Illinois has been a long-time supporter of solar energy, and 2024 is no different. Programs such as Illinois Shines, the state’s net-metering policies, or even the utility-specific rebates available have proven local acceptance of solar energy.
Incentives for solar power in the state vary by region and utility, with differing requirements needed to qualify. Below is a rundown of the major solar incentives offered in the state of Illinois.
Illinois Shines, also known as the Adjustable Block Program, is a well-known incentive for residents as it applies to a majority of the state. Incentives for the program mainly come from the purchase of Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs). SRECs are sold on a market to entities that want to use them to offset their carbon footprint. The system owner produces that energy and gets compensated by ‘selling’ these credits to the utility company to help them meet state-issued renewable energy goals.
Those who are installing or already have installed a solar energy system can register with Illinois Shines to receive payment for SRECs. System owners get 80 percent of the payment upfront after the system is turned on. After 15 years, the system owner gets the remainder of the payment as long as the system meets production expectations. Credits are given for every 1,000kWh of electricity produced over the payback period. The exact amount of credit you receive depends on timing and which block your solar array qualifies for. Blocks are determined by the size, production of the array, utility provider, and program year.
Ameren & Commonwealth Edison (ComEd)
Two of the state’s largest energy providers, Ameren and ComEd, offer their own incentives to customers. Residential customers can receive $300/kW rebate, with a maximum system size of 5,000kW. Commercial and industrial customers can receive a $250/kW rebate for their solar arrays up to the same maximum of 5,000 kW.
Illinois Net Metering
You don’t have to register with one of the above programs to take advantage of Illinois solar incentives. Utility companies, including Commonwealth Edison, Ameren Illinois Utilities, and MidAmerican Energy Company, offer net-metering programs that provide energy credits to customers who generate more electricity than they use. Net metering is one of the most beneficial incentives available to solar users.
You must register with your utility company, ensure interconnection with the power grid, and have a bi-directional meter that measures outgoing electricity. Customers who opt for ComEd or Ameren’s other solar rebate only receive net metering credits on their bill that lower energy supply charges— net metering credits will NOT lower other kWh-based charges such as distribution and transmission service charges. Contact us to see what this would mean for you.
Federal Tax Credit
Beyond the offerings for Illinois residents, the federal government offers a 30 percent tax credit on solar energy systems. This is an incentive that is currently available to all U.S. residents, and while it is currently planned to last until 2032, there is no certainty it will stay with potential upcoming political changes.
The jargon that comes with some of these rebates can be overwhelming. That’s where we come in to help. At All Energy Solar, we pride ourselves on our turn-key operations. Our solar experts are well-versed in making applications as easy as possible so you can focus on enjoying the benefits of the sun. Contact us to see what incentives and programs you can participate in.