Getting Started

Welcome to the City of Gary’s Solar Resource Webpage. This webpage represents a collection of solar information and resources for our community.

For more information about the basics of solar energy, your solar options, and questions to ask solar professionals, read the Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power and visit the Department of Energy’s Homeowner’s Guide to Going Solar.

Gary is proud to be a SolSmart Bronze City. The City earned this designation by implementing best practices to make it easier for residents and businesses to install and access solar energy

Policies and Processes

We’ve created a detailed Solar Permitting Checklist to walk you through the steps for getting your solar project permitted, approved, installed, and inspected. The City of Gary passed Ordinance No 9496, which permits solar energy systems by-right in business and manufacturing districts, as an accessory use in residential properties, and as a special use on lots without buildings. Additional relevant code:

ARTICLE II. - PERMITS | Code of Ordinances | Gary IN | Municode Library
ARTICLE III. - BUILDING CODE | Code of Ordinances | Gary IN | Municode Library
ARTICLE IV. - ELECTRICAL CODE | Code of Ordinances | Gary IN | Municode Library

Solar Benefits

Solar energy uses a renewable energy source – the sun – and provides many benefits for individuals and the community. It improves environmental quality by reducing carbon emissions and air pollution, supports local solar companies in Indiana, saves money on energy costs as the price continues to drop from technological developments, and improves electric grid resilience during peak demand and other stresses to the system.

Indiana Solar Fact Sheet

Solar Maps and Potential

Investigate your property’s solar potential by clicking here. You can also estimate the performance of potential PV projects using the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s PVWatts Calculator.

Northwest Indiana Solar Map
Estimated Rooftop Solar Potential Gary IN

Finding a Contractor and Going Solar

Find a solar contractor (or two) to assess your home for solar energy and provide a quote.

• Certified practitioners can be found through NABCEP.
• Visit EnergySage to learn about solar energy and submit for solar quotes from a network of pre-screened, local solar installers
Consumer Solar Checklist – a checklist for residential consumers considering solar energy from IREC, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.
Clean Energy Consumer Bill of Rights – ensure a positive consumer experience by addressing important issues from IREC, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.
Solar Customer Resource Portal – various resources from SEIA, the Solar Energy Industries Association.
Solar Owner’s Manual – information for current solar homeowners to ensure they are getting the most out of their system from Solar United Neighbors.
Gary Indiana Solar Consumer Awareness Guide

Financing, Incentives, and Tax Exemptions

Typically solar installations are paid for through loans or cash, with Federal and State incentives available.

Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics – learn about the federal tax credit, eligibility, and other common questions & answers from the U.S. Department of Energy.

A Homeowner’s Guide to Solar Financing – learn about different financing options from CESA, the Clean Energy States Alliance.

Job Training and Educational Opportunities

If you are interested in pursuing a career in solar energy, here are some links to regional and national educational courses and programs and/or trainings offered by colleges, universities, technical institutions, and non-profits.

NAACP Soul Power Project
Indiana Resilience Institute
Midwest Renewable Energy Association Training

Gary Solar Projects

Elevate Energy Solar Modeling for Gary IN: In 2018, the City of Gary utilized a partnership with the nonprofit Elevate Energy to complete a Solar Feasibility assessment for the City. The assessment applied a financial model to several types of solar photovoltaic deployment, including feed-in tariff, net metering, power purchase agreements, and community solar and developed a cost-benefit analysis for each. The study assumed that buildings and ground mount areas were suitable for hosting PV, however a limitation of the study was that it did not involve on-site analysis, structural review, electrical rate, and billing review. Sites assessed included Gary City Hall, the Genesis Tower Senior Residence, and the Boys and Girls Club. The study found that the highest financially performing deployment scenarios for solar are those where 1) the City of Gary owns the assets, and 2) projects take advantage of Renewable Energy Certificates.

Better Buildings: Clean Energy for Low-Income Communities