Illinois Solar Rebates and Incentives

DCEO Solar and Wind Energy Rebate Program

Program Type Rebate
Technologies Photovoltaics, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Solar Pool Heating, and Wind
Amount Maximum of $50,000 per project
Required Documentation Application form submitted prior to installing system and Letter of completion
Official Web Site

The renewable rebate program is funded by Illinois’ Renewable Energy Resources Trust Fund and administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The state has offered the program since 1997. As of September 2010, all funds available through the program for the year 2010 have been reserved. According to the state, the program and its funding level for 2011 were not finalized. But information about funding for 2011 will be posted at the program’s Web page. Interested parties may also contact Wayne Hartel with the commerce department at (217) 785-3420 to learn more.

Under the first-come, first-serve program, individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and the public sector may apply for the incentive, which was capped at $50,000 per individual award in 2010. When available, the state offered those installing residential and commercial solar systems a rebate of up to 30 percent of the total system and its installation costs. Nonprofit entities and government entities could qualify for a rebate of up to 50 percent of system and installation costs. According to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, the program only offered $1.3 million in funds for 2009.

To be eligible for the state rebate, applicants must contribute a minimum of 25 percent of the project cost. Other incentive programs, like the federal incentive program, can be used with the state rebate as long as the incentives cover no more than 75 percent of the system’s total costs.
The program does not set a ceiling for system size. But PV and wind systems must be at least 1 kW in size. Solar-thermal systems, including solar thermal electric generators, must be designed to produce at least 50,000 Btus per day or contain at least 60 square feet of collectors.

Illinois encourages, but does not require, applicants to submit their applications prior to purchasing a system. If the department determines that the system is eligible it will issue a "Notice to Proceed" letter. Funding is reserved for 120 days from the date of the application. After receiving the funding, applicants have another 120 days to install the system and submit a completion letter and other required documentation.

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