Are you interested in accessing a less-expensive, renewable energy source for your home that is gentle on the planet and on your wallet at the same time? Solar is an excellent alternative to buying power produced by utilities that burn coal and fossil fuels, but not everyone can put solar panels on their house. Perhaps you rent your home, or trees overhang your roof, or there is some other barrier to installing your own solar panels. Community solar may be the answer for you.
Community Solar Means No Panels on Your Roof
Community solar allows participants to benefit from solar energy without installing panels on their properties or paying the upfront costs.
A large solar array is installed by a solar company somewhere in the area and connected directly to the local electric grid. Anyone with an account with the local utility can subscribe to the solar array, pay a subscription fee and get credit for their solar usage. You get billed by the utility, just like you do now, but typically see a lower bill. This arrangement allows you to reduce dirty emissions and help slow climate change by powering your home with the sun’s rays instead of burning fossil fuels. It’s a win-win-win-win!
Community solar is an option for single-family homeowners, renters, non-profit organizations and public facilities.
Making Solar Available to Everyone
Few states are more committed to a renewable energy future than Illinois, with a particular emphasis on making clean energy accessible to all state residents regardless of income. The state is requiring the Illinois Power Agency to purchase an estimated 400 megawatts of energy generated by community solar arrays, enough to power tens of thousands of homes. By guaranteeing demand for solar-generated power, the law is catalyzing the production of more community solar arrays. At the end of 2022, 93 community solar projects in Illinois produced 181 megawatts of power. That is still just a small fraction of the state’s energy needs.
The Illinois Solar for All law is designed to make solar affordable to all families in the state. It targets low- and moderate-income households and allows them to purchase a community solar subscription or a solar installation on their own homes without the significant upfront costs but with all the ongoing savings in energy bills that the sun’s rays provide.
Illinois Solar for All benefits single-family homeowners, owners of multi-family residential buildings, non-profits and public facilities. A solar company, like Alder Energy, works with the homeowner to determine whether roof-mounted or ground-mounted panels would work best. Others can access community solar and earn those same solar credits on their utility bills. Projects are in the works through this program to produce another 50 megawatts of solar-generated power.
Illinois Aiming for Clean Energy by 2050
The state has set a goal of producing 40% of its total energy using renewable sources by 2030 and 100% by 2050. That will require producing 250 megawatts of new solar production every year until then and has put $70 million annually behind that effort. It will also require that Illinois residents get on board.
For more information about these initiatives in Illinois, contact Alder Energy at (843) 388-5493 or visit illinoisshines.com.