Five Chicagoland counties, nonprofit advocates and solar professionals have joined to educate consumers on how they can install discounted solar panels, the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) says.
The Solar Switch program, formerly called Grow Solar Chicagoland, is a partnership among Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties, along with nonprofits CUB and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA).
This year, the program has added the expertise of iChoosr, a company that manages and administers solar group-buy programs globally.
Solar Switch secures volume discounts for solar installations based on how many residents of those five counties, along with residents of Kendall and McHenry counties, participate. The program selects installers through a competitive vetting process and then runs a reverse-auction to secure a low base-price.
“Solar Switch gives consumers an introduction to solar power, and it offers a safe and reliable process to connect interested participants with qualified, vetted and affordable solar installers,” says Marina Minic, CUB’s solar programs coordinator. “As a watchdog we are concerned about education and consumer protections, and that’s why we promote this program.”
“Combined with the Inflation Reduction Act’s clean energy incentives, Solar Switch Chicagoland makes solar more accessible than ever,” adds Taylor Ball, solar program manager for the MREA.