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 Waukegan, Illinois
Solar power is an excellent alternative to traditional sources in several ways. It’s less expensive, you’ll save money each month, the system pays for itself, has a smaller carbon footprint, and adds value to your property. With so many positive points, it’s no wonder more residential and commercial property owners are investing in solar products. This Buyer’s Guide points out several areas that may help make the process from start to finish easier.
Basic Solar Steps for Installation in Waukegan
This short checklist of basics provides helpful information you may not know.
- Types of solar panels and water heaters
- Financial resources
Waukegan’s Climate for Solar Power
Climate does factor into solar water heater selection, especially when it comes to winter temperatures. Waukegan’s overall seasonal forecast averages 110 rainy days producing 33 inches per year, and snowfall at 37 inches per year which surpasses the U.S. average of 25 inches . The high temperature in July is around 82 degrees while winter lows in January can reach 13 degrees. As far as humidity, Waukegan has a good comfort index of 48 out of 100 which is higher than the U.S. standard of 44 out of 100. When looking at solar water heater products, the low winter temperatures and freezing conditions will be a consideration.
Hiring a Solar Contractor in Waukegan
To ensure you’re hiring a certified and properly licensed contractor, use the search tool at the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation website. All roofing contractors must be certified by the State of Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. You do not want to bypass Joliet’s requirements for permit applications and using a contractor with the appropriate license. For example, roofing contractors will need to have both an Illinois State Roofer’s License as well as a Certificate of Insurance. Electrical contractors and plumbers also must have a Certificate of Insurance and for electricians, and electrical license and a State of Illinois Contractor Registration for plumbers.
City of Waukegan Solar Permits
A permit is required to do any installation to your property that has anything to do with roofs, electrical or plumbing. An inspection of the installation is also required and must be approved. For permits, contact the Building Department at (847) 625-6868 prior to beginning any project. The City of Waukegan Building Department is located at 100 N. MLK Jr. Ave, 3rd Floor and open from 8 AM to 4 PM Monday through Friday. You’ll find links to the building permit application and contractor’s registration here.
Solar Panels and Water Heaters in Waukegan
One of the most important steps to be taken prior to solar installation is an inspection of the property’s roof. It is recommended that any repairs or re-roofing take place before solar panels or a solar water tank is installed. An inspection will also determine if the property is compatible for solar installation in terms of structural integrity and the ability to hold the added weight of the products.
Information on Solar Rebates, Tax Credits and Incentives for Waukegan
One of the many benefits solar power brings to residential and commercial property owners is the variety of programs available. Although solar products more than pay for the initial cost over time, and will continue to provide savings each month for the lifespan of the solar product, these programs offer options to help defray the original cost of the equipment and installation:
- Clean Energy Authority
- Energy Star
- Rural Energy for America Program
- DSIRE – Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy
Information on Roofs and Solar Products in Waukegan
Utilize the expertise and knowledge of your contractor to help you determine the size and type of product suitable for your property. Your contractor will calculate the area needed for panels and if there is enough room on the roof for the panels to be installed. He’ll also let you know if the roof design allows for enough access to the sun in order for the solar cells to absorb the rays, and if there are any obstructions such as tall trees or buildings blocking the solar array. Roofs facing south receive the optimum amount of solar rays.
In the event roof-mounted panels are not an option, you can go with the alternate option of ground-mounted solar paneling. A ground-mounted system requires there be enough room for installation and also access to the sun and no obstructions.
You have several choices for solar paneling. These include:
- Off- grid
- Grid-tie and battery backup.
Choices in solar water heaters include:
- Active, which includes direct and indirect systems. Direct uses pumps, valves, and controllers to move the water. Indirect uses a special fluid instead of water. This system is generally used in areas with frequent freezing.
- Passive uses an integral or thermosyphon system. This type of system does not use pumps to move the water through the system.
With this Buyer’s Guide, you’ll have the basic information necessary to discuss your solar power options with a contractor or the sales representative. You also have the information regarding city and state requirements to ensure your products are properly installed.