SMUD Teams with California City to Speed Solar Installations

Residents of Elk Grove, California, who plan to install solar electric systems on existing homes, will benefit from a solar partnership the city recently formed with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).

As a result, Elk Grove, the first local government to join the three-year pilot program that will run through 2009, will waive the permit fee, use a standardized application packet, review the building application in one day, and conduct the post-installation inspection of the solar electric system within 24 hours. In addition to lowering permit costs, SMUD has a program that reduces the initial cost of installing a solar electric system. Costs are reduced as much as 25 percent for residential customers. In addition, the homeowner is eligible for a $2,000 federal tax credit. Recently SMUD, which is working with other governments in its service territory to establish similar agreements, has partnered with local homebuilders to construct Zero Energy Homes that combine the latest energy efficiency features with solar in new home construction.

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