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Illinois Solar Tour - Northern Sites




The 2022 Solar Tour was available in a hybrid format, offering both in-person and video tours. Please check individual sites to see which types of tours were offered.

Types of Tours:

  • In-Person: The home or business owner will be there to talk about their installation and answer questions; may or may not include going inside to see equipment
  • Video: The home or business owner filmed a video tour of their system, which is viewable online
  • Outside Viewing: The home or business owner may or may not be available to visitors; visitors can view the system from outside

Scroll to see all Northern Illinois Solar Tour Sites, or click here to see community-based tours!

Arlington Heights

Paul and Diane Culhane

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 11 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 4505 kWh

Why I went solar: It has always been of interest to us.

Barrington


Ted and Jan Krasnesky

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing

System: 18 roof-mounted panels, 12 ground-mounted panels, EVs

Annual Production: 12.7 MWh

Why I went solar: Provides all electrical energy for a 2600 square foot house and two electric cars. Yields 10% return on investment after rebates, SREC and tax credits.

Brookfield

Compassion United Methodist Church

Site Type: Non-Profit

Tour Type: Outside Viewing & Video

Link to Video

System: 50 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 15 MWh

Why I went solar: Because we believe houses of worship have a moral responsibility to be leaders in the drive to net-zero carbon emissions: to get as much energy as possible from renewable energy - solar and wind. When our congregation bought and remodeled an old dry cleaner building as an art gallery/studio and worship space, we were thrilled to be able to donate a PV system that produces 100% of its electricity. (When we install the pottery kiln we dream of for the studio, there's room on the roof to expand the system!)

Buffalo Grove

Jeff Slepak

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing & Video

Link to Video

System: 27 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: 10.76MWh

Why I went solar: To lower our carbon footprint on the planet. The fact that we've paid $0 in electricity usage since the system started up has been great, too! Our home is fortunate to have the best azimuth. Though we have many trees in the back yard, we get full sun on the 27 panels in the summer with no tree shade; in the winter, when the sun is lower, the trees have no leaves, and we get plenty of sun then, too. 

Carol Stream


Wendy Vernon

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person & Video

Link to Video

System: 19 roof-mounted panels, backup battery, EV

Annual Production: 7829kWh

Why I went solar: We installed solar because we wanted to help the environment with clean, renewable energy and also wanted to save money on our electric bills. We also installed a battery backup because we wanted some off grid capability in case of a power outage. We felt like the time was right to install solar because of the availability of the federal and state tax incentives.

Cary

James Chen

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 36 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 14MWh

Why I went solar: It is the right thing to do for the environment while making sense financially.

Deerfield


Perrin Davis

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 31 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 12.71 MWh

Why I went solar: To save money and add home value.

Installed by:

Deerfield


Ari Kobb

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing

System: 24 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 7200 kWh

Why I went solar: I installed my rooftop solar system for two primary reasons: to save money on my electricity bill, and to support the advancement of renewable energy in Illinois. I knew that my house was an ideal candidate for solar, and finally took the step to have an evaluation and determine the overall economics. I decided to enter into a power purchase agreement because I wanted to minimize any upfront cost, and preferred a "low touch" approach to solar.

Installed by:

Deer Park

Peter Gorr

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person & Video

Link to Video

System: 21 roof-mounted panels, community solar subscription, EV

Annual Production: 8500 kWh

Why I went solar: This is my second home with a solar PV system. The benefits of pollution free energy, energy independence, and financial gain are just too great to ignore. Over 8 years of data speak for itself. As a parent and grandparent, I realize the responsibility I have to contribute to the mitigation of climate change in any way I can. The biggest individual impact I can have is transitioning my energy use to clean renewables and then let people know how I am benefitting. The Solar Tour is a great way to get my message out.

Deer Park


Ursula Cholewa

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 16 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: ~7000 kWh

Why I went solar: I care about environment. Being a part of a progressive force working towards energy independence and green energy is appealing to my philosophy of life.

Downers Grove


Dennis Holyn

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person & Video

Link to Video

System: 40 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 14.5 MWh

Why I went solar: I decided to install solar to take advantage of all the incentives. It's great to keep my energy cost fixed for the next 20 years, vs. paying the monopoly ComEd with increasing rates.

