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Cook County launches ‘Sun and Save’ $3M residential solar installation program

On Monday, Sept. 25, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced $3 million in funding for the Cook County Sun and Save program, an initiative led by thecCounty’s Department of Environment and Sustainability. 

Cook County Sun and Save installs solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at no cost for income-qualified homeowners throughout Cook County. This program makes solar installations more accessible for eligible Cook County residents. Installing solar helps reduce carbon emissions, utility bills and barriers to clean energy for residents.

“The largest barrier residents face when choosing whether or not they can afford to install solar is the upfront costs,” said Preckwinkle. “By making solar installation completely free for eligible residents, we are lowering the barriers to entry and allowing more residents to take advantage of the benefits solar energy has to offer.”

The Cook County Sun and Save program is available to households located within Cook County that meet all the following requirements:    

  • Homeowners of single-family and small multi-family residences of four units or fewer that are located within Cook County.
  • Homeowner must live inside the home to be considered owner-occupied. For small multi-family homes of four units or less, the property owner must live in one of the units and is required to be the primary applicant for the program.
  • Household income of the homeowner must be between 80% and 120% of the Area Median Income.

“Not only does this program help reduce our region’s carbon emissions, but it will also lower utility bills for residents over the lifetime of the solar system,” said Cook County’s Chief Sustainability Officer Deborah Stone. “Reducing our carbon footprint as much and as quickly as possible will help create a healthier place to live for all residents.”

Cook County has partnered with the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC), which is a collaborative effort between the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and 360 Energy Group, to establish this program. 

The program will run until Aug. 31, 2026, or until funds run out and covers 100% of the costs associated with installing solar PV systems.

Cook County is providing funding for the Cook County Sun and Save program through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

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