The Illinois flag has the sun shining brightly on the horizon. If that’s not a sign to get solar in Prairie State, we don’t know what is! If you decide to go solar in Illinois, you are in good company. Over 54,600 homeowners have already gone solar.* In fact, Illinois is requiring 25% of their energy be solar by 2025. By going solar, you contribute to sustainability efforts and possibly save some money while you’re at it!
There is a potential for energy savings in Illinois. Illinois utilities have different rates according to time of use (TOU). By going solar your rates could lower and enjoy running on the sun. You can be covered at peak and super-peak. If you install batteries, you may only have to pay the minimum payment each month.
Be prepared for outages
When a storm happens, be prepared with a solar system with batteries. This will ensure you still have power if the grid goes down. Illinois utilities will sometimes schedule power outages to prevent future, bigger blackouts. With batteries, you no longer have to plan around the inconvenience. Talk to your dealer about what type of batteries for your needs.
Preserve Illinois’s outdoors
Although many go solar to save money, homeowners are also proud of what solar does to preserve the environment. Solar systems let you run on clean energy, not hazardous fossil fuels. By going solar you reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help fight the climate crisis. Preserve your state for generations to come and make a difference.
Have predictable payments
Illinois utility companies operate on time-of-day pricing. For example, ComEd now offers a rate for Off-peak, Peak, and Super-peak.* Rather than trying to schedule your life around peak rates, you should regain your freedom with solar. A solar system can have you covered during the day. At night, you can run off batteries and avoid using energy from the grid.
Invest in your home
A reason homeowners decide to install a solar system is to reinvest in their home. A solar system can increase your home value and its sale price. The average Illinois home is valued at $219,806, that’s a 6.2% annual increase, according to Zillow. Keep up with the rising home value by investing in your home instead of giving your hard-earned money to your utility provider.**
Solar incentives in Illinois*
Illinois homeowners may benefit from the solar energy system property tax exemption. This means that the value you add to your home by installing solar panels, home batteries, or smart home energy controllers won’t add to your property tax assessment. Many Illinois utility companies also offer “net metering,” which pays residential solar owners back when they deliver excess energy to the grid. For example, customers of Commonwealth Edison, the Ameren Illinois Utilities, and MidAmerican Energy Company are eligible for a one-to-one retail rate credit for applicable systems. Illinois also offers Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), which are awarded for every megawatt-hour of electricity generated by a home solar system. These credits can be sold directly to one of the three Illinois Investor-owned utilities (ComEd, Ameren or MidAmerican).
Illinois homeowners are also eligible for the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC).* The ITC allows you to deduct 26 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes.
Going solar is a big decision, and although there are many factors you should consider, local weather shouldn’t be a deterrent. Solar panels are designed to work in almost any type of weather… even snow and clouds!
There are sunny days ahead for solar. The more sun you have access to, the longer your panels work during the day. Your panels work best at converting energy when sun rays shine directly at them. The more energy you produce, the more excess you may be able to send back to the grid. Take advantage of the excess through net metering and other incentive programs.
As the rain pours down, your panels will continue to be hard at work. Solar panels will work with reflected or partially blocked sun rays to keep your home powered. Your production is linked to the amount of clouds. Rain will have some effect on your production, but the rays will still penetrate through the rain. It may actually help keep your panels working efficiently as they wash away any dust or dirt.
It is a misconception that panels don’t work on cloudy days. The best way to know how much the clouds affect your system’s performance is to monitor your system on sunny days and compare. Your system may actually be more efficient without the excess heat. This is because solar systems prefer the cold! The sun’s rays are still able to penetrate through cloudy skies and keep your system running.
Amazingly enough, even when covered in snow a solar system can still produce power! Scattered light filters through snow and reaches solar panels even when the snow cover is fairly heavy. Your solar panels may actual be more efficient in light snow. Cold weather helps them perform better, and usually snow slides right off. Power production may be reduced with heavier snowfall, but your system can still produce.
Solar panels are highly reliable and sturdy, they hardly notice your average winds. In most cases, damage from wind will be due to weakened roofs, not solar panels. This is why we assess your roof condition and reccomend any repairs prior to installing your system. In the event that higher winds cause an outage in the grid, you will still have power if you have batteries with your system.
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*This information is current as of May 5, 2021 and figures are approximated. Customers are encouraged to check with their local utility providers for the most up to date and accurate information.
**We advise you to consult with the appropriate professionals (including, but not limited to, your solicitor or attorney, accountant, CPA, CGA, or any other financial or legal advisor) for the implications of any information contained in our website and in any link you access through our website.
*You should contact a qualified tax expert and consult with them. Neither Freedom Forever’s family of independent authorized dealers nor Freedom Forever itself can give you tax advice. A qualified tax professional will understand your situation and be able to give you the most relevant advice.