Earlville


Richard Jones

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 60 ground-mounted panels, backup batteries, EVs,  geothermal HVAC

Annual Production: 24 MWh

Why I went solar: To become energy independent & reduce my carbon footprint. Rid myself from the constant fluctuating gas & oil prices.

Elizabeth

Joe Ambrosia

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 24 ground-mounted panels

Annual Production: 11.23MWh

Why I went solar: It was both ecologically and financially feasible. I figured a 4 year break-even based on electricity rates along with tax and financial incentives at the time, not accounting for the increases we have seen since then. Also, photovoltaic is a proven technology. The process of installing solar panels was simple. Our installer handled all of the permits, site recommendations, energy assessments and installation.

Elmhurst

Sid Chhabra

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 14 roof-mounted panels, backup battery

Annual Production: 4349kWh

Why I went solar: I have been fascinated by the potential of solar power as a clean energy source for a while. This resulted in the DIY project for solar charged battery backup system. Success of that project, coupled with the federal and state incentives for solar, made it a very easy decision to build the larger grid tied system.

Elmhurst


Donald Haraf and Karen Pachyn

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing

System: 28 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 9141 kWh

Why I went solar: We are always looking for ways to make our home and lives more sustainable. The Elmhurst Cool Cities Coalition hosted a Solar Power Hour and we liked the idea of being able to work with an installer that had been approved by both the MREA and CUB. We had talked to other installers and found it all very confusing but the Solarize Chicago program gave us the confidence we needed to move forward. We have been excited with the results and now look forward to getting our electric bill every month, just to see how low it is!

Evanston


Jeff Balch

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person & Video

Link to Video

System: 21 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: 9000 kWh

Why I went solar: We bought the house in 1997 partly because the rooftop solar thermal (hot water) panels caught our eye. Our two kids took their first baths in sustainably heated water, first steps in sustainably heated rooms, and grew with the knowledge that their home is warmed by love but also by friendly technology. This year, after a hailstorm forced re-roofing, and with the encouragement of the original installer, we replaced the solar thermals with PVs. But we didn’t landfill the 35-year-old thermals: they shrugged off the hail and went to a neighbor’s house.

Evanston


Michael Moran

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person & Video

Link to Video

System: 2 solar thermal collectors with 80 gal storage tank

Why I went solar: We knew we would have a lot of water heating needs with 3 kids and that the panels would pay themselves off sooner rather than later. Solar showers are cleaner!

Evanston

Chuck Carrington

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 26 roof-mounted PV panels, 2 Thermal collectors with 80 gal tank

Annual Production: 10.83MWh

Why I went solar: For the health of our planet and for future generations. I have long thought it important to do what we can to reduce the use of fossil fuels. My old house had a few thermal panels, but it was too shaded for PV. By the time I bought my present home, I realized that solar PV is a good investment financially also.

Frankfort


Ray Stadt

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 20 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 7100 kWh

Why I went solar: Wanted to reduce our carbon footprint, as well as install early (2015) to help boost the technology and its visibility in our community. Have been electrifying the house since and continue to stay within our production.

Glen Ellyn


Kathryn Dibadj

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Glen Ellyn Community Tour!

System: 34 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 9500 kWh

Why I went solar: I had been considering this for years. We had friends that had installed with Sunrun and said it cost them nothing, which was what my husband needed to hear. We installed the panels to improve the environment and hopefully save some money. Thankfully we are doing both.

Installed by:

Glen Ellyn


Mike Church

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Glen Ellyn Community Tour!

System: 21 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 6870 kWh

Why I went solar: It's obviously the right thing to do! Both for the environment and financially.

Glen Ellyn


Jamie Carr

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Glen Ellyn Community Tour!

System: 31 roof-mounted panels, EV, heat pump, all-electric home

Annual Production: 13.9 MWh

Why I went solar: As part of a recent deep energy retrofit and addition, we knew we wanted to design our home to be all electric and net zero. The power used by our electric vehicle means that we are not quite net zero, but solar PV offsets the vast majority of our annual household electrical consumption.

