Are you thinking about going solar? Check out the following pages to learn more about the mechanics of solar energy and how you, too, can power your home or business with the sun! Then when you're ready find an installer in your area!
How Solar Works
This page explains how the energy from the sun gets converted into something you can use in your home! Both solar thermal and photovoltaic systems are covered.
Powering Your Home With The Sun
These presentation slides from ISEA Solar Ambassadors serve as an overview of how solar works, steps to going solar, and exciting things happening in Illinois due to new legislation. Click here to download a recording of a webinar presentation using these slides and to find out when the next presentation will be.
The Installation Process
Getting started on the installation process can sometimes seem overwhelming! This page breaks it down step-by-step, from site assessment to financing.
How to Choose a Qualified Installer
Unsure what company you should choose to safely install and connect your system? Follow this guide!
Renewable Energy Credits and Pricing
Learn about the incentives for going solar, and what you can expect to earn back.
Customers looking to better understand the process and timeline for participating in the Illinois Shines program can now refer to the “Going Solar: Your Guide to Illinois Shines” flyer. The Going Solar flyer is designed to explain the steps and timeline for participation in the Illinois Shines Program. The flyer breaks down the process into seven steps while seeking to avoid technical or industry jargon. Customers are encouraged to review this resource, so they know what to expect when participating in the Illinois Shines Program.
Additionally, the project status lookup tool is another resource that customers can use to determine the status of their application in the process.
Net Metering & Interconnection FAQs
ComEd residential customers are eligible to participate in Net Metering if they own or operate an eligible system less than or equal to 2,000kW (AC-rated) for their own use. To participate in Net Metering, the system should be sized to produce no more than 110% of the homeowner's most recent 12-months of energy usage. In the case of new homeowners/new constructions, ComEd will base the 110% of usage on what an "average customer" uses in that area. Ameren residential customers can participate in Net Metering with any size system.
Solar systems should not increase your property taxes. Illinois offers a special assessment for solar energy systems, but you may have to register with a chief county assessment officer or contact your local assessor. Solar energy equipment is valued at no more than a conventional energy system. Click the above link to learn more, view the tax code language, and download the necessary forms.
Illinois Solar Rights Act
Learn some important legislation in this Act from 2011. The Illinois Solar Rights Act is intended "to protect the public health, safety, and welfare by encouraging the development and use of solar energy systems in order to conserve and protect the value of land, buildings, and resources by preventing the adoption of measures which will have the ultimate effect, however unintended, of preventing the use of solar energy systems on any home that is subject to a homeowners' association, common interest community association, or condominium unit owners' association."
Homeowners' Energy Policy Statement Act Amendments
These amendments passed in July 2021, and make it easier for people in HOAs to go solar. Changes the definition of "solar storage mechanism" to include batteries. Provides that the entity may determine the specific configuration of the elements of a solar energy system on a given roof face, provided that it may not prohibit elements of the system from being installed on any roof face and that any such determination may not reduce the production of the solar energy system by more than 10% (rather than specific location where a solar energy system may be installed on the roof within an orientation to the south or within 45 degrees east or west of due south provided that the determination does not impair the effective operation of the solar energy system). Provides that within 90 (rather than 120) days after a homeowners' association, common interest community association, or condominium unit owners' association receives a request for a policy statement or an application from an association member, the association shall adopt an energy policy statement. Provides that whenever approval is required for the installation or use of a solar energy system, the application for approval shall be processed by the appropriate approving entity of the association within 75 (rather than 90) days of (rather than after) the submission of the application. Provides that the Act shall not apply to any building that is greater than 60 (rather than 30) feet high, or to any building that has a shared roof and is subject to a homeowners' association, common interest community association, or condominium unit owners' association.
Investment Tax Credit (ITC) There are two federal tax credits that incentivize solar investments: (1) the Section 48 Investment Tax Credit (ITC) available to businesses who invest in solar energy systems; and (2) the Section 25D residential solar energy credit that may only be claimed by individuals who purchase a solar energy system, typically installed on the roof of their home. These two federal solar tax credits currently give similar benefits and both will drop from 30% to 26% on January 1st, 2020.
UPDATE: As of December 27th, 2020, the ITC has been extended. It will remain at 26% through the end of 2022, then drop to 22% in 2023. In 2024 it will be 0% for residential projects, but 10% for commercial projects, barring any further legislation.
DSIRE ILLINOIS Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency
Learn more about incentives you can take advantage of as a user and producer of solar energy.
Interested in talking with someone who already has solar on their home or business? ISEA's Solar Ambassadors are happy to talk about their experiences and give advice to those interested in going solar! Visit our Solar Ambassador page here.