Illinois Solar Incentives, Tax Credits and Rebates – MarketWatch

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Illinois has several state and local solar incentives. Read about which ones you may qualify for below.

Illinois Shines

Credit type: Statewide

Illinois is one of the few states that offers Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs). Also known as the Adjustable Block Program, the statewide Illinois Shines program is so popular that it initially ran out of funding and had to put applications on hold until December 2021. However, the program is now reactivated under the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act. Here’s how it works:

  • Homeowners receive one SREC for every 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy their system produces
  • SRECs can be sold to local power companies at the market rate
  • You must work with an approved vendor to qualify

Utility companies in Illinois are subject to Renewable Portfolio Standards, which mandate they generate at least 25% of their energy from renewable resources by 2025. Buying SRECs from homeowners is one way these companies can accomplish that.

The Adjustable Block Program is still extremely popular, so there’s a wait-list. Visit the Illinois Shines website for more information.

Illinois Solar for All

Credit type: Statewide

Illinois Solar for All (ILSFA) is a three-part program for low-income residents and nonprofit organizations. Low-income households can participate in community solar programs or install solar panels at a minimum cost.

The program is made possible through partnerships with approved vendors, who receive Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for their participation. These vendors can sell RECs for a profit and pass these savings to homeowners, eliminating up-front costs and providing guaranteed energy savings.

These are the three programs offered under the ILSFA umbrella:

  • Low-Income Distributed Generation
  • Low-Income Community Solar
  • Nonprofit Organizations and Public Facilities

Each of these programs has varying benefits. Visit the Illinois Solar for All website to find out if you qualify.

City of Chicago Green Building Permit Programs

Credit type: City rebate program

The Green Building Permit Program offers qualifying applicants an expedited permit process and a possible reduction of permit fees, saving time and money during the solar installation process. This program is not limited to residential solar systems. Here are a few of the projects covered:

  • Geothermal systems
  • Green roofs
  • Photovoltaic (PV) panels
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Solar thermal panels
  • Wind turbines

Visit the City of Chicago website to learn more.

Property Tax Breaks

Credit type: State tax exemption

The state of Illinois offers a property tax exemption for homeowners who install a residential solar system. This means that though your property value will increase, your property taxes will not. 

Both active and passive solar energy systems are eligible for the tax exemption. For example, if you install a rooftop solar system and a sunroom addition, you may qualify for a tax exemption on both. This can maximize savings for homeowners installing multiple solar elements. 

Visit the state of Illinois website to learn more about available tax breaks and apply. You should also check to see if your local government offers additional tax breaks.

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