Illinois Solar Rebates and Incentives

Illinois Net Metering

Program Type Net Metering
Technologies Photovoltaics and other renewables 
Amount Credited to customer at retail rate
Required Documentation Applicants must apply with their investor-owned utility
Official Web Site

Illinois’ net-metering program began April 1, 2008. Under the state’s law, investor-owned utilities, Commonwealth Edison, the Ameren Illinois Utilities, and MidAmerican Energy Co. must now credit program enrollees with renewable energy systems for electricity their system supplies to the grid. And utilities must credit customer at the retail rate for the produced electricity.

The utilities held open enrollment for their net-metering programs between April 1 and May 1, 2008. After the open-enrollment season, applications have been accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis until distributed generation at the utility reaches 1 percent or more of the previous year’s peak demand.

Under the state’s net-metering law, customers are eligible to receive a one-to-one retail rate credit for renewable energy generation of 40 kW or less (Most Illinois homes can provide for all their energy needs with a 5 kW PV system.). Larger systems, those between 40 kW and 2 megawatts, receive credits equal to the utility's avoided cost for excess generation. These customers may also enroll in a time-of-use program through which they are paid at time-of-use rates. Generation credits are carried over month-to-month, between either the 12 month period of May to April, or November to October, at the customer's discretion.

Potential savings depend on how much energy is generated by the system. But all net-metered customers in Illinois must pay fixed interconnection fees to connect to the electric grid. Other states have waived such fees.

Residential customers net meter through a bi-directional meter, provided to them by the utility if their meter can’t operate in both directions. Customers with systems larger than 40 kW must purchase a dual-channel meter.

Net-metered customers retain ownership and title to all renewable-energy credits and greenhouse-gas credits associated with customer generation and can sell such credits as they choose.

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