Solar in Elgin
Elgin residents and small businesses have the option to participate in a city-sponsored community solar program, called Community Solar Clearinghouse Solutions (CS2). Learn more by visiting our Community Solar Program webpage.
The City of Elgin is a participant in the SolSmart program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, which helps local governments reduce barriers to solar energy growth and make it easier for homes and businesses to go solar. In 2019, Elgin achieved the Silver SolSmart designation.
What You Need to Know About Solar
If you’re interested in installing solar panels on your home and not sure where to begin, below are several informational resources that might help you during the decision making process:
|Are solar panels really worth it?|
|Go solar: top 10 benefits of solar energy|
|Residential solar panels: what to know about home solar electricity in 2020|
|Is my roof suitable for solar panels? Is my roof a good candidate?|
|Solar energy: what you need to know|
Once you decide you want to install solar panels, please see the next section below about the City of Elgin’s solar permitting process and the necessary steps you must take to ensure compliance with city code.
Solar Permit Process
All solar installations require the issuance of a building permit prior to starting work.
The City of Elgin is committed to making every effort to provide a response to applicants requesting a solar permit within three (3) business days or less. If the plans provided with the application conform to all city requirements and all necessary contractor information is provided, then the permit can also typically be issued in that same timeframe.
The city does not charge a permit or plan review fee for a solar building permit on a single- or two-family residential structure. All other solar permit fees are $70/1000sf of solar panels plus a $75 plan review fee.
These resources are for residents and businesses who are looking to verify that they are using a certified, trusted installer.
The Great Plains Institute conducted a review of state policies related to solar rights in the Local Government Solar Toolkit. Please click here to access the Local Government Solar Toolkit.
Consumer Protection Resources
The links below range from basic residential consumer resources, to resources on land leasing for larger landowners.
- Going Solar in America: A Guide for Homeowners Considering Solar PV in America’s 50 Largest Cities
- Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC)
- Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) - Sustomer Resource Portal
- Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) – Consumer Protection Industry Resource Portal
- Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) - Guide to Land Leases for Solar
- Illinois Solar Energy Association (ISEA) - Code of Conduct
- The Solar Foundation - Leasing Municipal & Private Property for Solar: Key Steps & Consideration
Check out these helpful links below to discover Elgin’s Solar Energy Potential.
Grow Solar Chicagoland
The Sustainability Commission partnered with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) to host two Solar Power Hours in 2022. You can view a recording from the MREA about the Grow Solar program. The webinar covers a presentation on solar energy, and topics include an overview of the technology, a deep dive into the financials, and information on what makes a property suitable for installation.
- View the recording by clicking this link, then clicking "Watch Recorded Webinar."