The City of Eau Claire is now awarded as a national leader in moving forward with solar energy.
On Thursday, the city received a national recognition for starting new programs and making it cheaper to go solar in the Chippewa Valley.
Eau Claire won the "SolSmart Gold" award through U.S. Department of Energy because of its efforts in being one of the cities with the most solar panels in the country.
"The award is really an accomplishment that honors all of the different community members that have put in their work for solar. Whether it's utilities, or the citizens or the city, together we've been able to accomplish this goal toward so that solar is more cost effective and easier to install in the community," said Ned Noel, the associate city planner for the City of Eau Claire.
Noel said initially, the city tried to obtain the silver award until they realized they had enough solar efforts to win gold.
He said he knowing Eau Claire competed against larger cities and metropolitan areas to win the award really shows how important solar energy is in the community.