Energy Conservation Initiatives
Solar Energy Systems
The Village of Northbrook has received Silver designation from the national SolSmart program for making it faster, easier, and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar. This designation recognizes the Village for taking bold steps to encourage solar energy growth and remove obstacles to solar development. For companies looking to expand, a SolSmart Silver designation is a signal that the Village of Northbrook is “open for solar business.”
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.
Solar Funding Programs
- State Incentives for Renewable Energy: DSIRE Renewable Energy Incentives in Illinois
- Introduction to Rooftop Solar, provided by Citizens Utility Board
June 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.
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.
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.
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).
- Calculate the Solar Potential of your Property
- How to Choose a Qualified Installer: Illinois Solar Energy Association
- Installer Search: Illinois Commerce Commission
- Locate Residential Installers: Illinois Solar Installers
- Certified Installer Lookup: North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners Installer Locator
- Webpage - Village of Northbrook Alternative Energy
- Residential Application - Residential Solar Permit
- Commercial Application - Commercial Solar Permit
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.
’Greening’ your Home or Business
Get a FREE Home Energy Assessment
ComEd residential customers who also have Nicor Gas, North Shore Gas or Peoples Gas can sign up for a free Home Energy Assessment. During the assessment, an Energy Advisor will do a walk-through of your home, finding ways to make it more energy efficient. The advisor also will install the following free energy-saving products:
- ENERGY STAR® certified LEDs
- Programmable thermostat
- WaterSense® certified showerheads
- WaterSense® certified faucet aerators
- Hot water pipe insulation
- Advanced power strips for televisions and desktop computers (to be installed by the customer)
- Smart thermostats are available for purchase at a discount (must be purchased during the assessment for free installation)
Weatherization Discounts: If you are interested in further energy savings, you may request a list of licensed and insured contractors who provide discounted weatherization services through the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program. Weatherization services are free for Income Eligible customers. Visit this page to find the community action agency nearest you or call the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP) at 1-877-411-9276 for more information.
Take Advantage of Rebates & Discounts
Alternative Green Energy Providers
Residents have the option to purchase “green” energy from alternative providers servicing the area. The “green” label is given to denote Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s) purchased by the provider. In Illinois, most REC’s are purchased through investment in wind, solar, and geothermal energy. Green Energy Providers offer both fixed and variable rates competitive with current Electric Utility pricing. For current Electric Utility pricing and an updated list of Alternative Energy Providers, please visit the Citizens Utility Board Web page.