2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Evanston, IL - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Evanston.
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 Evanston?
Special Assessment for Solar Energy Systems
ComEd - Energy Efficiency Program for Residential
Air Purifier: $50
Clothes Washer: $50
Electric Clothes Dryer: $50
Room Air Conditioner: $25
Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling: Free pickup and $50, plus an additional $10 if recycling a room A/C at the same time
Heating & Cooling
Air Source Heat Pump: $400 - $600
Central A/C: $300 - $600
Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump: $400
Geothermal Heat Pump: Up to $6,000/home
Furnace Blower Motor (ECM): $50 - $100
Advanced Power Strip: $10
Air Sealing: Up to $400/home
Attic Insulation: Up to $300/home
Duct Sealing: Up to $500/home
Lighting: In-store discounts, varies
Pool Pump: $275
Smart Thermostat: $100
Wall Insulation: Up to $400/home
Solar Renewable Energy Credits
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
The term "solar incentives" refers to financial incentives implemented by the government and by solar companies to encourage people to use renewable energy by making the installation and use of solar panels more affordable. You may qualify for various types of incentives, such as discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill, depending on your situation. Certain incentives come from your specific utility company, county or municipality, some from the Illinois government and others from the federal government. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are effective at the time of purchase for your solar system. Property tax exemptions let you exclude the added value of your solar system when calculating how much property tax you need to pay on your house.
- Rebates: Solar rebates can be offered by your local utility company, or by your state or county. These rebates are essentially cash back that is applied after you pay for solar panels and before tax credits are calculated.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): In general, solar systems that produce over a specific (generally small) amount of electricity qualify for SRECs or other similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and performance-based incentives in general are typically offered at the state level. SRECs can be sold to your utility company or another buyer, and the money you receive is normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant after your solar panels are up and running. If you have in place a net metering agreement with your Evanston utility company, it will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your monthly utility bill. In some places, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in others you might receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in the amount of tax that you owe the government.
Federal Solar Incentives
When you hear the term "solar incentives," federal incentives are likely the first thing that comes to mind. It's likely that you've heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This is a tax credit equal to a certain percentage of the money you spend on your solar system.
The ITC applies towards solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and lets you deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, labor, accessories and equipment. This credit can apply towards solar panels installed on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. Originally, you could claim 30% of the total cost, although depending on when the project was completed, your credit may range from 26-30%. There is no maximum claim amount.
Wondering how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Reach out to your local Evanston solar panel installation expert to get more information.
The ITC was renewed and increased in scope after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. The new Clean Energy Credit now runs until 2035. You can now apply for a 30% credit for solar systems that began installation on or after January 1, 2022 and will be done by December 31, 2032. The credit will then be decreased by a few percentage points every year until its expiration. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to obtain credits for energy storage systems under the new laws.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. To understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, talk to your local Evanston solar installation company.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives are often also offered at the local or state level. Similar to federal incentives, these may include tax credits, rebates and more. These incentives — which might be provided by the state of Illinois, or by your county or municipality — might be offered for only a limited time, or on an ongoing basis.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Evanston
Solar incentives may be provided by the Illinois government, the federal government or your local utility company. The variety of available solar incentives has facilitated the nationwide growth of solar energy use in the last 15 years. We recommend talking to your local Evanston solar installation expert to learn more about these incentives and to make sure that you're getting the largest number 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 Evanston, IL Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I claim incentives for adding solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property?
While we recommend speaking with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to better understand what solar incentives apply to you, many can be claimed on a second home, as long as it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be other incentives available specifically for commercial properties, depending on the specifics.
How much can I save on my electric bill annually if I add solar panels to my house in Evanston?
On average, Evanston homeowners who install solar panels save around $707.72 per year, or around $13,446.62 over 20 years after making the switch.
Who installs solar panel systems near me?
To find a top-rated solar panel installer, check out our guide to Evanston's best solar panel companies.
What are some of the environmental benefits of switching to solar?
You can lower your carbon footprint by 450 pounds of CO2 annually when you switch to solar panels. This adds up to approximately 9,000 pounds in 20 years. In addition, solar power is a renewable energy source, meaning that switching your home over lessens the drain on our planet's resources.
If I switch my appliances out for ones that utilize solar energy, are there credits that I can claim?
The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act includes provisions for several incentives meant to reward homeowners for making eco-friendly upgrades. Some incentives include tax credits and rebates for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives 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.