Evanston secures $500,000 in federal funds to expand solar power in low-income households


Daily file illustration by Catherine Buchaniec

The $500,000 will go toward the creation of the Evanston Accessible Solar Program, which will install solar panels on low-income properties.

Jorja Siemons, City Editor

Evanston has secured $500,000 from federal funds to expand access to solar power in the city’s low-income households, the city announced Monday. 

The funds come from the $211 million allocated for Illinois projects in Congress’ 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, signed by President Joe Biden on March 15. Mayor Daniel Biss submitted the funding request to Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) last year. 

The allocation will be used to launch the Evanston Accessible Solar Program, which seeks to  install solar panels on low-income properties. The effort will make a traditionally inaccessible and costly green energy source more feasible for all Evanston residents. 

“The Evanston Accessible Solar Program is an ambitious initiative that not only will deliver relief from high energy prices for residents, but also target low-income property owners,” Durbin said in a statement. 

The new program, overseen by Evanston’s Office of Sustainability, will help the city progress toward its goal of achieving 100% renewable energy citywide by 2030

The announcement follows Evanston’s move to launch the Community Solar Program last May. The program — part of a larger program encompassing 270 municipalities in Northeastern Illinois — enables residents to get 20% off the supply portion of their electric bills without having to install solar panels on their homes or buildings. 

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @JorjaSiemons

Related Stories:

Community Solar Program incentivizes renewable energy use for Evanston residents

City launches Community Solar Program, hires solid waste coordinator

City to relaunch sustainable business recognition program and begin new solar initiative