Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) Net Metering

How does Commonwealth Edison net metering work?

ComEd net metering allows customers to produce electricity to power their own home by installing a solar energy system. Customers with net metering send excess solar electricity to the grid in exchange for bill credits, which can then be used when they need to supplement their electricity production. ComEd has different rates and policies for net metering that are dependent on customer category.

Where does Commonwealth Edison offer net metering?

ComEd offers net metering throughout their service area, which covers Chicago and other portions of northern Illinois, including but not limited to:

  • Belividere
  • Chicago
  • Evanston
  • Freeport
  • Joliet
  • Kankakee
  • Rockford
  • Schuamburg
  • Sterling

What are Commonwealth Edison rates and prices for net metering?

Rates for net metering differ based on the program within which the customer is enrolled, rather than on the system size. ComEd residential customers can either be enrolled in the Basic Electric Service (BES) or the Basic Electric Service Hourly Pricing (BESH).

BES customers pay a flat rate for electricity, and that is the rate at which net metering credits are counted. BESH customers pay different rates every hour based on the overall demand for electricity at that time. BESH customers’ net metering credits are based on the value of the electricity at the time their system produced the electricity. The ComEd website has detailed information about current rates and tariffs for both types of payment plans.

What is Commonwealth Edison’s net metering cap?

The net metering cap for Commonwealth Edison is equivalent to five percent of the total peak demand supplied by the utility during the previous year. Individual systems are also capped in size – a single solar array can be no larger than 2 MW, and must be sized to meet the customer’s electricity demand.

ComEd also recommends (but does not require) that solar system size not exceed 80 to 90 percent of total household energy use. They recommend this because extra energy credits disappear at the end of each year and do not benefit the customer, so a system that overproduces will not benefit the customer and will just cost more to install.

Is Commonwealth Edison net metering the best in Illinois?

ComEd is not the only utility in Illinois that offers net metering. Ameren Illinois Utilities and the MidAmerican Energy Company are both also required by the state to provide net metering options. As a result, both MidAmerican Energy Company’s and Ameren’s programs have the same basic size and electricity rate policies as ComEd.

What will happen to my Commonwealth Edison net metering bill credits?

ComEd net metering bill credits are applied differently depending on whether you are a customer enrolled in the Basic Electric Service (BES) or the Basic Electric Service Hourly Pricing (BESH).

  • BES customers: Net metering bill credits are applied to their next month’s energy bill. Credits expire at the end of the year, typically either April or October, depending on when the customer joined the net metering program.
  • BESH customers: Granted a monetary credit at the end of the month, based on electricity produced.

Does Commonwealth Edison offer other solar incentives?

ComEd is recognized as a clean energy leader in the state of Illinois and has a solar rebate program to support solar growth. ComEd will pay residential customers up to $1,000 for every kW installed, and retail/commercial customers are eligible for a rebate of up to $500 for every kW installed.

The Illinois Power Agency may be willing to buy any solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) that your solar energy system produces. SRECs are a policy tool primarily designed to incentivize solar production, and they can result in significant additional savings for solar system owners.

Commonwealth Edison solar interconnection policies and costs

To qualify for interconnection, systems must meet the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Underwriters' Laboratory, and the National Electrical Code. ComEd customers can apply for net metering through ComEd here using this form.

ComEd interconnection applications are classified by the size and type of generating facility being installed. Each level has a different time horizon and interconnection cost, as shown in the following table:

Level Size Review Time Interconnection Cost
Level 1 < 25 kW and lab-certified
inverter-based DG facility
Up to 22 business days $50
Level 2 < 5 MW and lab-certified
DG facility
Up to 30 business days $100.00 plus $1.00/kVA
Level 3 < 10 MVA and DG facility
does not export power
Up to 35 business days $500.00 plus $2.00/kVA
Level 4 < 10 MVA and does not
qualify for levels 1-3
3-10 business days,
depending on the specific
interconnection project
$1,000.00 plus $2.00/kVA

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