Illinois Solar Rebates And Incentives

Rebates list

Illinois Rebates and Incentives Summary


Illinois isn’t just in the middle of the country geographically. It’s smack dead center when it comes to solar energy. Solar Energy Industries ranks Illinois No. 25 in the nation for installed solar capacity. And the state is more or less on pace to hold its position. In 2014, Illinois installed 6 megawatts of solar capacity, which ranked it 27th for growth that year.

While maintaining a moderate position in the middle of the solar industry’s explosive growth, Illinois itself has seen substantial increases in its solar industry. More than 3,000 Illinois residents have jobs because of the state’s healthy solar industry, which saw a 165 percent increased financial investment year-over-year in 2014.

Much of the state’s solar industry growth can be credited to its forward-thinking policy. While the state hasn’t gone all out to build its solar status, it does have an aggressive renewable energy portfolio standard, requiring that the state’s utilities get 25 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2025.

Search Federal Programs, Rebates or Incentives

Ameren Illinois (Electric & Gas) - Multi-Family Properties Energy Efficiency Incentives

The direct install segment is linked to participation in either the common area or major measures segments of the program. Building owners or operators are offered low cost lighting materials (LEDs), water conservation measures (high performance showerheads and aerators) and programmable thermostats. The program oversees the distribution and installation of materials upon the receipt of a signed agreement with the project site. Program field staff will be scheduled to perform the installation of product at the complexes.

The shell measure segment offers incentives for air sealing the shell of multifamily buildings. Incentives will be paid based on the total CFM reduction

Building Energy Code

Much of the information presented in this summary is drawn from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). For more detailed information about building energy codes, visit the DOE and BCAP websites.

Public Act 093-0936 (Illinois Energy Conservation Code for Commercial Buildings) was signed into law in August, 2004. The Illinois Energy Conservation Code for Commercial Buildings became effective April 8, 2006. This law requires all commercial construction for which a building permit application is received by a municipality or county to follow a comprehensive statewide energy conservation code. The

City of Chicago - Building Energy Code

The Chicago Energy Conservation Code (CECC) requires residential buildings applying for building permits to comply with energy efficient measures which go beyond those required by the Illinois Building Energy Code. The applicability of the CECC to commercial construction was superseded when the state of Illinois adopted the more stringent IECC 2009 model code. Illinois state law in 2009 also mandated the IECC 2009 model code for residential buildings, but allowed for cities of home rule and more than 1,000,000 people (which includes Chicago) to adopt more stringent rules.

The CECC establishes standards to minimize solar energy absorbed by building roofs

City of Chicago - Green Building Permit Programs

The Chicago Department of Buildings (DOB) Green Permit Program provides developers and owners with an incentive to build green by streamlining the permit process timeline for projects which are designed to maximize indoor air quality and conserve energy and resources.

The DOB offers two Green Permit Programs for projects that include green elements: the Green Permit Benefit Tier Program and the Green Elements Permit Program. The Green Permit Benefit Tier Program offers qualifying projects an expedited permit process and possible reduction of permit fees. The Green Elements Permit Program also offers projects with green elements (geothermal systems, green roofs, solar

City of Chicago - Green Power Purchasing

In June 2001, the City of Chicago signed an agreement with Commonwealth Edison and the Environmental Resources Trust to purchase 20% of its electricity from clean, renewable resources by the end of 2005. Chicago reached this goal in 2008 with a purchase of 215 million kWh of wind and biomass energy from MidAmerican Energy.  The city's plan is to maintain that 20% level for the foreseeable future. As of October 2011, the City was purchasing 20% of their power from renewables. Download the Energy Report 

For more green power purchasing program listings, visit the U.S. Department of Energy Green Power Network.

City of Chicago - Small Business Improvement Fund

SomerCor 504 Inc. administers the Small Business Improvement Fund for the City of Chicago. The fund utilizes revenue from Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and supports commercial and industrial properties, as well as tenants, within specific TIF districts to upgrade their facilities. Certain energy efficient upgrades, such as energy efficient windows, HVAC systems, and roofs may qualify for funding under this program and are encouraged.

The grants can cover up to 75% of the costs of the upgrades and are paid after the work is completed and expenses paid-up.

Commercial applicants are eligible if they have a maximum of $5 million

City of Chicago - Solar Express Permit Program

In 2013, the City of Chicago streamlined and standardized the permitting and zoning process for rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Small and large rooftop PV generators can now access the City of Chicago Easy Permit Process. Qualifying projects can receive same-day permit approvals (a process that used to take 30 days) at a reduced fee of $275 (down from $375).

There are separate steps for small and large rooftop systems. Small rooftop solar PV systems are those generating less than 13.44 kilowatt (kW). Large rooftop solar PV systems are those generating greater than 13.44 kW. 

