2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Empire, IL - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Empire.
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
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Empire?
Special Assessment for Solar Energy Systems
Solar Renewable Energy Credits
Wabash Valley Power Association (28 Member Cooperatives) - Residential Energy Efficiency Program
Variable Speed Pool Pump: $250
Air-Source Heat Pump: $250 - $750
Geothermal Heat Pump: $1,500
Heat Pump Water Heater: $400/unit
HVAC: Varies depending on ZIP code. See program website
Corn Belt Energy Coop - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Pool Pump: $250/unit
Air Source Heat Pump: $250 - $750/unit
Heat Pump Water Heater: $400/unit
Geothermal Heat Pump: $1,500/unit
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are intended to make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives for individuals who install solar panels on their homes. Incentives might include things like discounts, cash back or credit on your utility bill each month. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, while others are provided by the Illinois government or your specific utility company, county or municipality. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government. (This is different from a tax deduction.)
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar panel system might qualify for both sales tax and property tax exemptions. Sales tax exemptions are applied at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the added value of the solar panels when you are calculating property taxes on your house.
- Rebates: Solar companies may help you claim a rebate, or partial refund of your purchase, for your solar panels. States or counties will also sometimes offer limited-time rebates. Any rebates you receive will usually come off the total price before any tax credits are calculated.
- Net Metering: Net metering factors in once your solar system is up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Empire utility company, they will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your utility bill each month. In some areas, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in others you might make back a percentage of the value.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for cash that is generally considered part of your taxable income. Generally, you must meet a certain (small) threshold of energy production before your solar system is eligible for SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. Incentives like these are generally handled by your state government.
Federal Solar Incentives
When you hear the term "solar incentives," federal incentives may be the first thing that comes to mind. A federal incentive many people are likely familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC is a tax credit for a predetermined percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. The credit initially covered 30% of the total cost — for panels, labor, equipment and accessories — although it may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar project was undertaken. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.
To better understand exactly how much money the ITC could save you, speak with your local Empire solar panel installer.
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 re-raises the credit up to 30% for solar installation projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed by the end of 2032. After this, the percentage will see a slight decrease annually until the end of the program in 2035. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to claim credits for energy storage systems under this new program.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. The easiest way to learn more about how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you is to speak with your local Empire solar panel installation expert directly.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Rebates, tax credits and more can be provided at multiple levels. On top of federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones, too. These incentives — which might be provided by the state of Illinois, or by your county or municipality — could be offered on an ongoing basis, or for only a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Empire
You can apply for and receive solar incentives from the Illinois government and the federal government, as well as from your local utility company. The increased availability of solar initiatives in the past 15 years has helped increase solar adoption nationwide. Speak with your local solar panel installer today to learn more and to save as much money as possible on a solar system for your Empire home.
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 Empire, IL Solar Incentives FAQs
How much will a solar system save me on my electric bill in Empire annually?
Typically, homeowners in Empire who install solar panels save approximately $810.81 per year, or approximately $15,405.48 over 20 years after making the switch.
What are the highest-rated solar panel installation companies near me?
To discover the best solar panel installers near you, take a look at our article on Empire's best solar panel companies.
What are some of the environmental benefits of switching to solar?
You can decrease your carbon footprint by 500 pounds of CO2 annually by switching to solar panels. This adds up to approximately 13,000 pounds in 20 years. Solar is also a renewable energy source, meaning that switching your home over reduces the drain on our planet's resources.
How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?
The federal solar tax credit, formerly called the ITC and now named the Clean Energy Credit, is scheduled to end January 1, 2035. The current 30% credit will end in 2032, replaced by a 26% credit in 2033 and a 22% credit in 2034.
If I change out my appliances for ones that utilize solar energy, are there benefits I can claim?
With the passage of the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are a number of new financial incentives that are available when you make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details regarding these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.
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.