The City of Evanston is committed to supporting solar energy in Evanston. Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on Evanston homes and businesses help decarbonize Evanston’s electricity supply and provide distributed resource generation. Solar thermal systems provide hot water without burning natural gas, further reducing our community’s carbon footprint.
In recognition of Evanston's committment to solar energy, in October 2017, the City was awarded a Gold designation through the U.S Department of Energy's SolSmart designation program. The SolSmart certification ensures that communities are leading the way in solar power use and effectiveness. In achieve this designation and thereby increase access to solar in Evanston, the Office of Sustainability took the lead with support from other departments including Community Development and Public Works.
Evanston has a long history of leading in climate action and reducing carbon emissions through purchasing renewable energy, installing solar generation and increasing energy efficiency. The City has adopted and completed two climate action plans, the Evanston Climate Action Plan (ECAP) and the Evanston Livability Plan both of which direct the City and community to make additional investments in solar and other renewable sources.
The SolSmart designation builds on Evanston’s commitment to making carbon free energy available to Evanston residents in line with the City’s STAR Community Rating Goals, Paris climate commitments, and Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty’s pledge to 100% Clean Energy.
Solar Information and Resources
Illinois Homeowners' Solar Rights Act. Protects homeowner's rights to install solar panels.
- Cook County Solar Energy Webpage
Installing Solar in Evanston
The Evanston Solar Installation Checklist, Permit Application and Inspection Requirements can be found here: Evanston Solar Checklist and Permit Application
Schedule an Inspection - Call 3-1-1 in Evanston or dial 847-448-4311 outside of Evanston. In order to schedule an inspection please have your address and permit number ready and available to give to City staff.
Interested in learning about the solar potential of your rooftop? Check out the Project Sunroof tool which will help provide an estimate of the solar potential of your rooftop.