Along with the Easy Permit

City of Chicago - Solar Zoning Policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance strictly for the zoning review of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in the City of Chicago. The goal of this policy document is to make zoning design requirements transparent for solar PV system applicants. This policy does not provide specific guidance for the zoning review of solar thermal systems. 

The framework of this policy document is to (1.) identify the major zoning districts and (2.) establish the solar PV system configuration types. The zoning district will have major impacts on a solar PV project and may limit major design features of the

City Water Light and Power - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

City Water Light and Power (CWLP) offers rebates to Springfield residential customers for increasing the energy efficiency of participating homes. Rebates are available for geothermal heat pumps, air source heat pumps, water heaters, rain barrels and high efficiency toilets. CWLP requires a post installation inspection before awarding rebates for equipment. Visit the web site for more details and application forms. Rebates are available only to CWLP electric customers.

ComEd - Energy Efficiency Program for Residential

Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) offers residential customers rebates for certain energy efficiency upgrades and improvements. The lighting discount is administered as an off-the-shelf discount program where purchasers receive a discount on LED light bulbs from participating retailers (see website for listing). Technicians will perform a free energy assessment in homes, install free and discounted energy-saving products and provide energy efficiency recommendations. Condo owners and renters are encouraged to have their property manager or building owner contact ComEd about the multi-family program.



Corn Belt Energy Coop - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Corn Belt Energy Corporation (CBEC), in association with the Wabash Valley Power Association, provides its customers with the "Power Moves" energy efficiency rebate program. Through this program, customers of Corn Belt Energy can receive rebates for geothermal and air-source heat pumps as well as heat pump water heaters. To qualify for a rebate customers follow all program procedures and comply with all efficiency standards. Check CBEC's website for specific program guidelines and rebate terms.

Energy Efficiency in State Government

State Green Building Standards
Illinois requires that all new state-funded construction or major renovations are required to seek LEED, Green Globes, or equivalent certification. The Green Buildings Act (July 2009) defines major renovations as projects with a budget of at least 40% of a building's replacement cost and makes the following requirements based on the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system:

  • New buildings and major renovations of less than 10,000 square feet must meet the highest LEED standard (or equivalent standard) that is practical. Certification is not required.
  • New buildings and renovations of

Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation Grants

Note: For the Renewable Energy January 21, 2016, competitive grant cycle, the only Renewable Energy grant applications being accepted are for Solar Thermal, Biomass, Advancing Renewable Energy and Emerging Technologies. or the Energy Efficiency January 21, 2016, competitive grant cycle, only Water Energy Efficiency Program grant applications are being accepted. Please visit the program website listed above in early 2016 for additional information.

The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (ICECF) was established in December 1999 as an independent foundation with a $225 million endowment provided by Commonwealth Edison. The ICECF invests in clean-energy development and land-preservation efforts, working with communities

Illinois Municipal Electric Agency - Electric Efficiency Program

The Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA) offers rebates to member municipal utilities* (those who purchase wholesale electric service from IMEA) and retail customers for energy efficiency upgrades. The incentive program provides up to 75% of the project cost in rebates or grants for qualified efficiency projects -- although all incentives are subject to funding availability. Rebates are provided for a variety of projects including custom measures. The same program eligibility and applications apply.

Eligible projects are those which will result in electricity savings, either through equipment upgrades, or building or process improvements. A wide range of efficiency technologies and equipment

Interconnection Standards

In December 2016, the Illinois Commerce Commission issued an order making changes to the state's interconnection rules for distributed generation facilities.

In August 2007, Illinois enacted legislation (S.B. 680) requiring the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) to establish standards for net metering and interconnection for renewable energy systems by April 1, 2008. Although S.B. 680 only requires the promulgation of interconnection standards for "eligible renewable generating equipment," the ICC chose to take this opportunity to develop standards for all distributed generation up to 10 megawatts (MW). Final interconnection standards were adopted by the ICC in August 2008. In March 2010, the

Jo-Carroll Energy - Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Jo-Carroll Energy Cooperative, Inc. (JCECI) offers a variety of rebates on energy efficient equipment to members receiving electric or natural gas service from JCECI. Both residential and commercial customers are eligible for incentives through this program. Rebates are available for the purchase and installation of qualifying ENERGY STAR rated washers, dishwashers, dehumidifiers, refrigerators, lighting, and window air conditioning units, as well as heat pumps, boilers, furnaces and natural gas water heaters. An appliance recycling rebate of $25 is also available, which rewards members for the proper recycling of older appliances. Applications for both electric and natural gas customers are available

Local Option - Contractual Assessments for Renewable Energy and/or Energy Efficiency

