Latest in Solar News 2017-05-02T20:42:43+00:00

May 27, 2016

Energy Sage explained some very exciting news about solar energy financing and why Fannie Mae’s program may be your best option. Fannie Mae offers the HomeStyle Energy Program, which according to Energy Sense Finance, the program offers “the lowest cost of capital for new solar installations to date”.
So just how is this mortgage different from other solar loans?  This program allows borrowers to use the program to finance solar installations when they are purchasing a new home or refinancing their current home.  As you may know, other options require homeowners to take out a separate equity line of credit, PACE loan or unsecured loan.
Fannie Mae’s program doesn’t just benefit those mentioned above.  Homeowners who have already installed solar and financed their installation through some other method can also reap some benefits from the program.  They are eligible to use this to pay off existing, higher interest unsecured loans and PACE loans.  This can be done by refinancing or rolling the loan into a new mortgage.
There is also a different requirement for the Fannie Mae loan – the homeowner must provide an energy report showing the solar installation, or improvement, are cost effective. In 2015, the average break-even point for a solar system was just over 7 years.  There really should be no question as to solar installations being significantly less than the long-term benefits of solar.
A few questions may come to mind then thinking about this exciting news:


  1. Am I eligible to use the HomeStyle Energy Mortgage for solar?  The criteria is you must be the owner of a single-family home, or a multi-family home with no more than 4 units.  This program CANNOT be used on new construction or manufactured homes.
  2. What is the limit on the amount of money available through the HomeStyle Energy Mortgage?  The formula is pretty simple – you may borrow up to 15% of your “as completed” appraised property value.
  3. Where can you find Fannie Mae HomeStyle Energy Mortgages?  All Fannie Mae lenders are eligible to offer this mortgage.


As you begin to consider installing a solar energy system and look into financing options, take the time to research the Fannie Mae HomeStyle Energy Mortgage – it may be just what you are looking for.

Thank you to Energy Sage for providing this information.  For more detail see: written by Sara Matasci.


March 9, 2016

Considering solar for your home in 2016 but you have so many questions….it’s mind-boggling.  While doing some research for a new blog, I ran across a website and a written guide to help you understand all the components of going solar.   You may download a free copy of the 2016 Ultimate Guide to Power Your Home with Solar,  Solar Power Rocks provides plenty of information on all aspects of solar – financing options, government incentives, payback time and many more – all based solely on Illinois (the other 49 states may  be researched as well).  Check out the website and hover over Illinois for a link to the detailed information,

Thank you to SOLARHOT for directing me to Solar Power Rocks.  Solar Power Rocks was ranked the #1 blog.



January 21, 2016

Are you considering solar for your house in 2016? Are you questioning your decision to go solar because you MAY be selling your house down the road? Have you installed solar and your are wondering if you are stuck or going to take a hit? The link to the article below explains why you have nothing to worry about.


December 29, 2015

What do you need to know while preparing to go solar?  EnergySage provides the Top 10 Things to Know about Solar.  Here’s a summary of items and a link for more information,

  1. Solar energy can save money no matter what your budget is

  2. Solar panels are a great investment – panels are getting more efficient and less expensive each year

  3. Solar was first invented in 1954, it’s been around and has a proven track record

  4. Solar panels are highly durable and generally carry a warranties of 10 and 25 years – the warranty period is broken down by 10 years of the manufacture’s warranty and 25 years production warranty.  The production warranty guarantees that after 25 years of use, the panel will still provide 80% of original power.

  5. Electricity will be produced for 25 years

  6. Practically maintenance free

  7. Installation can be done anywhere – check your local electric rates

  8. Typically tied to the grid, requiring no battery backups – Net Metering may be in place which determines use by meter direction.  If the meter is running backwards, you are NOT using grid energy; if the meter is running forward, you ARE using power from the grid

  9. Solar can eliminate your entire electric bill, depending on system sizing

  10. Solar can be installed on roofs, commercial buildings, canopies, etc.

More discussion of these items can be seen at the link provided above.  EnergySage also provides almost everything you’d want to know about Solar Energy. 



Have you ever wondered if your solar panel needs cleaning off when it snows?  Well it does NOT, because solar panels are installed with at least a 30% pitch (or more).  The glass in the panel is warmed by the sun, the snow will either slide off or melt quickly.

Why is it so important now that I look at the light bulbs I’m choosing for my home? There are savings connected with your power bill. Two types of bulbs are available today to the average homeowner.  These are:

CFL – Compact Flourescent Light bulbs use about 75% less energy, lasts approximately 10x longer and saves up to $62 over the life of the bulb

LED – Light Emitted Diode bulbs also use about 75% less energy, but last 50x longer and save up to $230 over its lifetime.

In the past 2 years, LED bulb purchases and usage have doubled.  People are buying LED bulbs for their daily home light source, not just for Christmas lighting anymore.  What is driving this increase – why are people using LED bulbs more?  Certainly the lower price, the pure color the bulb produces, lower energy usage and the Energy Star approval.  But, these are not the most important factors.  Key considerations are the brightness of LED bulbs and longevity.

Recommendations can be found on Comed’s Home Page and the GreenTech Media page.  Is it truly all about the bulb?  Find out for yourself at: and

If you are ever thinking, “should I go solar?” check out the EnergySage website.  Not only will you see the Top 10 Reasons to go Solar but you will be entering a solar marketplace. After checking out this article, do any of these reasons apply to you? Are you ready to begin researching Solar Energy for your home or business?   Contact the Solar Professor at [email protected] or give the Professor a call at 815.414.1788.

Thank you to Katherine Tweed, Senior Reporter for Greentech Media for information summarized above on LED and CFL lighting.

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