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City Announces New Incentive for Boston Building Owners to Go Solar

Nov 01, 2010

Releases new solar permitting guides at Sustainable Roofs Conference

Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced the newest initiative in moving forward his plan to make Boston one of the greenest cities in America. The City has released a comprehensive Solar Permitting Guide and Mayor Menino has filed a new ordinance that will reduce building permit fees for building owners implementing solar rooftop technologies. The announcement was made at A View from the Top: Sustainable Roofs in Boston, an event hosted by the Mayor’s Office of Environmental and Energy Services and the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

“Boston has consistently been ranked among the nation’s top green cities and this ordinance provides another opportunity for building owners and developers to include renewable energy on their buildings,” said Mayor Menino. “Boston developers will now find it easier to adopt new sustainable technologies such as solar electric systems, while further reducing energy costs and providing long term benefits to the environment and our local economy.”

When adopted, the ordinance will reduce permitting fees by sixty-percent for solar projects by removing the cost of photovoltaic panels and other hardware from the calculation of project costs.

“With this new ordinance, Boston will now have some of the lowest solar permitting fees in the nation,” said James W. Hunt, III, Chief of Environmental and Energy Services. “Given the challenges facing solar developers in today’s economic environment, we believe that this added incentive will help tip the scales and bring more green development and quality green jobs into our City.”

The new guidelines, prepared by the City’s Solar Boston program in cooperation with the City’s Inspectional Services Department, Boston Fire Department, and Boston Environment Department, detail new permitting provisions specific to solar photovoltaic systems. This effort, along with the City’s green building and wind energy zoning provisions, rounds out Mayor Menino’s commitment to promote the advancement of green and renewable energy development projects in Boston. The full packet of guidelines is available on the City of Boston website at

“Plain and simple, Mayor Menino's leadership on renewable energy is about creating jobs,” said Michael Monahan, Business Agent of IBEW 103, the local union which represents electrical contractors in the emerging wind power and solar energy industries. “Reducing costs and streamlining permitting for solar photovoltaics is further incentive to go solar and will help put more people to work at this critical time in Boston.”

The meeting of over 175 Boston developers, building owners, and facilities managers was organized by the BRA and Mayor’s Office of Environmental and Energy Services to give participants the opportunity to learn more about how to integrate sustainable roof strategies and materials into their development and building strategies. Revenue generated from the event from vendor and general event sponsor fees will be used to help fund green workforce training modules related to sustainable roof development strategies.

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