How to Solar Power?
Are you motivated by our climate change crisis to pursue renewable energy sources for your home? Maybe you are like the protagonist, Rocky, in our video, eager, excited, and determined to do whatever it takes to have solar power for your home. But you rent an apartment, a house, or even own a condo where installing solar panels is not an option. Or you might own a home but can not afford the installation of solar panels at present. Don’t struggle as Rocky did! Solar energy is more accessible than you think.
Our other protagonist, Rosa, was on the right track when she signed up for community solar! Community Solar is an amazing new program, allowing consumers to save money on their electric bills by connecting with large, offsite community solar projects. These solar gardens are built with the intent of subscribing multiple households to the garden. The solar provider then monitors the subscriber’s household demand and determines the subscription size needed. As a subscriber, you pay a monthly fee for the amount of electricity created by your subscription. That amount is reported to your utility provider who then adds the solar credits to your monthly electricity bill. This results in an average monthly savings of 20%!
Community solar is becoming increasingly available throughout the nation. In Illinois particularly, the accessibility of these money-saving programs is growing, due to the Future Energy Jobs Act a state-wide governmental initiative to increase the amount of solar power being used while creating jobs in a growing and lasting industry. This act calls for 400 megawatts (MW) of community solar projects to be created by 2030.
The Future Energy Jobs Act also inspired the creation of another new Illinois-based program called Solar For All which focuses its energy on bringing solar power to lower-income residents of Illinois. It also strives to make solar accessible for people living in environmental justice communities. Check this chart to see if you qualify for the Solar for All program.
Community Solar Deals
Below is a list, gathered from the Citizens Utility Board, of companies participating in community solar projects in Illinois.
- Arcadia, a nationwide company utilizing solar and wind energy to provide savings and renewable energy.
- Clearway, a community solar program available to Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New York.
- Common Energy, a national company focused on working with state-supported renewable energy programs.
- MC 2 Energy Services, an Illinois-based renewable energy company focused on solar energy for Illinois residents.
- Nexamp, a company featuring community solar and energy storage servicing areas across New York, New England, Maryland, and Illinois.
- US Solar, a solar energy partner servicing Illinois and Minnesota.
As an Illinois resident, solar energy is becoming even easier to obtain. With these resources, we hope that you can find the perfect solar option for you and your family!