A Guide to Going Solar in Glencoe
The Village of Glencoe is committed to furthering the use of solar energy in our community, both to reduce our footprint and utility costs for our residents and business. In an effort to showcase Glencoe's commitment to residential solar development, Village Manager Phil Kiraly signed a solar statement in 2017 supporting the reduction of barriers to residential solar development, initiating Glencoe’s participation in the United States Department of Energy’s SolSmart program.
This page will serve a hub for all information related to residential solar energy systems including how to explore if solar is right for your residence, costs related to residential solar energy systems, basic education, funding opportunities, building permits, consumer protection resources and more!
Solar Permitting Checklist
SolSmart has inspired the development of the Village's new Solar Permitting Checklist & Guide, which explains what information is required in order to successfully obtain a building permit for a residential solar array in a timely fashion.
Glencoe is committed to ethical development and adherence to consumer protection. Many organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), Illinois Solar Energy Association (ISEA), and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) have created documents dedicated to consumer rights and protection as relates specifically to solar development. The resources below offer guidance on what rights you possess as a consumer, but do not replace legal counsel.
- IREC Be Solar Smart Consumer Checklist : A strong preliminary tool to solar system installation.
- IREC Consumer Bill of Rights : Understand your consumer rights as relates to solar systems.
- SEIA Residential Consumer Guide to Community Solar : Not able to support solar at your residence? Learn how to take advantage of community solar.
- EPA Solar Photovoltaic Specification, Checklist, and Guide: A technical guide for solar systems.
- SEIA Solar Business Code: Consider having your installer adhere to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) Business Code—the standard by which the Illinois Solar Energy Association (ISEA) advises all developers and installers conduct business.
- NY-Sun Decommissioning Solar Panel Systems Fact Sheet: A decommissioning guide for those considering large-scale solar land leases—this guide has not been formally adopted by Will County, but serves as a prime example of large-scale solar land lease best practices.
- SEIA Guide to Land Leases for Solar: An overview of land leases and the questions you should be asking.
- SEIA Solar Lease Disclosure: Entering into a solar energy lease agreement? Review this first!
- Informational Events: Check here for any upcoming solar community events!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is solar energy right for me?
Solar energy uses one of the earth’s most bountiful and free renewable resources: the sun. Solar energy systems harness energy from sunlight and convert it into electricity or heat that you can use to power your home or to heat your home and water saving money, electricity, and gas. There are many factors to consider when deciding if a solar energy system is right for you: structure of your home, ground-mounted verse roof-mounted, photovoltaic (commonly called PV, used to produce electricity) verse solar thermal (used to produce heat for water or air), affordability, reliability, availability of sunlight, and much more. For a homeowner's guide to going solar, click this link.
The solar glossary contains definitions for technical terms related to solar power and photovoltaic (PV) technologies, including terms having to do with electricity, power generation, and concentrating solar power (CSP). The Solar Glossary can be found here.
How does solar energy work?
Renewables are a naturally occurring source of energy that does not come from a fossil or nuclear based fuel. The suns rays are turned into renewable energy in both indirect and direct manners. Indirectly, solar radiation influences the Earth's water, air current, and photosynthesis cycles These cycles are used to generate hydro, wind and wave, and bioenergy respectively. Directly, solar radiation can turned to electricity, as well as absorbed for heating. To learn more about how solar works, click here.
Can I install solar panels on a historic landmark status home?
If your home has historic landmark status, one of the following two review processes will be required prior to the installation of solar panels:
- Honorary Landmark – An advisory review conference with the Historic Preservation Commission is required prior to any building permit being issued for a physical modification to a structure, building, object, or site. An application is required to commence the advisory review process. The Commission will evaluate the application based on the general standards and design guidelines included in Section 26A-53 of the Village Code and will vote to support, support with conditions, or not support the application. The Commission’s decision is advisory only and is not binding.
- Certified Landmark – A public hearing with the Historic Preservation Commission, and the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness, are required prior to any building permit being issued for a physical modification to a structure, building, object, or site. An application is required to commence the public hearing process, in addition to notice being published at least 15 days in advance of the hearing date. The Commission will evaluate the application based on the general standards and design guidelines included in Section 26A-53 of the Village Code and will vote to approve, approve with conditions, or not approve the application. Upon approval of the application, the Commission will issue a certificate of appropriateness permitting the building official to proceed with other required reviews and approvals. The Commission’s decision is binding.
If you have any questions regarding your home’s landmark status or the review processes noted above, please contact Jordan Lester, staff liaison to the Historic Preservation Commission.
What resources exist to help fund my solar project?
To learn more about the costs of a solar project, please click here.