Glen Ellyn


Billy Joe Mills

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Glen Ellyn Community Tour!

System: 14 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: Unknown

Why I went solar: I want my house to generate power, not just consume it.

Glen Ellyn


Richard Whitney

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 16 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 4000kWh

Why I went solar: Concerned about climate change, we made a philosophical choice to live our values and reduce our carbon footprint. I did not believe in 2010 that PV would be purely justifiable on a cost-benefit basis, but felt that everyone must do what they can to reduce their impact on the earth. As it turned out, the move to solar has paid for itself, not even counting any additional increase in home value.

Glenview


Mary Munday and Richard Clark

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Glenview Community Tour!

System: 19 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: 4500 kWh

Why I went solar: We installed solar so we could charge an EV on sun power. We also wanted to help decarbonize the electric grid. We wanted to lower our electric bills, too. Installing solar accomplished all three goals.

Glenview


Julie Nold

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Glenview Community Tour!

System: 37 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 13.3 MWh

Why I went solar: It makes sense to tap into the sun's clean energy! We paid $0 down, and our combined loan + electricity delivery + energy from the grid on average is about what we were paying without the panels. If energy prices continue to rise, we will be saving money.

Glenview


Margaret Sents

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Glenview Community Tour!

System: 30 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: ~10.5 MWh

Why I went solar: We wanted to do something to leave a better climate for our grandkids.

Installed by:


Glenview


Judy Dorr

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Glenview Community Tour!

System: 22 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: ~10 MWh

Why I went solar: We wanted to do something to help our troubled environment/make a greener world. And we found that with rebates this made financial sense.

Glenview


Shinji Kondo

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Glenview Community Tour!

System: 36 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: 13.4 MWh

Why I went solar: Having always been environmentally conscious, putting up PVs was one of the first things I wanted to do when I got a home. I love that I am producing enough of my own energy to power my home and car. It's also nice knowing that this investment will pay itself off and continue to pay me well into the future.

Glenview


Andrew Wood

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Glenview Community Tour!

System: 41 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 10 MWh

Why I went solar: It is the right thing to do and the incentives were perfect for our timing.

Glenview


John and Julie Hansen

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing

Part of Glenview Community Tour!

System: 42 roof-mounted panels, EVs

Annual Production: 17.7 MWh

Why I went solar: We have always been interested in solar technology. The state and federal incentives provided a decent return to helped make the decision to move forward on the installation. We love that we are producing most of our own energy to power our home and 2 cars. It's also nice knowing that if we add a battery in the future we could be close to self sustaining our energy needs.

Glenview


Valerie Kilman

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing

Part of Glenview Community Tour!

System: 21 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 6000 kWh

Why I went solar: Solar energy seemed both socially responsible and a worthwhile long-term investment personally. Of course, I like generating the environmental benefits. However, my electricity bill is next to nothing because I generate more than I use 8 months a year, the panels increase the value of my home, and the substantial rebates helped reduce the up-front cost. An unexpected benefit is that curious, like-minded people walking by ask about the panels, so I get to know my good neighbors.

Installed by:

Glenview


Cary Jacobs

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Glenview Community Tour!

System: 38 roof-mounted panels, community solar subscription

Annual Production: 12 MWh

Why I went solar: I wanted to embrace solar technology to save money from my ComEd bills and help put this planet on a more sustainable path.

Installed by:

Glenview


ISEA Solar House @ Abt Electronics

Site Type: Business/Non-profit

Tour Type: In-Person

System: The Solar House has 6 panels for demonstration purposes. Abt has 5700 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: Abt's estimated annual production is 850 MWh

Why I went solar: The Illinois Solar Education Association (ISEA) Solar House is a self-contained demonstration lab containing photovoltaic (PV) panels. The ISEA Solar House, one of the first of its kind, has been displayed at the Illinois State Fair and at many educational events in Illinois. Learn more about the Solar House here.

Learn about Abt's green initiatives here.

Grayslake


College of Lake County

Site Type: Non-Profit

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

Part of Grayslake Community Tour!

