If you live in Illinois and are considering investing in a solar energy system for your home, here’s some great news for you: your state offers myriad solar incentives to help you out. Even if you aren’t quite ready to make your solar purchase, these Illinois solar rebates and incentives are sure to make the case for why solar is a smart decision in the Land of Lincoln.
Top solar programs in Illinois
Illinois has two main solar policies that will have the biggest financial impact on your investment:
Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs)
Illinois’ renewable portfolio standard (RPS) means the state is committed to producing 25 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2025. That’s an ambitious goal, and to make it happen, the state has a program that rewards homeowners for helping Illinois reach that target. For each megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity your solar system produces, you will be granted one Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) that you can then sell in the market, creating a nice income stream for the life of the system.
Illinois net metering
Thanks to Illinois’ net metering policy, your utility will buy back any excess electricity your solar system produces. Net metering ensures that you benefit from the full value of your solar panels and is a great way to balance out your electricity production and consumption, which do not always happen at the same time. Commonwealth Edison offers the top utility net metering program in Illinois.
ComEd commercial solar rebates
ComEd, one of IL’s largest utility companies, provides rebates for commercial and industrial (C&I) customers to help decrease the out-of-pocket costs of installing solar. If you’re a ComEd customer and install solar on your business, you’re eligible for $250 per kilowatt (kW) of installed solar power. To receive the rebate, your solar panel system cannot be larger than 2,000 kW in capacity.
Illinois solar tax breaks
These two tax incentives offered in Illinois can make going solar even more affordable:
Property tax break
Worried about your property tax bills going up because of the value your solar system will add to your home? Don’t be. The Special Assessment for Solar Energy Systems means that you will be taxed as if the panels were not even there.
The Investment Tax Credit: another great Illinois incentive
Not only does the state of Illinois want to help you go solar –the federal government does, too. In addition to the policies mentioned above, you can reduce the cost of your solar energy system by 30 percent with the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Keep in mind that the ITC applies only to those who buy their system with a cash purchase or solar loan, and that you must have enough income for the tax credit to be relevant (though of course the credit can be split over multiple years).