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Illinois solar energy is spreading thanks to group buy programs

Thanks to the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act, we’re in an exciting time for solar energy in Illinois. With our partner the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, the Grow Solar group buy program is helping property owners across Illinois take the first steps toward lower electricity bills with rooftop solar. 

“Now is a perfect time to consider going solar,” says Marina Minic, CUB Solar Programs Administrator. “Adding solar panels can lower your energy bills right away, and unlike utility companies, those panels will never raise their rates.”

A solar group-buy program is where people interested in installing solar panels can enjoy volume discounts. In addition to offering a lower base price for solar panels, the Grow Solar program has a series of price breaks as the program hits participation benchmarks. (On top of that, state and federal incentives can cover up to 70 percent of the cost of going solar.)  

Grow Solar Chicagoland, which is open to property owners in Cook, Will, DuPage, Lake and Kane counties, has reached its first benchmark of 50 kilowatts and nearing its second of 300 kW. While the group buy program is still open to new participants, the final day to start the process by requesting a site assessment will be Sept. 30, 2022 and the sign-up deadline has been extended to Nov. 9. 

Meanwhile, Grow Solar Urbana-Champaign has already reached its second volume discount benchmark of 100 kilowatts of new solar projects, leading consumers to unlock the second tier of savings. The program is open to property owners in Champaign, Piatt, and Vermilion Counties. 

With the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, there are even more reasons to consider going solar. “This new legislation has many great provisions to help homeowners lower their energy costs,” says Marta Monti, Grow Solar Program Manager at the MREA. “The federal tax credit for new solar arrays has been extended and raised to 30%. By combining that tax credit with our group buy rebates and Illinois’ Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), property owners can save up to 70% on the cost of a new solar system.” 

If you’ve missed out on past Solar Power Hour events, watch a replay here on the Grow Solar Facebook Page

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