System:

CLC hosts about 2 MW of solar PV on its Grayslake Campus, along with solar thermal on 7 buildings, enough to produce 520,000 BTUs a day. The College also has nearly 150 geothermal wells, each running 150 ft deep underground in a closed loop system. It is estimated that the solar PV will produce 17% of the campus' electricity needs.

Why I went solar: The College has set a goal of reaching carbon neutrality by the year 2042. Installing solar PV, solar thermal and geothermal heat exchange will help CLC get a great start in pursuing this goal. As important to clean energy is on its face value, it is very important to be able to demonstrate energy innovation for our students in their educational and career pursuits.

Grayslake


John & Kathleen Wasik

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing

Part of Grayslake Community Tour!

System: 13 roof-mounted panels, community solar subscription, hybrid cars

Annual Production: 4600 kWh

Why I went solar: Reduce our carbon footprint and lower our ComEd bill. 

Highland Park

Jay Futterman

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person & Video

Link to Video

Part of Highland Park Community Tour!

System: 25 roof-mounted panels, EV, heat pump water heater, heat pump HVAC

Annual Production: 7400kWh

Why I went solar: I am very concerned about climate change. One of the major contributors to this is coal, and I can see train cars full of coal passing through my town. Rather than just getting mad about this, I decided to do something about my own personal contributions to this disaster and power my house and car with the sun. While I unfortunately won't be available to speak with anyone on September 25th, I'm happy to talk or email with interested folks any other time!

Highland Park


Jeff Hoobler

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing

Part of Highland Park Community Tour!

System: 34 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: ~10.5 MWh

Why I went solar: As a Real Estate professional with a degree in Engineering, I truly believe Solar is the best investment anyone can make for their home. In my case, they calculated a 13% rate of return on my investment for 25 years with a full 25 year warranty, and the bonus - it's great for the environment! After 5.5 years my ROR and production estimates have exceeded their initial predictions!

Highland Park


Chadd Berkun

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person & Video

Link to Video

Part of Highland Park Community Tour!

System: 14 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 7500 kWh

Why I went solar: To reduce carbon emissions.

Installed by:



Highland Park


Abhi Hegde

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Highland Park Community Tour!

System: 30 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 11.6 MWh

Why I went solar: We have been exploring going solar for several years. Had community solar in the last house. We moved to a new construction home, so was the perfect candidate for solar.

Highland Park


Rod Loewenthal

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing

Part of Highland Park Community Tour!

System: 39 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: 10.3 MWh

Why I went solar: I thought it was a good long term financial idea that would produce 5-8% after-tax returns given the Federal and State credits/rebates. Secondarily, I thought it would be a good example for my children and neighbors.

Highland Park


Michael Leaf

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Highland Park Community Tour!

System: 20 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: 5000 kWh

Why I went solar: Increased use of renewable energy is the primary solution to minimize the catastrophic effects of climate change. Installation of our solar PV system was the first step in my decades long quest to electrify everything in our house by eliminating the consumption of all fossil fuels.

Highland Park


Deer Creek Racquet Club, Park District of Highland Park

Site Type: Governmental

Tour Type: Outside Viewing & Video

Link to Video

Part of Highland Park Community Tour!

System: 404 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 180 MWh

Why I went solar: Since our founding in 1909, the Park District of Highland Park has been a steward of the environment. In 1992, we were the first Park District in Illinois to adopt an Environmental Policy. We initiated a recycling program across the District, developed an integrated pest management program aimed at reducing use of pesticides and herbicides on playing fields and lawns, later banned smoking in District buildings and vehicles before that practice became state law. The installation of the new solar photovoltaic system at Deer Creek Racquet Club is just one of several recent sustainability initiatives we have completed to reduce our carbon footprint.

Highland Park


Joanne Bernstein

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Highland Park Community Tour!

System: 36 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 14 MWh

Why I went solar: The usual reasons: environment, cost savings, backup power.

Highland Park


Kunal Pujara and Jill Goldstein

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Highland Park Community Tour!

System: 23 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: ~8000 kWh

Why I went solar: In the long term, it pays for itself and is clean energy for the environment. We charge our EV car on it. Also, it is a good teaching tool on energy consumption and power for Kunal’s physics class.

Highland Park


North Shore School District 112

Site Type: School

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

Part of Highland Park Community Tour!

