MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The federal government is giving more than $465,000 to a Wisconsin group to help people become solar power customers.

It's part of $12 million given to 22 teams across the country for the Rooftop Solar Challenge through the Department of Energy. It's to help spur solar power installation on homes and businesses in their communities.

Department of Energy spokesman, Bill Gibbons, says the team led by Wisconsin's Midwest Renewable Energy Association will try to reduce the administrative barriers that customers face when trying to navigate the solar permitting process.

According to the DOE, non-hardware costs like permitting, installation, design and maintenance account for up to 40 percent of the cost of installed rooftop systems. Many jurisdictions have their own permitting requirements, land use codes and zoning ordinances.