Solar Initatives

DocumentCommunity Solar

You don't need a rooftop to go solar. The Village of Northbrook is proud to join forces with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and five other North Shore communities for Illinois’ largest municipally sponsored community solar program! With community solar, residents and businesses will have the opportunity to support solar development in Illinois while receiving guaranteed utility savings. Learn more at https://www.northbrook.il.us/992/Community-Solar.

Rooftop Solar

You can install solar panels on your property and benefit directly from solar energy in Illinois. The best way to go solar is to compare multiple quotes - you can join the EnergySage Marketplace for free to begin comparing your options from installation companies near you. Want to start with a little more research? Check out average prices for solar in Illinois, or read through reviews of the best local solar installers in Illinois.


Solar Funding Programs

September 2021: Funding for the Illinois State SRECs—which would normally offset up to 30 percent of a home’s solar installation costs—has run out. Consumers may prefer waiting until legislation passes to re-up that funding before committing to rooftop solar. With the passage of IL Energy bill SB2408, new SRECs may become available soon: see here.

 The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit: This tax credit deducts a percentage of your solar project costs from your federal income taxes. The credit is 26% and is scheduled to drop to 22% in 2023. You must own your panels to receive the tax credit. The system must be installed before the end of the year, and you must pay federal taxes to benefit. If the credit amounts to more than you paid in federal taxes in a single year, it can roll over for up to five years. Learn more about the residential energy credit (Form 5695) on the IRS website or on the Solar Energy Industries Association website. 

Local Resources

  1. Calculate the Solar Potential of your Property
    1. Individual residence or facility: ComEd solar calculator or use Google Project Sunroof
    2. Estimate Solar Potential of your Community: Project Sunroof Data Explorer
  2. Installers:
    1. How to Choose a Qualified Installer: Illinois Solar Energy Association
    2. Installer Search: Illinois Commerce Commission
    3. Locate Residential Installers: Illinois Solar Installers 
    4. Certified Installer Lookup: North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners Installer Locator
  3. Webpage - Village of Northbrook Alternative Energy 
  4. Residential Application - Residential Solar Permit 
  5. Commercial Application - Commercial Solar Permit

Solar Financing: There are many financial resources available to help you pay for your solar investment. Two common types of loans are: bridge loans (covers the period between installing a system and receiving your incentives) and solar loans (offered by banks, credit unions and solar panel manufacturers).

 Illinois Solar for All: Income-qualified customers can get rooftop solar panels at no upfront cost and a guaranteed discount through a state solar incentive program called Illinois Solar for All. Most vendors through Illinois Solar for All require customers to sign up for Power Purchasing Agreements at no upfront cost, but with the guarantee that they will only ever have to pay for half of what their panels produce. So that means that under Illinois Solar for All, if the panels on your roof produced 800 kWh in a month, you would get utility bill credits for those 800 kWh, but would only have to pay your solar company for 400 kWh.

 On-bill Credits from your Electric Utility: In ComEd territory, excess electricity is sent back to the grid and you’ll receive bill credits for that electricity in a process called “net metering.” These credits help maximize your monthly bill savings and ensure you’re credited for every kWh your system produces, which pays off the remaining cost of your system over time. Net metering also helps cover the cost of the electricity your household uses when your panels are not generating energy, like cloudy days or nighttime. Net metering credits are automatically applied to your utility bill—you will not receive direct payments from your utility company. ComEd is required by state law to offer net metering- unused net metering credits rollover each month, but they “expire” every year (either April 30th or October 30th). If you have ComEd, you will be guaranteed the full net metering rate.


Village of Northbrook Solar Renewable Energy Potential Study

In September 2020 paleBLUEdot, LLC presented the Village with a draft Solar Renewable Energy Potential Study. The goal of the Study is to establish community-wide rooftop solar PV potential throughout the Village. Detailed in the report are Solar Financing and Incentives, Village-wide Solar Potentials, Methodologies and Data, Technical and Generational Capacities, Market History and Projections, Summary of Benefits, and Community-wide Solar Recommendations. View the full report here.