Michelle Knox

Courtesy of John Schafer

Springfield city council members, utility officials, and clean-energy advocates reached an agreement on new rules for rooftop solar panels on Tuesday.

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

On the roof of the Kerasotes building in downtown Springfield, at the corner of Sixth and Washington streets, Michelle Knox shows off a 9.9-kilowatt array of solar panels.

“This system offsets about 25% of the building’s consumption,” she said.

Those savings make the monthly City Water, Light and Power bill lower than it would be without solar panels. And thanks to a system called “net metering,” CWLP gives the building owners a credit when the panels produce extra electricity, which goes back to the city grid.

Illinois Solar Tour

If you want to learn more about solar energy and how it can be put to use in your home or business, there's a good opportunity for a firsthand look this weekend. It's the annual Solar Tour.