Solar Energy


Save money. Save the planet.

Smart energy choices mean hundreds of dollars saved, but who do you trust to give you accurate information on renewable energy choices? Stop feeling overwhelmed and trust the guidance of Illinois Extension energy experts. We believe that you're the best person to decide what's best for your home and business, so we've gathered all the content into one spot to save you time so you can make the right clean energy choices for your family.

The Sun - Our Solar Helper

The sun is the center of our solar system and provides energy for all living creatures. Explore how plants, animals, and humans use the sun's light to grow food and create electricity in a coloring and activity book for kids. 

Download the Coloring Book 

5 Factors to Consider Before Installing Home Solar
  1. Find out your home’s energy use
    Look at your energy bill’s kWh usage for the past 12 to 24 months and calculate an average monthly usage.
  2. Contact your electric utility
    Because most residential systems are tied to the power grid, reach out about connection requirements, fees, and possible incentives.
  3. Location, location, location
    Start considering panel location. Assess the age, size, and condition of your roof as well as available ground space.
  4. Get several quotes
    There are costs other than equipment, such as installation, permitting and inspection. Make sure all costs are included in quotes.
  5. Do your homework
    Ensure the company you are considering has installers who are specially trained and certified to install solar, among other factors.
Learn more

For a cost breakdown, visit the National Renewable Energy Laboratory website and search for solar installed cost analysis.  For more information about solar, visit the resources below.

Solar Energy for the Home: Is it right for you? | Everyday Environment

Is solar energy right for you? As renewable energy production is increasing in popularity, opportunities to incorporate solar panels on your home have become more available and affordable. In this webinar, University of Illinois Extension Energy & Environmental Stewardship Educator Erin...