2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Effingham, IL - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Effingham.
You'll learn about:
- Local & State Solar Incentives
- Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
- Ways to optimize your solar investment
Solar installers are experts in maximizing your solar tax credits and rebates.
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By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated March 14, 2023
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Effingham?
Special Assessment for Solar Energy Systems
Solar Renewable Energy Credits
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are designed to make renewable energy usage more affordable through financial incentives for those who install solar panels on their homes. Solar incentives may include cash back, upfront discounts or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, some by the Illinois government and some by your utility company, county or municipality. Types of solar incentives might include:
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar panels could qualify for both sales tax and property tax exemptions. Sales tax exemptions are applied at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions allow you to exclude the added value of the solar panels when calculating property taxes on your home.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for cash that typically becomes part of your taxable income. Generally, there is a small threshold of energy production to meet before your solar system qualifies for SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. Incentives like these are typically handled at the state level.
- Net Metering: Don't forget to talk to your Effingham utility company about signing a net metering contract. This will allow you to receive credit towards your utility bill every month for the value of excess energy your solar panels generate. You could receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Rebates: Solar rebates may be provided by your county or state, or by your local utility company. These rebates work as cash back that is applied after you pay for solar panels and before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Credits: These credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much in taxes you owe the government.
Federal Solar Incentives
When you hear the term "solar incentives," federal incentives may be the first thing that comes to mind. The solar incentive that you're most familiar with is probably the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which gives you a credit on your taxes equal to a certain percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC can be applied to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. Initially, the credit applied to 30% of the total cost — for panels, labor, equipment and accessories — although that amount may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar project was undertaken. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.
Your local Effingham solar panel installation expert can provide you with more information about the ITC and how it applies to your situation.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, expanded and extended the ITC (as well as renaming it to the Clean Energy Credit). The Clean Energy Credit bolsters the current credit, increasing it up to 30% for solar installation projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed by the end of 2032. At this point, the percentage will decrease slightly each year until the program expires in 2035. Beginning in 2023, it will also be easier to qualify for credits for energy storage systems under the new laws.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. The easiest way to understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you is to talk with your local Effingham solar panel installers.
State & Local Solar Incentives
There are more than just federal solar incentives; tax credits, rebates and more might also be offered at the local or state level. These incentives may be given out by your county or municipality, or by the Illinois government. Some incentives may be ongoing, while others are available for a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Effingham
The expanding number of solar incentives available has enormously increased the adoption of solar energy nationwide over the past 15 years. You might qualify for solar incentives from the Illinois government, the federal government or your local utility company. We recommend talking to your local Effingham solar installer to learn more about these incentives and to ensure that you're getting the most money possible for your solar panels.
Best Solar Financing
Blue Raven Solar
- Industry-leading in-house financing
- Competitive pricing
- Excellent reputation
- Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)
- Price-match guarantee
- Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
- Best solar battery on the market
- Some reported issues with customer service
- Customer service varies by local dealer
EcoWatch's Effingham, IL Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I want to add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property? Will I still qualify for incentives?
Many solar incentives apply to a property located within the United States that you own; most secondary residences will fall under this distinction. Other solar incentives may be available for commercial properties, depending on the specifics. We recommend reaching out to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to best understand what incentives will apply to your specific situation.
How can I learn if I qualify for certain solar incentives?
Typically, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar panel system
- installed on property you own
- within the U.S.
- between the dates specified by a particular incentive.
Specific incentives, including ones handled by the Illinois government or by your county/municipality, may have additional qualifications. Talk to your local Effingham solar installer to learn more about what incentives your project will qualify for.
If I already have solar panels, can I still claim incentives?
If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you may qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. If you had your system installed between 2006 and 2021, you might qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the date of installation. Talking to the company that installed your system, or any local Effingham solar installer, can help you learn more about what incentives you can apply for.
What are some environmental benefits of adding solar panels to my home?
Solar energy is a renewable energy source — by changing where you get your energy, you can help lessen the strain on our planet's resources. You can also reduce the CO2 emissions from your home by 500 pounds yearly, or roughly 13,000 pounds over 20 years.
Can I use multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?
You can use multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy, to power your home. Be sure to talk through your plan with your local Effingham solar installer. They can help you with the plan for your project and also help you understand the various incentives that you might or might not qualify for.
Our goal is to reach as many people as we can with sensible solutions like solar energy. Our team of full-time local researchers collects solar price and installation data for every city in America then compiles it to create these digestible city guides. If you want to read our solar expert's opinion on the top solar companies featured here, follow this link.
Solar incentive research was conducted by Melissa Smith and Karsten Neumeister. Local data analysis was conducted by James Savino. See something we missed or could do better? Email the editor.