CHICAGO, May 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- At a time of high energy prices, the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) announced the launch of a solar power program that has helped participants cut their energy bills by thousands of dollars.
Now in its third year, the Grow Solar program offers free educational sessions as well as volume-pricing discounts on solar panels. The program will officially launch on May 19, and the deadline to participate is Sept. 30.
The program is a partnership of CUB, the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, City of Chicago, and Cook, DuPage, Kane and Will counties. It aims to bring residents and small-business owners together to lower the price of solar and increase the deployment of clean energy. And it's been a success.
Since 2019, the program has helped 205 properties install 1,474 kilowatts of solar. That's like avoiding 3.3 million miles of car travel or nearly 1.5 million pounds of coal burned. In the past, participants have collectively reduced their energy costs by nearly $100,000 in just a year, and more than $70,000 in another year.
"We are excited to partner once again with MREA, CUB, and our neighbors to support the Grow Solar program," said Briana Moore, an Energy and Conservation Specialist in the Will County Resource Recovery and Energy Division. "Our residents continue expressing interest in solar, and this program has been an effective opportunity for them to install systems at competitive prices from local vendors."
"This program makes renewable energy more affordable and accessible for Cook County residents," said Deborah Stone, director of the Cook County Department of Environment and Sustainability. "The more people participate, the lower the installation cost is for everyone. This is a win for residents and their pocketbooks as well as our environment."
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 are state and federal incentives that can cover up to 60 percent of the cost of going solar.
State solar incentives are made possible by the 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act and, more recently, the 2021 Climate & Equitable Jobs Act, groundbreaking state energy legislation that CUB supported.
"At a time when the cost of fossil fuels is causing a lot of consumer pain, the Grow Solar Program is a great opportunity to let Illinois families know about solar incentives and programs that can help them save money," said CUB Deputy Director Sarah Moskowitz.
Navigating the solar market can be intimidating, creating barriers to solar adoption. To help break down those barriers, the program will directly educate residents about solar through free, public, one-hour informational webinars called Solar Power Hours. To view the Solar Power Hour schedule and learn more visit www.GrowSolar.org/Chicagoland.
CUB represents the interests of residential and small-business utility customers and has saved consumers more than $20 billion by helping to block rate hikes, secure refunds and fight for clean, affordable energy. For more information, call CUB's Hotline, 1-800-669-5556, or visit www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org.
The MREA was incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit shortly after the first Energy Fair in 1990. MREA's mission is to promote renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through education and demonstration. To learn more, call 715-592-6595 or visit www.midwestrenew.org.
SOURCE Citizens Utility Board
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