Aurora has recently received national acclaim for living up to its name! “Aurora”, meaning “light”, was recognized for its citywide green initiatives which seek to harness the power of solar energy to reduce the city’s overall carbon footprint. The program, known as SolSmart, was introduced to support consumers and businesses alike in making the transition to solar energy.
While solar energy has been long recognized as one of the most viable alternatives to more traditional forms of energy, especially greenhouse gas-producing fossil fuels, communities have been slow to embrace solar energy on a wide scale. The assumption, all too frequently borne out until Aurora’s proven success is that the transition to a solar energy infrastructure would be prohibitively expensive and that the energy produced would be unreliable at best, contingent upon the unpredictable variations in weather. Even in the sun-drenched west, such concerns had previously made business owners and homeowners alike reluctant to implement this change.
At the heart of Aurora’s solar initiative is the cultivation of a business environment that not only supports but requires the use of solar energy to the greatest extent feasible by any organization operating within the town’s limits. Thus, Aurora has designated the entire city a “solar zone.” This makes processes for launching businesses using solar power are less costly and more efficient, not only saving business owners money but allowing them to launch their operations using solar energy much more quickly.
These new solar zoning practices have ignited interest and investment in solar energy throughout the city because of their impact on so-called “soft costs”. These are costs relating to the obtaining of permits and the completion of inspections to operate in solar energy zones, encompass roughly 2/3 of the total average expenditures required to transition from traditional to solar energy. With these sweeping cuts allow businesses and consumers can invest in higher quality materials and equipment, optimizing the energy efficiency, effectiveness, and overall cost cuts to be derived from the transition to solar energy. And it puts solar energy within the reach of those homes and businesses who would never be able to afford it otherwise. While our veterinary clinic is not solar powered, the incentives do make the idea a lot more palatable.
In addition, Aurora provides an online clearinghouse of sorts, a website providing comprehensive information for businesses and individuals who wish to make the transition to solar energy. This includes information on accessing resources, reducing costs, and ensuring energy reliability and sustainability across the long term.
The SolSmart Program is an international initiative which recognizes communities that are leading the way in the use of solar energy, particularly through community-based programs which support businesses and consumers in making this much-needed transition. SolSmart awards participating communities at three levels: the bronze, silver, and gold. As a bronze medal community, Aurora is now eligible for financial and operational support from the SolSmart program to further advance the community’s goals is it continues to encourage and invest in solar energy.
We are proud to be part a city on the cutting edge of clean energy! Not only is the city on the cutting edge when it comes to energy but also with transportation. Aurora offers an awesome dock free bike sharing program too!