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Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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Rooftop Solar

The State of Illinois has passed legislation making putting solar on your home or business easy and inexpensive due to incentives. The return on your solar investment will be quick and will provide many years of clean, renewable energy. By receiving a SolSmart Silver designation the Village of River Forest has taken steps to make installing rooftop solar in the community easier. Below are some great resources to help determine if going green is right for you.

What if I live in a landmark or historically significant home?

Solar can be installed in ways to not interfere with the status of your home or the historical architecture. For more information please read the Historic Preservation section of the Solar Permit Checklist and contact the Historic Preservation Committee during the planning phase to understand best practices and any limitations.

I can’t put solar on my roof, what other options do I have?

As a River Forest resident you are eligible to participate in Community Solar or Green Electric Aggregation Programs further described below

Community Solar

A community solar project is a single site solar installation shared by multiple subscribers. Community solar allows “subscribers” to save money by receiving net metering credits on their electricity bill and support the development of new renewable energy resources without needing to install equipment on their property. Click here to learn more. 

Green Electric Aggregation Program

In September 2020, the Village of River Forest established a green electric aggregation program that supports renewable energy projects and offsets the Village’s CO2 emissions, making significant progress towards the goal of to reaching 100% renewable energy by 2050. MC Squared Energy Services, LLC was selected to provide electric supply which will support clean, renewable energy development through the acquisition of certified Renewable Energy Certificates (REC’s) from wind farms in the Midwest. More information on the Green Electric Aggregation Program can be found here.

Reduce Energy Usage

Often the cheapest and easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint is simply reducing the amount of energy used. Below are a few suggestions that can be easily implemented for residents of River Forest.

Cook County Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy
(C-PACE) Program

Commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) financing is an innovative tool that provides low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, and resiliency projects in commercial buildings. Cook County commercial property owners can obtain up to 100% upfront financing from private capital providers for qualified upgrades such as HVAC, lighting and solar photovoltaic systems, electrice vehicle charging stations, and many more,.

Eligible properties include both existing and newly constructed commercial and industrial buildings and multi- family apartment buildings consisting of five or more dwelling units, including:

  • Office
  • Retail
  • Multifamily residential (five or more units)
  • Healthcare and labs
  • Private educational facilities

You can learn more about the Cook County C-PACE Program here. You can learn more about eligible improvements through the Illinois Energy Conservation Authority here

ComEd Energy Savings Programs

ComEd offers a host of energy savings programs, including free energy efficient products for sinks and showers. Click here to learn more about the ComEd programs.

Nicor Financial Rebate

Nicor offers financial rebates to residential customers for the installation of high efficiency boilers, storage water heaters and high efficiency furnaces. Learn more about the rebate program for your home.

The Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program offers financial rebate incentives to Nicor Gas business customers for saving energy, as well as for replacing outdated natural gas equipment with new, high-efficiency models. The program also provides funding for custom energy-saving programs for qualified commercial projects. Learn more about the business rebate program.

More Ways to Energy Usage

  • Replace incandescent and fluorescent lighting with LED
  • Improve home insulation including doors & windows
  • Consider walking or Bicycling for local trips


Reducing utilization of fossil fuels in your homes is one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Below are a few suggestions for simple alternatives that will reduce or eliminate fossil fuel use in your home.

Village Initiatives

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

In 2022, the Village installed its first electric vehicle charging station on Central Avenue behind Village Hall as part of the continued efforts to reduce the Village’s greenhouse gas emissions. The level two dual-port charging station is capable of charging two vehicles at a time. The station utilizes the ChargePoint network and is currently free to use. As it becomes increasingly important that residents and visitors of the Village have charging options in public parking areas, the Village will be looking to install stations throughout the community in the coming years and exploring electric vehicle options for the Village’s fleet. 

The Village of River Forest is preparing for the expected increase in electric vehicles (EVs) and EV charging stations by participating in the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus’ EV Readiness Program. We are reducing barriers to EV infrastructure investment and making it easier for residents and businesses to install EV charging stations. River Forest has created an EV Readiness Guide to help you learn about EVs and EV charging stations, decide if they are right for you, and move through the EV charger permitting and installation process.

Village Hall Energy Efficiency

ComEd evaluated the energy efficiency of Village Hall to identify improvements that would increase efficiency and be eligible for their incentive program. LED lighting upgrades were completed based on the analysis of the exterior lighting of the building and in the community room. The replacement of fluorescent lighting on the 2nd floor, stairways, and 1st-floor common areas of Village Hall with energy-efficient LED lighting is planned for the coming year.