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Solar Energy Basics

About Rooftop Solar (Private Solar)

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Thinking of going solar to save money on your electric bill and help clean the grid and reduce planet-warming emissions?  Now is a good time to be thinking about it. Going solar is getting more financially feasible due to declining prices of solar array systems and subsidies mandated by state and Federal governments.


Before you go solar, there are important questions to consider. For example, the amount of sun your roof gets, the age and condition of your roof, and how long you plan to live in your home, all factor into whether solar is a good choice for you.

To make it possible for homeowners and businesses to reap the financial benefit of installing rooftop solar, Illinois established net-metering as a statewide practice in 2008. Basically, net metering works by crediting the solar array owner for each kWh of energy generated in their system. Say your system generates 10 kWh. Your electric bill is reduced by 10 kWh. If you produce more than you use, you are credited for the overproduction for use in the next month(s), with an annual reconciliation occurring in April when any leftover credits expire. 

To learn more about how solar power and net metering work, how to decide if it’s a good option for you, and how to find a professional installer, start by reading these factsheets.

CUB: Introduction to Rooftop Solar

CUB: Illinois Net Metering

ISEA: Find a professional installer

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