System: 684 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 357.6 MWh

Why I went solar: Solar installation provided an educational opportunity for students within the school related to renewable energy sources. The installation of the system also provided the incentive of reduced energy cost for the school.

La Grange


Bertold Kraessig

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person & Video

System: 33 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: 11.3 MWh

Why I went solar: I believe every building should have solar energy collectors on its roof. I wanted to do my part in this endeavor and be an example for my neighbors.

Naperville


Larry Kollasch

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 27 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 9236 kWh

Why I went solar: We believe climate change is a critical challenge for all humanity and want to reduce our family's carbon footprint to help solve it. We are grateful for federal, state, and local incentives that make this financially possible for us.

NEw Lenox


Jeff Kunhart

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing

System: Tesla Solar Roof, backup batteries, EV

Annual Production: 11 MWh

Why I went solar: We needed a new roof. The solar roof provided the combination of renewable energy and a nice aesthetic for the house. Retirement is within reach, this will minimize our expenses when that day comes.

Installed by:


Northbrook


Bernadette Knight & William Johnson

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person & Video

Part of Northbrook Community Tour!

System: 41 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: ~15 MWh

Why I went solar: We installed solar as we wanted to use a clean energy source rather than use electricity from fossil fuels. We want to reduce our carbon footprint to support global efforts to tackle climate change. The federal subsidy made this project affordable and it made financial sense.

Northbrook


Aaron Stash

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Northbook Community Tour!

System: 39 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: 15 MWh

Why I went solar: Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time and we wanted to take action. Our home is LEED Platinum certified (2014) - before solar - and this was an obvious next step once the Illinois incentives stabilized. With government support for renewable energy, we can all make a difference that’s affordable and right for the planet. 

Northbrook


Brian Schuster

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing

Part of Northbook Community Tour!

System: 24 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: 10.5 MWh

Why I went solar: Save money and help the environment.

Installed by:


Northbrook


Haitao Bi

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Northbook Community Tour!

System: 13 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 4000 kWh

Why I went solar: Working in renewable energy industry for 16 years, love renewables.

Northbrook


Tom and Alyson Breuer

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing

Part of Northbrook Community Tour!

System: 11 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 3200kWh

Why I went solar: It was expected to be a major cost savings and we knew it to be good for the environment. The roof orientation was perfect for an unobstructed, unobtrusive installation.

Northbrook


Doug Williams

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Northbrook Community Tour!

System: 34 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: 7700kWh

Why I went solar: My roof and solar exposure is ideal for a solar PV installation. My company does leading edge renewable energy research, so it was an easy decision. Plus the federal and state incentives make this a no-brainer economic winner.

Northbrook


Scott Epton

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Northbrook Community Tour!

System: 34 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 10 MWh

Why I went solar: Wanted to be more eco friendly. Wanted to save money on electric bill. Friend was involved at the time with the installer I chose and I trusted him.

Northbrook


Dick Mulhall

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing

Part of Northbrook Community Tour!

System: 16 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 4393 kWh

Why I went solar: Since childhood I have always been fascinated with electricity, Thomas Edison, and Nikola Tesla, so putting up solar panels fit into my passion for electricity. Along with basically no cost to me to have these panels installed, it fit right into our household budgeting. Northbrook's "Go Green" program is just getting started and I thought this would fit right into our town's "Go Green" program so I'm doing my small part in support of the program!

Installed by:

Northbrook


Bob Israel

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 30 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: Too early to tell!

Why I went solar: To reduce my carbon footprint and help make the world a slightly better place.

Northbrook


Northbrook Court

Site Type: Business

Tour Type: Video

Link to Drone Footage

System: 3095 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 1300MWh

Why I went solar: Northbrook Court is committed to sustainability! Part of that commitment is generating 1.2M kWh of carbon-free electricity each year through our investment in Solar.

