For both local government–managed and third party–managed campaigns, it is helpful for the local government lead, typically a sustainability officer, to meet with the following local government departments early on to determine their appetite for playing a role in the campaign and to prevent future surprises or roadblocks:
Secure Internal Buy-in
Mayor or city manager:
Local government leaders expressing public support for a Solarize campaign (e.g., by sending a mailer to residents, appearing at the campaign kickoff, or issuing a press release) has been shown to substantially increase its likelihood of success. In this conversation, it is helpful to articulate how the campaign aligns with leadership’s priorities.
If the local government is leading the campaign and issuing an RFP, the campaign manager should meet with the procurement department early on to surface any potential roadblocks and avoid any delays in its review and approval. In this conversation, it is important to clarify that a Solarize campaign RFP will not result in a municipal contract, which should reduce procurement restrictions and requirements.
Community or economic development:
The community or economic development department will likely have helpful existing relationships to explore when conducting outreach to secure CBO partners. In this conversation, it is important to highlight the community benefits of an inclusive Solarize campaign (as noted in the following section) and request introductions to relevant organizations.
The communications department will likely play an important role during the outreach and marketing aspects of a campaign. In this conversation, it is important to identify the target audience, the time line for promoting the campaign, and the resources the department can provide to help the campaign manager promote the campaign and deliver on campaign goals.
The permitting department plays an important role in the residential solar installation approval process and thus should be included in campaign planning discussions. In this conversation, it is helpful to explore strategies to address the likely increase in solar permitting applications, such as automated permitting like SolarAPP+.
Suggested Next Steps:
Secure buy-in from the relevant internal local government departments. Consider using Part 2 of RMI’s forthcoming Inclusive Solarize Campaign: Develop the Core Team Worksheet for assistance.