How Does Solar Work – Illinois has quickly become one of the top states for commercial and residential solar panels and their incentives and production, thanks to a considerable amount of legislation making solar energy savings worthwhile.
While Illinois isn’t the sunniest state, solar power still produces efficiently, and the savings are bar-none in the U.S. as federal tax incentives and state rebates make solar affordable, easy and effective.
Illinois’ Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)
Illinois has a state-wide mandate called the Illinois Portfolio Standard (RPS) that requires utility companies (like ComEd) to have 25% of their energy generated by renewable energy sources by 2025.
In order to get this done, Illinois passes legislation that allows Net Metering to effectively help reach this mandate. The goal of Net Metering, in congruence with utility companies, is to make solar less expensive and incentive-driven. This also allows the 25% mandate to be reached via “user-generated” solar, where homes and businesses can produce the energy instead of utility companies having to invest in large solar farms or projects themselves.
Illinois Solar Power Incentives, Tax Breaks and Rebates
Illinois offers some of the best incentives in the U.S., making solar power an attractive investment for homes and businesses.
Solar incentives for Illinois homeowners include the Federal Tax Credit (ITC), Illinois SREC*, Net Metering, Interconnection programs and more.
1. Federal Tax Credit (Solar ITC)
Nation-wide federal legislation makes available the Federal Tax Credit, otherwise known as the Solar ITC, to all Illinois homeowners. This tax credit funds you 26% of the total cost of your solar energy PV system.
This incentive makes solar a great option to realize cost-savings and price reduction, often resulting in a lower monthly electric payment.
The Solar ITC was set to expire in 2020, but was extended for another three years. In 2021, the ITC will cover 26% until December of 2022. This federal legislation was passed in order to keep the solar power industry healthy and viable for energy production, as well as helping homeowners save money on electricity costs.
2. Illinois SREC Program
Illinois’ state solar rebates are currently under revision and halted, but are anticipated to be passed by the end of 2021 and resume per regular operations.
Illinois has one of the best state solar rebate programs in the U.S., making Illinois one of the best states to go solar in.
The Illinois ‘Adjustable Block Program’, also referred to as the Illinois SREC Program, rewards homeowners for each megawatt hour of electricity your solar energy system produces with one Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC). When purchasing a system, utility companies will often buy 15 years’ worth of projected energy production up front from you, resulting in a lump sum check payment to the homeowner. The amount varies per homeowner due to the variance of production since all homes’ power needs are different.
Illinois Tax Exemptions
Illinois homeowners are eligible for a solar property tax exemption. This tax exemption, however, is not applied to the full price of the system, and there is no sales tax exemption if you are outright purchasing your system.
Net Metering in Illinois
Illinois has one of the best Net Metering policies, further establishing the state as one of the most viable locations for solar.
Illinois’ net metering policy allows you to carry over any unused electricity your solar panels generated into your next month. This roll-over style energy storage process zeros out once a year. Overproduction of energy in the summer months account for power needs in the slower winter months.
Talk to one of our solar energy specialists to see what Net Metering could do for energy savings on your home.
Increase In Home Resale Value
With new verified research coming out over the years, it is now proven that solar panels can increase the value of your home on the real estate market.According to a study by the University of California, Berkely, numbers do vary based on location, city, and state, but studies have concluded that for every 1 kilowatt of solar panels installed on your property, the value of your home can increase anywhere between $4,000 – $6,000. For example, the average system size in Illinois is 7 kilowatts. This means your home can increase in value anywhere between $28,000 and $42,000 in resale value.
How Many Solar Panels Does My Home Need?
Each home’s energy needs are calculated off of past utility bills. For the most accurate assessment, we take the most recent 12 months of your power usage, and input them into our Sunlight software that takes into account sun hours, roof space, panel type, usage and more. The average system size is 7 kilowatts, which can often result in anywhere from 16-40 solar panels needed, depending on the type of panel and other factors.Tron Solar provides these designs free of charge. Our experts will take care of all calculations for you and are happy to walk you through exactly what your home’s design and savings will look like with solar.
Does Illinois Get Enough Sun For Solar?
The answer? Yes, they do. Solar panels only need one thing to produce energy, and that’s light. Whether it is for commercial solar or residential solar, panels don’t use heat from the sun, but are built to produce the majority of your annual energy needs during the summer months, which you’ll store as credits to use throughout the rest of the year until Net Metering zero’s out your credits annually. Solar panels are photovoltaic (PV) panels that are sensitive to rays of light. When the panels get hit with light, they generate a direct electric current (DC), which the solar converter then converts into alternating current (AC) so your home, property, or business can use it. Illinois ranks in the Top 10 in the U.S. for solar panel production because as long as light hits the panels, you’ll create the energy your home needs. This include overcast days where there’s still light available for the panels. The same way you wear sunscreen on a cloudy day in the summer is the same reason panels still generate electricity on cloudy days – the UV rays are still coming through. Even in winter months, the light reflecting off of the snow helps the panels generate electricity.
Naturally, in any state in the U.S., there are days when your panel’s efficiencies will decrease — and of course panels don’t generate electricity in the night time, but solar energy systems can be equipped with batteries to store up power for use during periods when efficiency declines. If there is no battery, Net Metering can suffice for your stored up credits to use throughout the year. Illinois is a great state for solar!
I was surprised by how easy it was. They answered every question I had. Eventually the solar payment will go away and I’m okay to be left paying $16 per month for electricity.
Everything proceeded ahead at lightning speed with great communication along the way. They also took care of all the rebate requirements as well, making the entire process very simple and quick.
The entire process, from purchasing Tron Solar Panels to installation, has been seamless. All Tron employees I’ve worked with have been incredibly friendly, knowledgeable, and professional.
Dealt with Adrien and Andy and the communication and process was awesome. A lot easier than I expected, and also found out they offered a lot more than solar panels.