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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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
Solar incentives mitigate the cost of installing a solar panel system on your home. This category of financial incentives is intended to encourage more homeowners to convert their home partially or fully to renewable energy. You may be eligible for several types of incentives, such as discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits, depending on your situation. Some incentives come from your specific utility company, county or municipality, some from the state of Illinois and others from the federal government. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other performance-based incentives are generally handled by your state government. Once your solar panel system meets a predetermined threshold (generally a small amount of energy production), you are eligible to receive SRECs that can then be sold to your utility company or other buyers. The money you receive is generally considered part of your taxable income.
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund credited to your account after you've paid for your solar system. Rebates might be offered by your local utility company, your state or your county. The cash back that you get from the rebates is normally applied before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits lower, dollar-for-dollar, how much income tax you owe the federal government. Tax credits are different from tax deductions.
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions can come in one of two forms. The first is sales tax exemption, which is applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to ignore the value added by your solar system when calculating property tax for your house.
- Net Metering: You may be able to sign a net metering contract with your Evanston utility company that will apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity your solar panels generate. Your utility company will then deduct this value from your monthly utility bill.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are probably the first thing that you think of when you think about solar incentives. You've likely heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This incentive is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a predetermined percentage of the money you spend on your solar system.
The ITC applies to a solar system installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar system has to have been installed after January 1, 2006 on a property owned by you for you to claim the credit. Initially, the ITC applied to 30% of all system costs (panels, accessories, equipment and labor), although the amount has fluctuated over the years between 26-30%. The installation date of your solar system will determine what percentage you are eligible for. There is no cap on the claim amount.
To better understand how the ITC might apply to your situation, speak to your local Evanston solar panel installation expert and ask for more information.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act made revisions to the ITC, now titled 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. After this, the credit percentage will be reduced slightly each year until the end of the program in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Evanston solar panel installer can answer your questions and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
There are more than just federal solar incentives; rebates, tax credits and more might also be offered at the local or state level. Certain incentives are offered for only a limited time, while others are ongoing. Your local incentives might come from the Illinois government, or from your specific county or municipality.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Evanston
There are a variety of solar incentives: those provided by the federal government, those provided by the Illinois government and those provided by local utility companies, to name a few. Solar energy use has increased tremendously in the last 15 years, thanks to these incentives. When you're prepared to make the change to solar energy, talking to your local Evanston solar panel installation expert is an excellent place to start.
EcoWatch's Evanston, IL Solar Incentives FAQs
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.