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Kildeer Village Passes Ordinance Allowing Rooftop Solar Panels

After five years of local efforts to overturn the ban on rooftop solar panels, the Kildeer Village Board of Trustees has unanimously voted for the passage of a new ordinance which will allow homeowners to install panels on their homes within the Killdeer municipality. The 4-0 vote secured a big win for energy democracy and increasing access to renewable energy for more Illinoisans.

rooftop solar in kildeer
Kildeer homeowners are now able to install rooftop solar panels, thanks to a five-year grassroots effort to overturn the village's ban on rooftop solar. This home is believed to be the first in Kildeer to have solar installed. (Photo by Mike Zanillo)

Previously, Kildeer was one of several municipalities across the state that did not allow homeowners to install solar panels due to aesthetics. However, with the help of an informal group that campaigned on behalf of solar power for economic and environmental reasons, a petition driven by the residents of the community gathered 115 signatures and was able to make its way to the board and their voices were heard. Mike Zanillo, one of the leaders of the effort, helped rally the Kildeer community around this cause. “People were more passionate about this than we had expected,” Zanillo said. “This petition was only for residents, which really allowed our voices to be amplified and our legislators took that seriously.”

State Representative Nabeela Syed of the 51st District was also very supportive of the efforts led by local community members. At a village meeting that she attended, constituents brought their concerns to the board and advocated on behalf of energy democracy. “In an incredibly organized manner, several Kildeer residents spoke about a number of reasons why solar panels should be allowed and addressed some of the concerns,” Syed stated. “It was wonderful to hear that the decision was made in favor of the residents. It highlights how the community came together to advocate for something they believed in and were successful.” 

The unanimous vote occurred December 2023 after hearing impassioned residents discuss the cost benefit analysis of solar power and advocate for their freedom to choose clean energy. Prior to passing this new ordinance, Kildeer residents’ only option for solar energy was to install integrated solar roofs, which are made of solar shingles that blend in with a rooftop. This option is generally much more expensive, creating a barrier preventing many from being able to access solar power due to the high cost. 

Now, Kildeer residents are already calling in to get price estimates on solar panels and are excited to see their village become a contributor to the journey of statewide renewable energy. “I had no idea how much work this was going to be,” Zanillo said, “but I’m so glad to see the positive impact this has already had on our community. It truly makes all the hard work worth it.”

 Learn More 

For a deeper look into this exciting advancement, we encourage you to read the full story from the Daily Herald.

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