Now is a great time for Illinois consumers to install a solar energy system or other renewable generator. In the past, it was challenging to sell your own generated electricity back to the utility. However, in 2008, legislation made the process much simpler for Illinois consumers. If you have a solar array, you can connect to the electric company’s grid and receive a credit for any excess electricity you produce.

HOW PV SYSTEMS WORK: The DC electricity produced by the solar panels is then sent to an inverter, which converts it into alternating current (AC) electricity. Most home appliances and the electrical grid use AC electricity.

HOW MUCH WILL I BE PAID FOR THE ELECTRICITY I GENERATE: Illinois is leading the way in renewable energy with its net metering law. This law requires investor-owned utilities like ComEd, Ameren, and MidAmerican to offer one-to-one net metering for renewable energy generation. This means that you will be credited for the electricity your solar array sends back to the grid at the same rate that you are charged for electricity. It’s a win-win situation! For every kilowatt-hour you send back to the grid, you’ll offset one kilowatt-hour used from the grid. This is the best type of net metering policy for consumers, as it leads to the highest level of savings. So, go ahead and generate your own renewable energy and save some money!

NET METERING: Residential and commercial clients of ComEd, Ameren, and MidAmerican have the opportunity to engage in a practice known as “net metering.” This practice involves the receipt of credits on one’s bill for times in which your solar array produces energy in excess of the amount of electricity consumed. The utility company will charge the customer only for the net quantity of electricity consumed, in addition to any nominal fixed delivery charges.

SRECs: Did you know that the Illinois solar incentive payments are actually payments for Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs)? These credits represent the renewable attributes of one megawatt-hour of electricity generated by your solar system. And guess what? Utilities like ComEd are required to purchase these credits on terms set by the Illinois Power Agency. For residential systems, utilities must pay for 15 years of estimated SREC production in advance, usually within six months of installation. So you are not only helping with the advancement of renewable energy in Illinois, but you’re also getting paid for it! It’s a win-win situation.

SRECs WORTH: Are you considering going solar in Illinois? The Illinois Power Agency is the authority for setting prices on Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs). The price per SREC varies depending on when you sign up, so it’s best to act fast! The number of SRECs your home solar system will produce over 15 years depends on several factors that determine its productivity. But don’t worry, homeowners can expect to receive their Illinois solar incentives within 180 days of installation. So, what are you waiting for? Start saving money, and the planet, with solar power today!

FEDERAL SOLAR TAX CREDIT: Did you know that the federal government is offering an incredible incentive for those who want to go solar?  You can get a tax credit in the amount of 30% of the whole system cost!  It’s important to note the difference between a tax credit and a tax deduction, where a credit reduces the amount of tax owed, as compared to a deduction which only reduces the amount of taxable income you have, making a tax credit far more valuable.  If you have a $15,000 credit, you’ll pay $15,000 less in taxes than you would have otherwise.  Or if your taxes are automatically withheld, this comes to you in the form of a sizable rebate.  So, if you’re thinking about going solar, now is the time to take advantage of this amazing tax credit!