Solar Energy

Solar in Skokie

The Village of Skokie encourages the installation of solar panels for residential, commercial, and industrial applications. In recognition of Skokie's commitment to Solar energy, the Village was awarded a Gold designation through the SolSmart program. SolSmart-Logo_Gold_color.web.print

Installing Solar

A building permit is required for the installation of solar panels. To start the review process, please complete the Solar Permit Application (PDF) or the online application at (click "Apply for Building Permit"). 

Additional Solar Resources

Review Process Timeline

The Village of Skokie is committed to providing a timely review of solar PV permit applications. Best efforts are made to review completed solar permit applications within three (3) business days. These turnaround times are typical, not guaranteed since unforeseen delays may influence turnaround time.

Certain circumstances can prolong the permit turnaround time including:

  • Application does not submit all required information
  • Contractor applying for permit is not a licensed contractor
  • Additional required documents are not submitted with the application

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.

Find Your Solar Potential

Investigate your property's solar potential by clicking here (for ComEd customers, no sign-in required.) You also can estimate the performance of potential PV projects using the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's PVWatts Calculator. For additional solar potential resources, click the links below:

Finding a Contractor and Going Solar

First, find out if you qualify for free or low-cost solar installations through these income-eligible programs:

  • The Illinois Solar for All program gives income-eligible households access to residential solar installations with no upfront costs and guaranteed savings.
  • The Cook County Sun and Save Program installs solar photovoltaic systems at no cost for income-qualified residences and homeowners in Cook County. 

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 (in part or whole) through loans or cash, with Federal and State incentives. 

A Homeowner's Guide to Solar Financing - learn about different financing options from the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA)

Rooftop Solar Financing 101 - an informative short video from the GW Solar Institute explaining different solar financing options.

Community Solar

Skokie is a member of the North Shore Electricity Aggregation Consortium (NSEAC).  The Consortium has partnered with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus to launch the state's largest community solar program called the CS2 Residential and Small Commercial Program, which provides consumers easy and immediate access to new community solar farms in northern Illinois. Click here to learn more about Community Solar in Skokie.

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’ association. 

Job Training and Educational Opportunities

Interested in pursuing a career in solar energy? Click here for regional and national educational courses, programs, and/or trainings offered from colleges, universities, technical institutions, and non-profits.