How to Use the Solar Calculator
The best way to learn about local rebates, your home’s energy potential, and your eventual return on investment is to use our ModSun Solar Cost Calculator (see above). Enter your home address in the box, then click Check My Roof. You’ll get an instant picture of your roof’s productivity, your average energy expenses, and installation costs in your area—whether you decide to buy or loan. We’ll also provide system size recommendations and information about rebates and incentives you may be eligible for. Just select More Info under each purchasing strategy to learn more, and then connect with a solar pro.
Solar Buyer’s Guide for Elgin, Illinois
Illinois actively support renewable energy and requires utility companies to receive 25% of their power from renewable energy sources by the year 2025. By buying solar power products, residential and commercial property owners become part of forward thinking energy savers investing in the future, and this Buyer’s Guide will help you get started.
Permits and Contractors for Solar Installation in Elgin
Purchasing a solar product such as a solar water heater or a solar array to is just one piece of the solar installation process. You’ll also need a state-licensed contractor and the proper permits. Selecting an experienced contractor with the appropriate license is important because, whether installing solar panels or a water heater, it must be done correctly from the start.
Illinois requires roofing projects be completed by a certified contractor listed with the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. The installation must be approved by a City of Elgin inspector. If it fails, the noted areas will need to be corrected and the installation inspected again. Installing a solar panel array can take anywhere from 2 – 4 days, so failing the inspection will cost you time and money. When you contact contractors for written estimates, ask for their license number and check their credentials using the free search tool at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
Permits for solar installation are required by the city. In most cases, your contractor will handle applying for the permit as he will need to supply his licensing and insurance information. To find out more about the licensing process or questions about what you need to do as a home or business owner, contact Elgin’s Community Development office at (847) 931-5920. Completed applications can be submitted in person from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. Applications can also be mailed. The Community Development office is located at 150 Dexter Ct. Elgin, 60120.
Climate Considerations for Solar Power in Elgin
When you discuss solar product types with your contractor or sales representative, the climate is a factor, particularly with solar water heaters. Areas that experience frequent freezing temperatures will require the use of a solar heater that uses a specialized, non-freezing liquid to operate the heater. In Elgin, snowfall averages 33 inches per year with January temperatures plummeting to as low as 11 degrees. Be sure to take this into account prior to buying a solar water heater. For the most part, Elgin receives more than adequate sunshine 190 days per year and around 104 days of rain. The city’s humidity index is in sync with the U.S. of 44, meaning it is at a comfortable level.
Roofing Requirements for Solar Installation in Elgin
Your roof must be inspected by a city inspector prior to installation to ensure it’s up to the task. For solar panel installation, your contractor will calculate the square footage of the property to determine the number of panels necessary. For optimal solar power, the panels should face south so the cells can absorb solar rays the majority of the day. The roof must also be strong enough to hold the panels safely. You do not want to install solar panels on a roof that is need of repair or replacement. Take care of any roofing issues, first.
The same instructions apply for solar water heaters. The roof must be able to maintain the weight of a water storage tank. The slope of the roof is also a factor in order for the system to function properly. Your contractor will inform you of the best choice in solar water heater systems to address any roofing issues and because of the freezing temperatures during the winter.
Additional Solar Resources for Elgin
For more information about solar products and available incentives, rebates and tax credits, visit the following websites.