Solar power

Harness the power of the sun with Lincoln's green energy

Whether you want to support solar by adding a monthly donation to your bill, purchase "virtual" solar panels, or install your own solar panels, we have options to help you harness the power of the sun!

Help the environment and save money by participating in LES' solar programs! By participating in our programs, you can create a difference and help make Lincoln a cleaner place to live.

Download our Community Solar brochure


What is solar power?

Solar power is an exciting part of the world’s energy future, allowing people to harness the abundant power of the sun wherever it shines. The concept is simple: convert the sun’s heat or light energy into other forms we can use and transmit. 

While there are a variety of ways to generate solar power, the most common is through the use of photovoltaic, or PV, systems. When you see solar panels on your neighbor’s roof or at a business on your drive home, these are most likely part of solar PV systems. In fact, you've probably seen PV panels around for decades, but recent advancements have greatly improved their efficiency, electrical output and cost.

Solar with LES

LES customers have several ways to invest in solar, including installing your own, purchasing “virtual” panels at your local community solar facility, or making a monthly donation benefiting community solar.

Buy a "virtual" solar panel

You can purchase "virtual" solar panels from LES through our Virtual Net Metering program. The program provides an equal opportunity for renters and homeowners to get into solar power. These solar panels are located in our 15,333-panel community solar array and they share the output. Purchasing virtual solar panels allows you to contribute to solar energy in our service area and receive monthly credit to lower your bill without installing solar panels on your property.

Virtual Net Metering is available to residential, general service and heating service customers. It rewards you as if panels from our community solar project actually sit on the roof of your home or business, reducing the amount of energy you purchase from LES. You’ll receive energy credits every month for the remaining life of the 20-year program, ending in 2036.

If you’re enrolled in this program and move within LES’ service territory, your virtual panels will automatically follow you to your new service address. If you move outside of LES’ service territory, the program allows you to receive a refund, generally equal to 75% of the panel’s purchase price at that time.

Each virtual half panel is a one-time fee of $297.50 or 36 fixed payments of $8.50/month.
Each virtual full panel is a one-time fee of $595.00 or 36 fixed payments of $17.00/month.

(Current-year prices shown do not include tax.)


Donate to support community solar

You can support our community solar facility by participating in the SunShares program. SunShares is an easy and affordable way to make a donation-based contribution to LES' solar facility and promote renewable energy in our community. All customers are eligible to participate in the program. To join, enroll in SunShares to have the donation automatically added to your bill.

Each SunShare is just $1/month. Three shares (a $3 minimum) are required.
(Current-year prices shown do not include tax.)


solar array

Install your own solar

Interested in harnessing the sun or wind to power your home or business? Whether you want to supplement the electricity we provide or adopt a greener lifestyle, LES can help you along the path to generating your own renewable energy.

Learn more about customer-owned generation

Solar panels on home

Check out LES' community solar project

The LES community solar facility was the first utility-scale solar installation in Nebraska and is still one of the largest solar arrays in the region. Located at Northwest 75th and West Holdrege streets, it generates 5 megawattsDC of solar energy and uses 15,333 solar panels. That produces enough energy to power 900 typical homes in Lincoln. Since the launch, we’ve been able to introduce two community solar programs you can participate in (SunShares and Virtual Net Metering) to harness the sun’s power.

See today's hour-by-hour solar generation, past output, environmental benefits and more

Video: How to build a community solar facility (time lapse)

LES' community solar facility
Which solar power is right for you?

Not sure which type of solar is right for you? Wondering where you should start? Get an idea of the energy potential installing your own solar has for you with this helpful solar calculator. Check out the video below for a walkthrough on using the PVWatts® tool to calculate solar potential, or download this how-to guide.

Installing your own solar not looking like the best route? Don’t forget, there’s always the option to purchase virtual panels at our community solar facility or make a monthly donation to support community solar.

Solar power at your fingertips

A portion of the savings from paperless billing helps bring solar power to ground level. You can find LES' solar-powered benches and charging stations throughout the community:


  • Holmes Lake near the playground.
  • Pioneers Park near the Nature Center.
  • Densmore Park near the playground.
  • Mahoney Dog Run.
  • Lincoln Children's Zoo.

Charging stations

  • Haymarket Park for summer games.
  • Various events in Lincoln.


Energy-saving tips

Keep windows tightly latched. Latching generally reduces air leakage through gaps around window sashes.

Energy-saving tips

Warm clothes can be the best insulation of all. A light, long-sleeved sweater equals almost 2 degrees in added warmth; a heavy sweater adds 4 degrees.

Energy-saving tips

Keep the fireplace damper closed unless in use. An open damper can be compared to keeping a 48-inch window wide open during the winter. Close the damper as soon as you are certain the fire is completely out.

Energy-saving tips

If using a portable space heater, turn down the central heating thermostat to offset the energy being consumed by the space heater.

Energy-saving tips

Clean and check your air conditioner annually.

Energy-saving tips

Clean or replace furnace filters regularly. A dirty or clogged filter reduces air conditioning efficiency and increases your cooling costs.

Energy-saving tips

When at home, set the thermostat no lower than 78 degrees Fahrenheit. For every degree you raise the setting, you can reduce cooling costs 3 to 5 percent.

Energy-saving tips

Make sure air registers are not obstructed by furniture, carpeting or drapes.

Energy-saving tips

Use ceiling, window or oscillating fans when rooms are occupied.

Energy-saving tips

Keep heat-producing appliances away from thermostats. Their heat can cause the thermostat to register a higher temperature, which will make your air conditioner run longer than necessary.

Energy-saving tips

Keep shades and drapes closed, especially on sunny sides of your home or apartment.

Energy-saving tips

Use heat-generating household appliances in the morning or late evening when outdoor temperatures are at their low points.

Energy-saving tips

Replace incandescent lights with fluorescent or LED lighting. If this is not possible, reduce the wattage of light bulbs in lamps and light fixtures. This also reduces the amount of heat the air conditioner has to remove.

Energy-saving tips

Clean and check your furnace annually.

Energy-saving tips

Check and add insulation to the attic, exterior walls and basement if appropriate. Some insulation projects may qualify for LES funds through the Sustainable Energy Program.

Energy-saving tips

Set your thermostat at 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 60 degrees at night or when you are away from home for more than four hours. If you have a heat pump, set your thermostat back no more than 3 to 4 degrees.

Energy-saving tips

Open shades and drapes on sunny sides of your home or apartment during daytime hours. Close them at night.

Looking for more sustainable opportunities?