolSmart Intake Form. However, having more communities pursuing designation in the region will make the regional organization’s application for a SolSmart Advisor more competitive.