Illinois Solar Rebates, Incentives, and Tax Credits

Illinois has been doing a fairly admirable job of promoting and driving the adoption of solar power systems. In 2007, Senate Bill 0680 was passed which mandates that utilities must provide net-metering to all customers with home solar power systems up to 2 megawatts. Illinois has also committed to implementRenewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), that would require it to reach the following targets: 10% renewables by 2015 and 25% by 2025; and an ammendment made in July 2009, now requires a minimum of 6% of the state’s RPS must be met by solar starting in 2015. Unfortunately funding for the state rebate has currently run out so if you are thinking about solar, check back in July when new rebates are set to be announced.
Net-metering
In Illinois, net metering is available to electric customers that generate electricity using home solar power systems. Illinois’s investor-owned utilities and alternative retail electricity suppliers must offer net metering, however, the state’s municipal utilities and electric cooperatives are not required to do so.
Details:
  • The utility must provide the necessary metering equipment for systems up to 40 kW in capacity
  • Any net excess generation (NEG) during a billing period is carried over as a kilowatt-hour (kWh) credit to the following billing period. At the end of an annualized period, any remaining NEG credits in the customer’s account expire, so remember to size your system accordingly (but don’t worry your installer will discuss this with you).
  • All net-metering customers retain ownership and title to all renewable-energy credits (RECs).
PACE Financing
Yes Illinois has authorized municipalities to offer PACE financing. However there are currently no known programs in operation.
Production Incentives
Illinois Solar Energy Association – Renewable Energy Credit Aggregation Program

The Illinois Solar Energy Association (ISEA) established the Renewable Energy Credit Aggregation Program (RECAP) and  partnered with Community Energy to offer this incentive. The way it works is simple, during set periods, ISEA purchases and bundles renewable energy credits (RECs) in Illinois for sale to Community Energy. Community Energy then uses the RECs to fill demand for the City of Naperville’s residential renewable energy program administered in partnership with Naperville’s municipal utility.
Details:

  • The estimated payment is $0.065/kWh
  • To be eligible for RECAP, solar PV systems must be located in Illinois, be legally grid connected, UL-listed or have completed at least one year of field testing.
  • The incentive is available statewide. In some utility service territories, a net metering agreement may be required in order to retain ownership of RECs.
  • There are no limits on system size, but ISEA reserves the right cap generation volume from a single participant and is giving priority to systems under 10 kilowatts (kW) of AC capacity.
  • For systems less than 10 kW, quarterly estimates can be used to document production. For systems 10 kW and larger, production data must be submitted monthly. Participants also must be members of the Illinois Solar Energy Association, either as regular members for residential accounts, or business members for commercial accounts. They can join online at ISEA is currently accepting applications through October 31 (and possibly longer); more information is available at www.illinoissolar.org.
Property Tax Exemption
Homeowners who register with a chief county assessment officer will have their home solar power system valued at no more than a conventional energy system. Eligible equipment includes both active and passive solar-energy systems. While this is not as good as some taxes that offer a complete exemption, it is better than nothing.
State Rebate Program – Solar and Wind Energy Rebate Program
Unfortunately, due to exceptional response to the solar and wind rebate program this year, funding for fiscal year (FY) 2010 has been fully allocated. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is no longer accepting applications. The summary provided below is for reference only, as additional funding is likely for FY 2011. Check back in July 2010 for updated information.
Utility Rebate Programs - no solar rebates here.

If you are interesting in finding out how much a home solar power system could save you, fill out our free estimate form an we will have qualified solar contractors contact you and provide you with tailored quotes.

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