Solar Energy

Getting Started with Solar

Welcome to the Village of Wilmette’s solar resource webpage. Wilmette is seeking ways to enhance the amount of solar energy installed in our community. This webpage represents a collection of solar resources and information for the community. Our community’s solar goals can be found in our Solar Statement. For more information about the basics of solar energy please visit:

Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power
How Solar Energy Works
Homeowner’s Guide to Going Solar

Policies and Processes
Refer to the Village of Wilmette’s solar permitting checklist for a complete list of required materials for a permit.

Solar Benefits
Solar energy uses a renewable energy source – the sun – and provides many benefits for individuals and
the community. It improves environmental quality by reducing carbon emissions and air pollution,
supports local solar companies in Illinois, saves money on energy costs as the price continues to drop
from technological developments, and improves electric grid resilience during peak demand and other
stresses to the system.

Solar Maps and Potential
Investigate your property’s solar potential by clicking here. You can also estimate the performance of
potential PV projects using the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s PVWatts Calculator.

Finding a Contractor and Going Solar
Find a solar contractor (or two) to assess your home for solar energy and provide a bid. Certified
practitioners can be found through the Illinois Solar Energy Association (ISEA) and NABCEP.

How to Choose a Qualified Solar Installer – key considerations from ISEA if you are thinking
about installing solar on your property.
Consumer Solar Checklist ‐ a checklist for residential consumers considering solar energy from
IREC, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.
Clean Energy Consumer Bill of Rights – ensuring a positive consumer experience by addressing
important issues from IREC, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.
Solar Customer Resource Portal

Financing, Incentives, and Tax Exemptions
Typically solar installations are paid for through loans or cash, with Federal and State incentives
A Homeowner’s Guide to Solar Financing – learn about different financing options from CESA,
the Clean Energy States Alliance.
Rooftop Solar Financing 101 – an informative short video from the GW Solar Institute explaining
different solar financing options.

Solar Rights and Procedure
The Illinois Municipal Code states in Division 13 Zoning that municipalities have the following powers:
(10) … to regulate or forbid any structure or activity which may hinder access to solar energy necessary
for the proper functioning of a solar energy system, as defined in Section 1.2 of the Comprehensive Solar
Energy Act of 1977

Illinois state law also prohibits a homeowners’ association or similar entity from preventing a
homeowner from installing a solar energy system. Public Act 097‐0105 states: No deed restrictions, covenants, or similar binding agreements running with the land shall prohibit or
have the effect of prohibiting a solar energy system from being installed on a building erected on a lot or
parcel covered by the deed restrictions, covenants, or binding agreements, if the building is subject to a
homeowners’ association, common interest community association, or condominium unit owners’

More Useful Solar Information
Learn more about the Future Energy Jobs Act
Illinois Solar Energy Association (ISEA)
Homeowner Resources from ISEA
Citizens Utility Board