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Suburban Chicago homeowners are opening their own homes in Naperville, Ill., to show other owners how they can benefit from solar energy. The Illinois Solar Tour is a self-guided tour free to the public and hosted by the Illinois Solar Energy Association to promote the fastest-growing source of energy. With both state and federal incentives available to help with the costs, these owners want to showcase how the investment will ultimately pay off and help the environment.

Dan Knotter said he did a lot of research on solar energy before making the decision in July 2017 to have a 15-panel, 4.2-kW solar array installed on his south-facing roof at 903 Mortonsberry Drive.

“I am big proponent of lowering my carbon footprint,” in addition to saving money, Knotter said.

Realizing most Naperville residents are more about the bottom line, Knotter created a website — – that walks users step by step through the process to determine if switching to solar energy is worth it for them.

“People don’t realize what incentives are available and how great they are,” Knotter said.

He estimates the solar energy he collects saved him $1,435 on his electric bill in the first year.

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