Illinois solar rebates and tax credits calculator

Solar incentive

Federal ITC 30% (tax credit)

State tax credit: No

Net metering (by utility)

Calculate for your home's location

There can be solar tax credits and incentives available at the federal, state and local levels. The calculator above will show you the value of all incentives your home is eligible for.

Summary of Illinois solar incentives 2022

Solar makes you a lot of money in Illinois. Yes, we said "makes!" Even though electricity prices are relatively low, the state gets enough sun that solar power saves you big money from day one.

Home solar panels are cheaper than ever before. Combine the low prices with the 30% federal solar tax credit and the Illinois Shines incentive program, and a solar panel system can pay itself back quickly and give you free power for years to come! 

It's a great investment to go solar as a homeowner here. Take a good look at our rundown of Illinois solar power incentives below.

On this page, you can:

  1. Learn what solar incentives are available to Illinois homeowners

  2. See what Illinois solar incentives you qualify for based on your utility company and city

  3. Find out how much these incentives and/or Illinois solar tax credits will reduce your cost to go solar and add batteries

Federal solar investment tax credit

The federal solar investment tax credit will have the biggest impact on the cost you will face to go solar in Illinois

If you install your photovoltaic system before the end of 2032, the federal tax credit is 30% of the cost of your solar panel system. This is 30% off the entire cost of the system including equipment, labor, and permitting.

Example: If your solar energy system costs $20,000, your federal solar tax credit would be $20,000 x 30% = $6,000.

The federal tax credit falls to 26% starting in 2033.

Net energy metering in Illinois

With net metering in some states, you get full retail rate credit for the amount of electricity you send back into the grid with your solar panels.

With net metering in place, your utility must track your renewable energy production and consumption during each monthly billing cycle. Any surplus energy is carried over as a credit onto your future bills. Net metering is required to be available under Illinois law unless a cooperative or municipal cooperation supplies your electricity. So far, so good.

Illinois’ net metering policy would be just about perfect if those credits hung around indefinitely, but they don’t. At the end of every annual period, all remaining credits expire and revert back to the utility without compensation. This means that you need to make sure your solar system isn’t so big that you generate more electricity in a year than you use, not that you would want to anyway.

You may select an annual period that ends with the last day of either their April or October billing period, so at least you have some flexibility to maximize your credit usage. 

Note: Illinois is studying whether it should change the net metering program. If the program is changed or done away with, it could have serious negative consequences for the financial returns of a solar installation here. Check here for updates.

Illinois solar rebates

Illinois does not offer any direct cash rebates for solar panels, but does offer an excellent solar program called "Illinois Shines" that pays solar system owners a lump sum based on the expected value of the energy their systems will produce over time. 

The Illinois Shines adjustable block grant program

The Illinois Shines adjustable block solar grant program provides a bunch of upfront cash when you go solar. When combined with the federal 30% Solar Tax Credit, it can slash the cost of installing an average 6-kilowatt solar system.

Funds are paid out upfront to your solar installer based on the expected amount of solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) your system is projected to produce over 15 years.

To get this grant, you need to sign over your SREC rights to an approved vendor or solar installer. The best installers will guarantee your payment is received out of the program. This may increase their quoted cost of your installed system, as installers usually take the Illinois Shines amount off your quoted install cost.

If you’re in Chicago and other places served by ComEd, you (or your installer) can expect to receive about $64 for each SREC your solar system produces. An average 6 kW home solar system cranks out about 110 SRECs over 15 years, netting a grant amount of about $6,600.

Advantageous property tax treatment

Illinois has a property tax incentive to encourage solar power use. When you register your solar system with the chief county assessment officer, your solar equipment will be valued at no more than the value that would be given to a conventional energy system. That’s not as clear-cut as the 100% property tax exemption we’ve seen in a lot of states, but money saved is money saved, right?

Cost of solar panels in your part of Illinois after all applicable solar incentives

Showing data for:

Prices based on a 10.8kW system, after 30% federal tax credit

Solar prices near you

Cost range of local prices

$18,040-$22,049

Payback period

10.4-12.7 years

Net profit (savings less system cost)

$30,525-$37,309

Average size system installed in IL in 2022

10.8kW

Solar panel cost calculator

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