Oak Park


Ana Garcia and Jim Doyle

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 48 roof-mounted panels, geothermal, greywater system, LEED Gold Certification

Annual Production: 20.3 MWh

Why I went solar: We installed our solar panels because after our home renovation in 2012 (we were on the GreenBuilt Home Tour several times), we had already converted our 100 yr old home to geothermal. Solar was the next step, to get us more energy independent, able to generate our own electricity to run most of the property (house & garage). Also, it's how our family wants to live and the "right" thing to do for long term sustainability of our home and our community. We are lucky and privileged to be able to have done this work.

Oak Park


Ryan Thompson

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 22 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 12 MWh

Why I went solar: We installed our PV system because we care deeply about mitigating the cascading effects of the climate crisis and solar is a great way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. It makes sense from a budget standpoint too. Even without the local incentives, our $10,000 investment would have broken even within 6 or 7 years! We're encouraging everyone who will listen to think seriously about a PV system.

Orland Park


Dhaval Patel

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 28 roof-mounted panels, geothermal

Annual Production: 17.6 MWh

Why I went solar: It’s good for environment, and I'm trying to reduce my carbon footprint.

Park Ridge


Kenneth Doody

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Park Ridge Community Tour!

System: 12 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 5353 kWh

Why I went solar: Environmental concerns and reduce personal cost of electricity. I plan on buying an electric car so solar panels will offset increased use of electricity.

Park Ridge


David Ziegenhorn

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Park Ridge Community Tour!

System: 34 roof-mounted panels, backup batteries, EV, heat pump

Annual Production: 11.7 MWh

Why I went solar: Along with the usual benefits of going solar, saving money, saving the planet, etc. I've always been a big fan of being self sufficient and being able to create and store my own energy at the house is a huge peace of mind. No matter what happens to the world I can power my family and our car to do what we need to do.

Park Ridge


Kenneth Jaconetty

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Park Ridge Community Tour!

System: 17 roof-mounted panels, backup batteries, EV

Annual Production: 4500 kWh

Why I went solar: My house roof has a flat roof and unobstructed access to the sun. Climate change is real and traditional energy production can release significant carbon. State and Federal credits helped bring down the installation cost of the solar system.

Park Ridge


Veronica and Bob Kohlndorfer

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Park Ridge Community Tour!

System: 15 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 5600 kWh

Why I went solar: The main reason we installed solar panels was to help the environment. Another reason was to help put a cap on rising electric costs.

Installed by:


Riverside


Bob and Judy Finn

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 12 roof-mounted panels, community solar

Annual Production: 4208 kWh

Why I went solar: I was interested in solar because our house had plenty of roof with southern exposure and no shade. We felt we needed to do something to help the environment and reduce our use of fossil fuels. I found out about a webinar from Citizens Utility Board called Solar Power Hour which was informative and provided resources for questions.

Rockford


Steven Hall

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 16 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 5000 kWh

Why I went solar: To make my world a better place to live and save some money. It was a no brainer. We were lucky that we had the money to purchase the system. That is how you can really save money for the next 25+ years.

Stillman Valley


Michael Winter

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 40 ground-mounted panels, geothermal

Annual Production: ~20 MWh

Why I went solar: PV - Interesting project, use less energy from grid and save on electricity bills. Geothermal - We had the land available and no access to natural gas.

Warren


Matthew Alschuler

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing & Video

System: 25 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: 12 MWh

Why I went solar: I always believed in living as light on the Earth as possible by recycling, insulating buildings, caulking windows, using high efficiency appliances, and buying an electric car. Installing solar was the obvious next step. I'm going to transition my farm house from propane powered heat, hot water, and cooking to an electric heat pump hot water heater, and inductive cooking. I had the room to install the modules, and a clear southern sky, so it was time to move ahead with the installation.

Warrenville


John and Kathy Franke

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 21 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 7000 kWh

Why I went solar: Reduce carbon footprint and reduce energy costs.

Warrenville


Connie and Michael Schmidt

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 13 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 4350 kWh

Why I went solar: We are retired and care about out energy costs. However, as a very involved leader in the Sierra Club we also want to lead by example using clean energy. It was also encouraged by our very enthusiastic son who works in this industry.

