How Illinois net metering works

April 10, 2020 | 3min read

Illinois has a generous net metering program for customers whose solar systems generate up to 40 Kilowatts of electricity. Those customers will receive a one-to-one credit for any power that their system supplies to the grid that is in excess of the power they used from the grid. A one-to-one credit means that you get compensated for power at the same rate that the utility company would charge you if you used power from their grid.

Illinois rules for net metering

Under Illinois rules, if your system generates less than 40 kilowatts of electricity, and most home systems are less than 10 kilowatts, you are eligible for the one-to-one net metering credit. Any bill credits you are due are carried over from month-to-month for a 12 month period. At the end of that 12 month period, you will receive a true-up bill that will contain a credit from your utility company for any bill credits that you are due. You have your choice of two annual periods from which the credits will be calculated, May to April, or November to October. To get credit for the power you produce, your utility company will provide you with a two-way meter. A two-way meter is capable of measuring both the power you use and the power you supply to the grid.

For more information on the rules and regulations in Illinois for solar power. Check out the Illinois shines brochure

Time-of-Use billing may be the best  value for solar owners

With Time-of-Use (TOU) billing, when you use electricity or supply it to the grid determines how much you will be billed or credited for that use or production. The Illinois Citizen’s Utility Board says that the TOU plan is best for solar owners because the highest rates are charged, and credited, during the day. Since your solar system is generating power during the day, it makes sense that you’d receive the highest amount of credit for the power produced by your system if you are on TOU billing.

Requirements your solar system must meet to be eligible to be connected to the grid

When you have your solar system installed by a solar installer, the installer has the responsibility to make sure your system meets all the requirements for interconnection. Those requirements are: 

  1. Your utility must verify that your system will operate safely and reliably.
  2. If you are not a current customer of the utility company that the utility can demand proof that you own/control the system.
  3. Your solar system must provide a way that it can be automatically isolated from the grid if need be for safety or reliability reasons.
  4. Your utility company can require a “witness test”. That test is used to verify that the standards given under IEEE 1547 have been met.

Freedom Forever is an Approved Vendor of the Illinois Shines solar program

Another great reason to go solar in Illinois is that Illinoisans with eligible solar systems can collect Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECS). You sell those SRECs to your utility company. You must have your solar system installed by an Approved Vendor of the Illinois Shines solar program. Freedom Forever is an Approved Vendor of the Illinois Shines solar program. In addition to being eligible for the SRECs, you’ll have peace of mind when going solar with Freedom Forever thanks to our 25-year performance guarantee.

Ready to go solar? Call us at 800-685-1850 or click below to get started.