Note:  In 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which has authority over mortgage underwriters Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, directed these enterprises against purchasing mortgages of homes with a PACE lien due to its senior status above a mortgage. Most residential PACE activity subsided following this directive; however, some residential PACE programs are now operating with loan loss reserve funds, appropriate disclosures, or other protections meant to address FHFA's concerns. Commercial PACE programs were not directly affected by FHFA’s actions, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not underwrite commercial mortgages. Visit PACENow for more information about PACE financing

MidAmerican Energy (Electric) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

MidAmerican Energy offers a variety of incentives for residential customers to improve the energy efficiency of participating homes. Electric customers of MidAmerican Energy qualify for rebates on programmable thermostats, air source heat pumps, add-on heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps, central air conditioning units and room air conditioning units. The Residential Equipment Brochure on the program web site above provides specific rebate amounts, details and requirements. After installing qualifying equipment, customers should submit a completed Equipment Rebate Application and a detailed invoice to MidAmerican. Heating and cooling dealers have a supply of Equipment Rebate Applications and will participate with customers. Applications must

MidAmerican Energy (Gas) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

MidAmerican Energy offers a variety of incentives for residential customers to improve the energy efficiency of eligible homes. The program links below provide information on specific rebate amounts, efficiency, further details and requirements. After installing qualifying equipment, customers should submit a completed Equipment Rebate Application and a detailed invoice to MidAmerican. Heating and cooling dealers have a supply of Equipment Rebate Applications and will participate with customers. Applications must be postmarked by stated date in order to receive rebates.

Net Metering

Note: The Future Energy Jobs Act (Illinois Public Act 99-0906) did not change Illinois' basic net metering rules; the 5% aggregate cap remains in place and a new compensation process will be developed when the cap is reached (a net billing process is the default). Community solar and meter aggregation were made eligible for net metering under the terms of the legislation; the language in previous law allowing utilities to "consider" whether to allow net metering to meter aggregation and community solar customers was removed and replaced with specific terms under which net metering must be allowed.

Illinois enacted S.B

Nicor Gas - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebates

Nicor Gas services 129,000 customers and is the largest natural gas distributor in northern Illinois. Certain energy efficient products are eligible for Nicor Gas rebates such as furnaces, boilers, air sealing and insulation, and more. Applications must be postmarked no later than 90 days after installation or by January 31, 2020. Visit the website for complete rules. 

North Shore Gas - Residential Rebate Program

The North Shore Gas Natural Gas Savings Program offers incentives to encourage customers to make energy-efficient improvements to their homes and apartment buildings. Rebates are available on energy efficient furnaces, boilers, water heaters, controls and insulation. To qualify, gas furnaces, boilers, and water heaters must be installed by professional contractors. Property owners of multifamily units may also participate in this program. A full list of eligible models and insulation and instructions on how to apply for the rebates can be found on the Natural Gas Savings Program web site. Applications must be made no later than 60 days after the

North Shore Gas - Single Family Direct Install

Owners of single-family homes, condos, townhomes and two-flats may be eligible for a free installation of new programmable thermostats, pipe insulation, showerheads, LEDs and faucet aerators through North Shore Gas's direct install program.

In addition to the free items, customers also can receive a $150 bonus rebate on top of the standard rebates from the North Shore Gas Home Energy Rebate Program with the installation of a qualifying high-efficiency furnace or boiler. Interested customers should call 855-849-8928 to see if they qualify.

Peoples Gas - Residential Rebate Program

The Peoples Gas Natural Gas Savings Program offers incentives to encourage customers to make energy-efficient improvements to their homes and apartment buildings. Rebates are available on energy efficient furnaces, boilers, water heaters, controls and insulation. To qualify, gas furnaces, boilers, and water heaters must be installed by professional contractors. Property owners of multifamily units may also participate in this program. A full list of eligible models and insulation and instructions on how to apply for the rebates can be found on the Natural Gas Savings Program web site. Applications must be made no later than 60 days after the equipment

Recycle My Fridge

The Illinois Municipal Electricity Agency (IMEA), a nonprofit organization representing 33 Illinois municipal and co-op electricity providers, administers the Illinois Recycle My Fridge program in combination with Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCA), Inc.

People who receive their electricity from an IMEA-member electric system may participate. The program will pick up up to two old, working refrigerators or freezers from the participant's home. The participant receives a $50 prepaid card for each qualifying refrigerator or freezer. The refrigerators and/or freezers must be secondary units (the units to be recycled may not be the home's primary refrigerator/freezer) and must be between

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Project Financing

The Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) is a state conduit issuer of tax-exempt bonds and credit enhancement for projects in Illinois. IFA funding is available to commercial and non-profit entities as long as those entities meet strict eligibility criteria. In 2012, the legislature also added schools and community colleges to the list of eligible entities for energy conservation funding. Entities seeking funding must demonstrate that their projects provide a significant public benefit for the citizens of Illinois. In 2009, the IFA was authorized by legislation (S.B. 1906 and S.B. 390) to provide funding via issuance of tax-exempt bonds for renewable energy

Renewable Energy Resources Trust Fund

Illinois's 1997 electric-industry restructuring legislation created separate public benefits funds that support renewable energy and residential energy efficiency. The Renewable Energy Resources Trust Fund (RERTF) supports renewables through grants, loans and other incentives administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). The funding mechanism was established for 10 years in January 1998. In August 2007, funding was extended through December 12, 2015.

