Can’t put solar panels on your home? Community solar is one of the most effective strategies to address climate change, and save money at the same time.

The rapid growth of the solar industry in 2020 may be one of the most under-reported stories in Illinois. Even with the pandemic, the recession, and all the other issues, there are at least 26 new solar farms in Illinois that are scheduled to be online in early 2021. And that is newsworthy at a time when there’s an urgent need for action to mitigate climate change.

Interfaith Green Network (IGN) is strongly encouraging individuals, small businesses, congregations, and nonprofits to subscribe to community solar. It’s an easy way to “go solar” with no upfront investment, no physical installation of solar panels, but lower electrical bills. In addition, construction of solar farms brings good-paying construction jobs to areas of low employment in Illinois, and introduces economic diversity to areas of Illinois that have been struggling economically. It’s a win/win/win situation for subscribers, for the state of Illinois, and for the environment.

IGN is sponsoring a webinar on Thursday evening, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. It will include an explanation of how community solar works, savings benefits, contract terms, how to sign up, and more. You can register for this webinar at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2207072091069364751.

Another way to learn about community solar is the Citizens Utility Board website. CUB has been tracking the six companies that are now offering community solar and the website has detailed consumer-oriented information about each of them. The web address is https://www.citizensutilityboard.org/solar-in-the-community.

Art Spooner

Volunteer, Interfaith Green Network

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