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Solar Incentives and Rebates in illinois

Peak Sun Hours (PSH): 4.3 - 4.4
Cost of Grid Power: $0.13/kWh
Number Of Installations: 17,113

Data from DSIRE. For more info visit: https://www.dsireusa.org/

Name Implementing Sector Program Type Administrator DSIRE ID
Special Assessment for Solar Energy Systems State Property Tax Incentive Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity 138
Alternative Energy Bond Fund Program State Grant Program Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity 201
Chicago - Industry Recruitment Local Industry Recruitment/Support 418
Renewable Energy Resources Trust Fund State Public Benefits Fund 486
Illinois Renewable Fuels Development Program State Grant Program Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity 945
Energy Efficiency Trust Fund State Public Benefits Fund 2291
Renewable Energy Grants for Schools State Grant Program 2712
Green Neighborhood Grants State Grant Program Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity 2759
Energy Efficiency and Demand Response Fund State Public Benefits Fund 2868
Local Option - Contractual Assessments for Renewable Energy and/or Energy Efficiency State PACE Financing Programs administered locally 3626
Statewide Renewable Energy Setback Standards State Solar/Wind Permitting Standards 3679
Solar and Wind Rights State Solar/Wind Access Policy 4296
City of Chicago - Energy Standards for Public Buildings (The Chicago Standard) Local Energy Standards for Public Buildings 4718
Distributed Generation Contractor Licensing State Solar/Wind Contractor Licensing 5160
Peoples Gas - Residential Rebate Program Utility Rebate Program Peoples Gas 5233
North Shore Gas - Residential Rebate Program Utility Rebate Program 5235
ComEd - Business Instant Lighting Discounts Program Utility Rebate Program 5317
Peoples Gas & North Shore Gas - Bonus Rebate Program Utility Rebate Program Peoples Gas & North Shore Gas 5397
North Shore Gas - Single Family Direct Install Utility Rebate Program 5402
Peoples Gas - Single Family Direct Install Utility Rebate Program 5403
City of Chicago - Solar Express Permit Program State Green Building Incentive City of Chicago 5572
City of Chicago - Solar Express Permit Program Local Solar/Wind Permitting Standards 5839
Recycle My Fridge State Rebate Program 5879
City of Chicago - Solar Zoning Policy Local Solar/Wind Access Policy 5917
Commonwealth Edison Co. - Energy Insights Online Other Energy Analysis Commonwealth Edison Co. 15060
Seventhwave (formerly Energy Center of Wisconsin) - Energy Consulting Non-Profit Energy Analysis Seventhwave (formerly Energy Center of Wisconsin) 16171
Seventhwave (formerly Energy Center of Wisconsin) - Back of the Envelope Calculator Non-Profit Energy Analysis Seventhwave (formerly Energy Center of Wisconsin) 16172
Illinois Solar Energy Association - ISEA Events Calendar Non-Profit Training and Information Illinois Solar Energy Association 16625
National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center - Workforce Training Other Training and Information National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center 16626
North Shore Gas - Gas Optimization Study Program Other Energy Analysis North Shore Gas 17124
Peoples Gas - Gas Optimization Study Other Energy Analysis Peoples Gas 17125
Commonwealth Edison Co. - Incentives Other Training and Information Commonwealth Edison Co. 19144
Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance - Midwest Industrial Initiative Non-Profit Energy Analysis Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance 19248
North Shore Gas - Small Business Program Other Energy Analysis North Shore Gas 19427
Peoples Gas - Small Business Program Other Energy Analysis Peoples Gas 19438
St. Charles Electric Utility - Green Power Program Other Other St. Charles Electric Utility 19503
U.S. Department of Energy - University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) Federal Energy Analysis U.S. Department of Energy 19673
City Water Light & Power - Energy Audits and Assistance Local Energy Analysis City Water Light & Power 20222
City Water Light & Power - CWLP's Renewable Choice Program Other Other City Water Light & Power 20262
Nicor Gas - Business Assessments Other Energy Analysis Nicor Gas 20586
Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance - Building Operator Certification Non-Profit Training and Information Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance 20979


What’s the Cost of Solar in Illinois?

Cost of Grid Power

Illinois electricity prices average $0.13/kWh, just below the national average of $0.14/kWh. The state exports roughly one fifth of the energy it produces. Illinois leads the nation in nuclear power generation, accounting for about one-eighth of all nuclear power generated nationally.

Cost of a Solar Install

Cost of a typical 7.5kW PV install in Illinois from 2008-2018

A graph of falling prices for a typical 7.5kW PV install in Illinois from 2008-2018.
Figures include design costs. Data from Berkeley Lab.

Thanks to Illinois' Adjustable Block Program (ABP), the average cost of a 7.5kW (equivalent to saving about 150 trees a year) solar power system starts at a very low $15,000. Before any other offsets, in the first year you’d save about $1,300, compared to if you had been paying the normal rates for the energy you used. These savings can continue for well over 25 years, improving with inflation.




Just How Much Can I Save With Solar in Illinois?

This depends on may factors such as your system size, power output, and financing. Here are the main ways you can finance your home solar power system, and the kinds of returns you may expect to see:

Out-of-Pocket

From our example above, the homeowner purchased a 7.5kW system to offset their energy bill. Overhead cost was $15,000, with a significant proportion returned in the first year through incentives, rebates, and savings, then paying itself in full over 8 years.

Most solar power systems have a warranty lifetime of 25 years. In that time, between incentives and paying lower rates you could make a profit of around $31,000 - more than twice the up-front cost of the system!

Even with occasional maintenance or part replacement, that is a massive savings. Solar panel power output falls on average 0.8% per year, so with a little TLC and load management you can extend the life of your system well beyond the warranty’s expiration date, continuing to save indefinitely.

Solar Loan

Whether or not you can afford the up-front cost of the install, you may want to consider a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). With equity in your home, or good credit, you may qualify for a 15-year solar HELOC with fixed rate of 4% or lower.

Starting with that same 7.5kW system costing $15,000 but with zero up-front cost, accounting for incentives, credits, rebates, and annual energy savings starting around $1,200, you could see a revenue surplus of about $4,300 at the end of the first year.

Save some of that money though. Your loan payments will likely exceed your power savings by about $150/year for the 15-year term. Once the loan is paid off, you can expect to save about $1,700 a year. Over 25 years you could expect to make about $25,600.

Power Purchase Agreement

15

With a Power-Purchase Agreement (PPA) the homeowner leases their roof to an outside party, usually a power company. Generally PPAs feature a fixed price per kWh, with either a fixed term or an annual escalator.

With a PPA, the cost of installation, repair, and maintenance to the homeowner is usually $0.00. For that 7.5kW system, with a PPA you could expect to save just under $200/month on energy. Over 25 years, you could see over $7,000 in revenue - without accounting for inflation. That’s technically an infinite return!

PPA’s can be complicated, as you are effectively ceding at least some control of your home to the third party, but they are an excellent way to get into solar because they have no overhead.




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