West Chicago

Mike Bullock

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 41 roof-mounted panels, air-based heat pump

Annual Production: 11.4MWh

Why I went solar: We installed Solar PV to reduce our carbon footprint and because it is the best financial investment we can make in our home. We are on a path to electrify everything and meet our energy needs with the sun. With other efficiency improvements, we expect to meet almost 100% of our electricity needs this year from the sun. This includes driving the Volt and providing heat for the house (except for the coldest days).

Wheaton


Jeff Gahris

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person & Video

Link to Video

Part of Glen Ellyn Community Tour!

System: 8 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 3700kWh

Why I went solar: We were excited to join the clean energy revolution for both financial and environmental reasons. We have enjoyed sharing our solar lifestyle with others who are interested in going solar.

Wilmette


Paul Doughty & Kim  Rode

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Wilmette Community Tour!

System: 20 flat roof-mounted panels, rooftop garden, EV

Annual Production: 5500 kWh

Why I went solar: Our daughter Quin (now in college) reports that the first time she heard about solar panels was in 4th grade at Harper Elementary School. She took a field trip next door to Beth and Harry Drucker's home, where students learned about solar power. She found it really interesting and after school told us about it. A month later, we went to a solar panel presentation at the Wilmette Village Hall, explaining all about solar panels. We learned that our flat-roofed garage would be great for solar panels and so we went ahead and purchased the panels. And now we help charge our electric car by adding clean solar energy to the grid. The most satisfying part about installing the solar panels has been our increased involvement in promoting and educating our community, friends and neighbors about the benefits of renewable energy. We created the “Meet Your Wilmette Solar Neighbors” booth for Go Green Wilmette’s environmental fair and Paul now works for Certasun, a locally-owned solar company. Adding solar panels to our house was the next logical step in the greening of our home.

Wilmette


William Cole

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Wilmette Community Tour!

System: 16 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 6360 kWh

Why I went solar: After attending a Go Green Wilmette event, I contacted several installers to get a feasibility report. Using the best available space on both my home and garage roofs, I could generate about 30 to 40% of my average usage with a 9-year pay back. Seemed like a no-brainer so we went ahead.

Wilmette


Avraham Mor

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person & Video

Part of Wilmette Community Tour!

System: 32 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 9357 kWh

Why I went solar: We installed solar to reduce our carbon footprint, and to reduce our overall cost for electricity.

Installed by:

Wilmette


Pierre Grangeon

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Wilmette Community Tour!

System: 21 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 8354 kWh

Why I went solar: The light is here, so better take advantage of it. Why don't we use it for our power needs? Using our roofs as a power generator is exciting, isn't it? Today, the solar panel industry seems mature and solar panels are now very efficient. We also wanted to install solar to take advantage of all the incentives that the Federal and the State of Illinois put in place. On top of that, we can also keep our electricity cost fixed for the next 20 years instead of riding up the increasing yearly rates due to inflation, power crisis, or because one dictator has decided he will invade his neighbor.

Wilmette


Nancy Pavkovic

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Wilmette Community Tour!

System: 24 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 4871 kWh

Why I went solar: The main reason for installing our solar panels was to cut our carbon footprint. We had just installed a new metal roof and the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) was trying to get homeowners to buy into the Solarize Chicago Program so the timing seemed perfect. Our south facing panels far outperform our east and west facing panels, but panels do not have to face south to be productive.

Wilmette


Beth Drucker

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing & Video

Link to Video

Part of Wilmette Community Tour!

System: 12 roof-mounted panels, solar thermal, EVs

Annual Production: 5000kWh

Why I went solar: When we had to reroof the house, we had to remove the eight year old solar panels. Efficiency has improved so much that we were able to replace the old panels with a similarly-sized system and make twice the energy.

Wilmette


Faith Bugel

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing

Part of Wilmette Community Tour!

System: 22 roof-mounted panels, EVs

Annual Production: ~8000 kWh

Why I went solar: I have been interested in environmental issues since college when I took an environmental class. When we moved to Wilmette 7 years ago and there was a state solar incentive, we discovered that installing solar might be a viable option for us. The process took a full year and unfortunately, there was a change in governors and the Rauner administration raided the funding for residential renewable energy. Our contractor was great and tried to make up for the loss of that money through the renewable energy credit (REC) auction. In this time of climate change and the IPCC’s report that we are “Code Red,” it is more important than ever to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy like residential solar.

