Illinois solar 101: must read before you buy solar panels
Benefit from a PV system
4.67 hours of peak sunlight
Illinois is a state that receives sufficient sunlight, which means that installing solar panels will significantly reduce your bills
According to the Citizens Utility Board, the electricity you don’t consume can be sold back with a 1:1 retail rate credit if exported to the grid
3 years payback period
A solar power system in Illinois pays for itself a couple of times during its lifespan
Reduce the cost of your system by 26%
Get a quarter of the PV system cost off your taxes with the Federal Solar Tax Credit
Freeze your property taxes
Home solar systems are exempt from property tax assessment, but increase the market value of your house
Illinois #33 in the US
- $43 008/year Average savings from going solar in Illinois
- 8 508 kWh/year Average electricity consumption of a FL household
- 7 336 kWh/year AC energy output of a 5 kW solar system installed in Illinois
- 13 ¢ /kWh The cost of electricity today in Illinois
- 27 ¢ /kWh The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years
- $0.78/WAverage gross price of a solar power system as of May 2021
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Solar laws, incentives and rebates in Illinois you need to know
Return 26% of your PV system cost with Federal Solar Tax Credit
The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows homeowners to claim 26% of the cost of their solar power system installed until 2022 as an income tax deduction. For example, if your solar system costs $20,000, you are eligible for $5,200 (26% of the total gross cost) in tax credit. Solar system cost comprises not only the money spent on solar panels but also freight shipping costs, professional installer fees, tools bought or rented, and so on. To claim the ITC, complete all the necessary forms and submit them when filing your taxes.
Sell excess electricity with Net Metering Program
The Net Metering policy in Illinois has made it easier for its customers to sell unused electricity back to the grid instead of storing the energy in batteries. If your system includes a renewable electric generator, you may interconnect to your electric company’s grid and receive credit for unused electricity. Your PV system will pay for itself primarily through the Net Metering program by selling solar energy that you haven’t used into the commercial grid and gaining credits from the utility company for it. The credits later can be used to cover your electric bills.
In Illinois, credit value is equal to the full retail electricity price. If you have unused credits, they will roll over to the next month and can help offset future electricity usage. Make sure to sell any remaining credits to the grid as they will expire in one year.
Save additional $300 to $1,000 a year trading RECs
Illinois has a goal of producing 25% of its energy from sustainable resources by 2025, through the renewable portfolio standard (RPS). Installing a solar power system will help your state achieve its ambitious goal. In addition, there is a special program, rewarding those who go green: under the Adjustable Block Program(ABP), also known as Illinois Shines, you will be rewarded one Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) that can be sold for each megawatt-hour (MWh) of energy which your PV system produces, allowing your system to payback itself. With the inquiry of the program, you must be waitlisted to qualify for the Adjustable Block Program.
Rebates at $250/kW for industrial and commercial installations
One of Illinois’ greatest utility companies, ComEd helps reduce out-of-pocket costs of installing solar panels for industrial and commercial customers by providing rebates. If you would like to install a PV system on your business as a ComEd customer, you’re eligible for $250/kW of installed solar power. But keep in mind, this repayment only qualifies for owners whose PV system does not exceed 2 MW in capacity.
Raise your property value but not your taxes
Illinois’ Special Assessment for Solar Energy Systems ensures any new PV system installed in Illinois will not be part of your property tax. However, any such home improvement will definitely make it about 4% more valuable on the property market, says the 2019 Zillow report. If you would like your solar energy property valued in this manner, file the State of Illinois PTAX-330 property tax form.
Install your solar panels in Illinois with no worries
It is legal to install solar panels on your house in Illinois. However, the homeowners’ association (HOA) may impose some restrictions, for example, on the location of your panels. PV modules are normally installed facing south, but it may be determined to install them within 45 degrees east or west with the assurance that the productivity of your panels will not be impaired.