The city of Rockford has a new way of thinking when it comes to energy use.
Rockford becomes one of 22 cities near Chicago to enroll in SolSmart, a national program intended to make solar power easier and more affordable to use.
SolSmart will help the city with expert assistance in solar energy development. Rockford will receive guidance on adapting zoning codes to remove barriers to solar development.
The program also hopes to help local residents and businesses understand the benefits of using solar energy.
“With the movement we are seeing regionally and nationally to move more solar power, we want to make sure the city of Rockford is ready,” Rockford mayor Tom McNamara said. “Overall we are seeing an increase in from last year to this year in residential and commercial uses for solar energy.”
McNamara says the city saw a 200 percent increase in special use permits for solar last year.