Wilmette


Lisa and Rob Crowe

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing - can be seen from across the street

Part of Wilmette Community Tour!

System: 33 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 9598kWh

Why I went solar: We decided to go solar in order to support clean, renewable energy, rather than fossil fuels. We also wanted to support solar jobs and the solar industry, encourage others in our community to go solar, and increase our home value! We decided to lease, not buy, as the southern-facing portion of our roof is small, and it made more financial sense to lease. We learned about Sunrun through Costco. We trust Costco affiliates as we have had very good experiences with their services, such as home and auto insurance, carpet installation, etc. Another plus: Sunrun gives large referral bonuses when your friends and neighbors complete their installations. They are currently offering $1k per referral. This varies. Also of note: Costco sometimes gives cash cards when you purchase your system from Sunrun, sometimes 15% of the total cost.

TIPS: 1. Be patient with waiting for municipal permits. The pandemic caused a much longer wait than usual for us. 2. Although we didn't get quotes from three different companies, everyone says this is a good idea. 3. When you get your system, talk about it with your friends and family! Many people are not yet aware of solar. Once you get it, you'll want to spread the word!

Installed by:

Wilmette


Scott Krone

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing

Part of Wilmette Community Tour!

System: 12 roof-mounted panels, geothermal

Annual Production: 4000 kWh

Why I went solar: 

The house, the first “green home” in Wilmette, was designed and built by Coda Design + Build in 2008-2009. The intent of the home was to push the boundaries of green technology, and introduce as many of them as possible within the designated budget. Applying the state grants enabled solar to be included in the specifications for the home. Other green technology in the home includes geothermal heating and cooling, foam insulation, metal roof for reflective solar qualities, Hardie Panel, commercial grade lowE windows, bamboo flooring, and a non-combustible fireplace. The home won an international award for design and sustainability: Good Green Design.

Wilmette


Ben Tolsky

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing

Part of Wilmette Community Tour!

System: 47 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: 23 MWh

Why I went solar: Back in 2019 we installed solar panels at our old house (339 Lamon Ave, Wilmette) as we wanted to do something that would help the environment. Of course, the fact that the solar panels would pay for themselves before we had to write our first check for college tuition was also an important factor. We just purchased this house, and once again I wanted to go solar for all the same reasons. We also have an EV now, a Volvo XC40 Recharge, so being able to charge the car sustainably and for free was also a very important factor. We actually oversized our solar array so that it would support a second EV in the future.

Wilmette


Raymond Macika

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing

Part of Wilmette Community Tour!

System: 18 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: 6400kWh

Why I went solar: I installed solar panels to help reduce my carbon footprint and help reduce my energy costs. I primarily looked at the bigger picture of the benefits to society and setting an example for others and secondarily on system cost and return on investment.

Wilmette


Graham Hawks

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing

Part of Wilmette Community Tour!

System: 12 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 3500 kWh

Why I went solar: To combat climate change

Wilmette


Libby and Mark LeeMaster

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing

System: 12 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 4767 kWh

Why I went solar: To reduce monthly energy bills, receive tax credit and help the environment by using a renewable energy source.

Winnetka


Ted Wynnychenko

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 45 roof-mounted panels, geothermal, rain water collection, native garden

Annual Production: 11 MWh

Why I went solar: We had been concerned about the environment and our legacy to our planet for some time. When we had the opportunity to build our home, we decided to incorporate as many energy saving/environmentally friendly systems as we could.

Woodridge

James and Beth Galbreath

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing & Video

Link to Video

System: 16 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: 5900kWh

Why I went solar: We have been passionate about the environment and safe, renewable energy forever! But living in homes we didn't own for 43 years, we focused on energy conservation until retirement. At last owning our own home, we are doing everything we can to cut our carbon footprint, for the sake of all creatures who live on God's good earth. In 2020, we bought a lightly used Nissan Leaf EV and expanded the 10-panel system with six more (newer tech) panels to feed it. Of course, that year we didn't go many places! But in 2021 and 2022, especially now with gas pushing $6/gallon, and more and earlier heat waves, our solar panels are truly profitable!


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