The Solarize Chicagoland program returns in 2020 with 25 free, public, one-hour informational webinars. Through these events, called Solar Power Hours, Solarize Chicagoland educates home and small business owners about solar and offers an opportunity to secure discounts on solar photovoltaic systems through volume purchasing.
The program is led by two nonprofit organizations, Citizens Utility Board of Illinois (CUB) and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), with support from four Chicagoland counties: Cook, DuPage, Kane, and Will. For more information about Solarize Chicagoland or to view the Solar Power Hour schedule, visit www.SolarizeChicagoland.com.
In 2019, the program achieved commitments to install nearly 1,000 kilowatts (kW) of solar on over 120 properties in the Chicago area. CUB and MREA are launching the Solarize Chicagoland 2020 solar group-buy program this week, and the program’s participation deadline is September 30.
“Beyond the 120 people who went solar last year, over 900 people attended Solar Power Hours. That’s 900 people who are now informed solar shoppers,” said Christina Uzzo, environmental outreach coordinator at CUB.
In its first year of operation, Solarize Chicagoland’s solar arrays will offset the emissions equivalent of approximately 800,000 pounds of coal burned. Collectively, customers will also save an estimated $98,300 in electric bills in the first year alone.
“Over the past few months, an increasing number of households have been both working and schooling from home,” said Peter Murphy, Solar Program Director for the MREA. “Home energy use is now a budget concern for both households and businesses and a properly designed and installed solar electric system can effectively turn the expense into an investment return.”