A massive opportunity, with a deadline.
Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) and 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. SRECs are not available to customers who choose a lease or PPA type 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 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 and other energy efficiency products.
Illinois Solar Tax Breaks
These tax incentives offered in Illinois can make going solar even more affordable: Property tax break. The Special Assessment for Solar Energy Systems means that you will be taxed as if the panels were not even there.
Tax Investment Credit
The state of Illinois wants to help you go solar, and so does the federal government. In addition to the policies mentioned above, you can reduce the cost of your solar energy system by 26 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).
Federal Solar Tax Credit
The federal solar tax credit, also known as the investment tax credit (ITC), allows you to deduct 26 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes. The ITC applies to both residential and commercial systems, and there is no cap on its value.