Renewable-energy projects eligible for RERTF support include wind energy, solar-thermal energy, photovoltaics, dedicated crops grown for energy production and organic waste biomass, hydropower that does not involve new construction or significant expansion of hydropower

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Note: In December 2016, Illinois enacted S.B. 2814, which made several major changes to energy policy including changes to the renewable portfolio standard.

Note: In June 2014, Illinois enacted H.B. 2427, which released $30 million in the Renewable Energy Resources Fund to the Illinois Power Agency for the purchase of photovoltaic (PV) power through a supplemental procurement process. Of the released funds, half are set aside for PV systems less than 25 kilowatts in nameplate capacity, such as residential rooftop systems.

The IPA's proposed procurement plan for 2016 can be found in Docket 15-0541 and on the

Residential On-Bill Financing Programs - Nicor Gas, North Shore Gas, Peoples Gas, Ameren and ComEd

*At the end of 2018, Renew Financial will be ending our participation in this program. We will no longer accept new loan applications for the Illinois Energy Efficiency Loan Program as of 4 p.m. CST on December 7, 2018.

The utilities plan to bring in a new provider for this program in 2019. More information about the revised program will be available soon from the utilities.

The Illinois Energy Efficiency Loan Program, administered through Renew Financial and funded by participating utilities, provides loans to customers of Ameren Illinois, ComEd, Nicor, North Shore Gas, and Peoples Gas. Typically, loans of up

Solar and Wind Rights

Illinois law prohibits homeowners' associations, common interest community associations and condominium unit owners' associations from preventing homeowners from using or installing solar energy systems. These associations may not deny homeowners permission to install solar energy systems, but they may specify the location of the solar energy system, as long as such specifications do not "impair the effective operation" of the system. In July 2011, the legislature enacted a bill (Public Act 97-0105) which added a provision for wind energy. A homeowner's association or similar entity may restrict wind energy devices altogether.

The law stipulates that associations must adopt an energy

Solar Renewable Energy Credits

Note: The Illinois Power Agency's proposed 2016 procurement includes one-year SREC procurements of 34,207 SRECs for Ameren, 69,866 SRECs for ComEd, and 13,225 SRECs for MidAmerican. It also includes separate five-year distributed generation (DG) REC procurements of 7,767 DG RECs for Ameren,16,294 DG RECs for ComEd, 2,204 DG RECs for MidAmerican. See the IPA website and Docket 15-0541 for more information on procurement plans.

In August 2007, Illinois enacted legislation (Public Act 095-0481) that created the Illinois Power Agency (IPA). The agency’s purpose is to develop electricity procurement plans for investor-owned electric utilities (EUs) supplying over 100,000 Illinois customers to

Special Assessment for Solar Energy Systems

Illinois offers a special assessment of solar energy systems for property tax purposes. When a claim for alternate valuation is filed, the chief county assessment officer is required to ascertain two values: the value of the improvements as if equipped with a conventional heating or cooling system and the value of the improvements as equipped with the solar energy system. The alternate valuation is the lesser of these two values.

Eligible equipment includes both active and passive solar energy systems. The exemption is not valid for equipment that is equally usable in a conventional energy system or for components that

Statewide Renewable Energy Setback Standards

While Illinois does not have a model wind ordinance* in place, it has established a maximum setback limit for wind turbines.** State law has established that no municipality or county government may require a wind turbine (or other renewable energy system) used for onsite energy generation to be setback more than 1.1 times the height of the system from the end user's property line. Under H.B. 1201, municipalities may prohibit any electric-generating wind device with a nameplate capacity of 100 kilowatts or greater permitted after August 9, 2013, from locating within its corporate limits.

The Illinois Institute for Rural

Wabash Valley Power Association (28 Member Cooperatives) - Residential Energy Efficiency Program

Wabash Valley Power Association (WVPA) is a generation and transmission cooperative which provides wholesale electricity to 28 distribution systems in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, and Illinois. View the WVPA membership webpage to view all participating members of the association. WVPA offers a number of rebates to residential customers of these member organizations. Rebates are available for heat pump water heaters, geothermal and air-source heat pumps, and HVAC equipment.

A signed application and installation invoice must be received by Wabash Valley Power within 60 days of the installation completion date. View the program web site listed above for more program or