FOR RELEASE: August 23, 2022

Desira Blanchard
Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments

NVCOG Designated “SolSmart Bronze” for Advancing Solar Energy Growth

The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) has received a Bronze designation from the national SolSmart program for advancing the growth of solar energy across the Naugatuck Valley Region. This designation recognizes NVCOG for taking steps that make it faster, easier, and more affordable for local homes and businesses to go solar by way of education and training municipal officials.

SolSmart is led by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. SolSmart uses objective criteria to award points based on the actions taken to reduce barriers to solar energy development. Organizations that take sufficient action are designated either Gold, Silver, or Bronze.

“Solar energy is an invaluable tool for improving grid reliability, reducing costs for residents, and fighting the climate crisis,” said Regional Environmental Planner Christine O’Neill. “This Bronze designation represents NVCOG’s commitment to fostering a sustainable, pro-solar region.”

As a regional organization, NVCOG is helping local communities coordinate on setting goals and strategies for sustainable energy growth. Earlier this year, NVCOG launched a series of webpages to promote the development of solar energy in the region and to provide municipal staff as well as residents and developers with resources. This includes an interactive solar map of the region, on-demand webinars, and a tool that will help analyze the potential for rooftop solar on any property. NVCOG also hosted virtual training sessions in June on planning and zoning for solar as well as inspection and permitting.

All municipalities, counties, and regional organizations are eligible to join the SolSmart program and receive no-cost technical assistance to help them achieve designation. Interested communities and regional organizations can learn more at

NVCOG Staff holding award plaque
From left to right: NVCOG Communications and Community Engagement Manager Desira Blanchard, Environmental Planner Christine O’Neill, Executive Director Rick Dunne, and Senior Regional Planner Aaron Budris