Updated 1 month ago

Going solar with Ameren Illinois: Lower your electric bill (2024)

Find out how much solar panels can save on your Ameren Illinois bill

Ameren Illinois is one of the largest electric utility companies in the state, providing electric service to 1.2 million customers. If you’re one of them, you might have considered installing solar panels to help lower your Ameren Illinois bill. 

Ameren Illinois customers have access to some of the best solar incentives in the country. In fact, our solar experts rated Illinois as one of the 10 best states for going solar! Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about going solar with Ameren Illinois so you can get started on saving!

Key takeaways

  • Ameren Illinois offers net metering to homeowners who install solar panels, but net metering credits are lower if you use the Smart Inverter rebate. 

  • Ameren Illinois customers can use the Smart Inverter rebate to lower the upfront cost of qualifying solar installations, plus the federal solar tax credit and the Illinois Shine incentive. 

  • The combination of incentives, rebates, and net metering makes solar a worthwhile investment for Ameren Illinois customers.

Does Ameren Illinois offer net metering to solar homeowners?

Yes, Ameren customers who install solar panels can take advantage of full retail net metering! Net metering is a billing structure that lets customers “sell back” energy to their utility companies. 

Any solar energy produced on your roof will first be used to power your home. If your solar panels generate more electricity than your home needs, it will be sent to Ameren. At the end of the month, Ameren will tally up how much energy you sent to the grid versus how much you used from it. The following video shows how solar panels work in tandem with the grid:

You'll be billed for the difference if you use more energy from the grid than you produce with solar panels. For example, if you used 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) from the grid and your solar panels produced 800 kWh of solar energy, you’ll be billed for 200 kWh from Ameren. 

If your solar panels generate more energy than you use from the grid, you’ll be given a bill credit for each kWh of excess solar you send to Ameren. These credits roll over from month to month and can be used to offset the energy you use from the utility in the future. 

Calculate how much you can save on your Ameren bill with solar net metering

How you’re billed may vary if you use certain incentives. Ameren’s smart inverter incentive helps reduce the upfront cost of qualifying solar panel systems. However, if you use this incentive, you will no longer receive full-retail net metering. Instead, excess solar energy credits will be valued at a rate slightly lower than the full retail rate.

Does Ameren Illinois offer solar incentives or rebates?

Yes, Ameren does have a solar rebate program for homeowners who install solar panels. Ameren’s rebate can be used with state and federal incentives to lower solar panel costs even further! 



Ameren Smart Inverter Rebate

$250/$300 per kW of solar (DC) installed, depending on location

Illinois Shines incentive

$75.21 per estimated megawatt-hours produced over 15 years 

Federal solar tax credit

A federal income tax credit equal to 30% of solar installation costs.

Special assessment for solar energy systems

Exempts 100% of solar energy costs from property taxes

The Smart Inverter Rebate program, also called the Customer Generation Rebate, is an upfront rebate that directly lowers the cost of installing solar panels. The Smart Inverter Rebate is between $250 and $300 per kilowatt (kW) of solar installed, depending on your location. Eligible systems must use a qualifying solar inverter to take advantage of this incentive. 

Illinois also has its own incentive program called Illinois Shines, a solar renewable energy credit (SREC) program that provides an advanced payment for the predicted SRECs a system will produce. SRECs are certificates that represent the positive environmental impacts of solar energy. This incentive is not paid directly to the homeowner - it is paid to the solar company, which passes on savings through lower installation costs. 

One of the biggest incentives when going solar is the federal solar tax credit which provides qualifying homeowners with a tax credit equal to 30% of installation costs. That’s thousands of dollars that you can save on your federal income taxes!

Calculate how much you can save with solar incentives in Illinois

Steps for going solar with Ameren Illinois

A few things must be taken care of before your solar panels are up and running. The interconnection process takes much longer than the actual solar installation and requires a bit of paperwork, handled mainly by your installer. We’ve outlined the steps for going solar with Ameren to help you prepare: 

  • Step 1: File an application. Before you can install a system, an application must be submitted to Ameren that includes the system size, export capacity, and the solar equipment that will be installed. There is a $50 application fee. 

  • Step 2: Engineering review and Interconnection Agreement generation. Ameren’s engineering team will review and verify that the system meets utility requirements. Ameren Illinois will generate an Interconnection Agreement that will outline any modifications needed.

  • Step 3: System installation. Once approved, the solar panel installation can commence. Your solar company completes the installation, which can take as little as a day or upwards of three days to complete, depending on the system’s complexity.

  • Step 4: Witness test. A witness test is scheduled after the completion of the system installation to ensure it is operating properly with the grid. 

  • Step 5: Permission to operate. Ameren Illinois will grant permission to operate when the witness test is passed, and you can start lowering your electricity bills!

Should you go solar with Ameren Illinois?

Installing solar panels as an Ameren Illinois customer has the potential to save you thousands of dollars on your electricity bills. It can be a worthwhile investment, especially with the great local and utility incentives available. Ultimately, deciding if solar is worth it is up to you. 

The best way to determine if you should invest in solar is by contacting local solar companies and comparing quotes. Our experts recommend looking for solar companies that have been in business for at least five years, have NABCEP-certified crew members, and have positive customer reviews. 

You can easily find reliable solar companies in your area through SolarReviews. We connect you with pre-vetted solar companies in your area, and we never send your information to more companies than you choose. So, let SolarReviews help you lower your electricity bills!

Use our solar calculator to find trusted solar companies in your area

Going solar with Ameren Illinois FAQ

Written by Catherine Lane Solar Industry Expert

Catherine is the Written Content Manager at SolarReviews, where she has been at the forefront of researching and reporting on the solar industry for five years. She leads a dynamic team in producing informative and engaging content on residential solar to help homeowners make informed decisions about investing in solar panels. Catherine’s expertise has garnered attention from leading industry publications, with her work being featured in Sola...

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