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Sarasota County has earned a "Silver" designation from the national SolSmart program for making it faster, easier, and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar. The award recognizes Sarasota County for taking bold steps to encourage solar energy growth and remove obstacles to solar development.

Sarasota County scored high marks for permitting, planning, zoning and community education processes related to solar energy adoption, showing an overall commitment to reducing soft costs and barriers to solar adoption. SolSmart also noted the county's community engagement and array of solar training events (including those offered by Sarasota County Extension). SolSmart is led by The Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. More than 370 cities, counties, and small towns have achieved SolSmart designation since the program launched in 2016.

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