2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Gardner, IL - Tax Credits & Rebates

In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Gardner.

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.
Get a free quote from one of our trusted Gardner solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated January 20, 2023

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We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other site has covered renewables as long as us, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites. Our rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Gardner?

Special Assessment for Solar Energy Systems

Incentive Type:
Property Tax Incentive
Varies

Solar Renewable Energy Credits

Incentive Type:
Solar Renewable Energy Credit Program
Negotiated with procurement administrators

Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

Incentive Type:
Personal Tax Credit
30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.

Source: https://www.dsireusa.org/


Solar incentives are intended to make renewable energy usage more affordable through financial incentives for those who install solar panels on their homes. The incentives may include cash back, upfront discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are given by the federal government, some by the state of Illinois and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:

  • Net Metering: Net metering factors in after your solar system is up and running. If you have in place a net metering agreement with your Gardner utility company, it will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your utility bill each month. In some areas, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in others you may make back a percentage of the value.
  • Tax Credits: Unlike tax deductions, tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government.
  • Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are effective at the time of purchase for your solar panels. Property tax exemptions allow you to ignore the value that your solar panels add when calculating the amount of property tax you need to pay on your house.
  • Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund after the purchase of your solar system. Rebates could be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The discount that rebates offer is normally applied to the price of solar panels before tax credits are calculated.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for cash that typically becomes part of your taxable income. In most cases, a certain (small) threshold of energy production must be met before your solar system qualifies for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. Incentives like these are generally handled by your state government.

Federal Solar Incentives

Federal solar incentives are likely the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about solar incentives. The solar incentive that you may be most familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which gives you a credit on your taxes equal to a predetermined percentage of your solar system's cost.

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, equipment and accessories. This credit can apply towards a solar panel system installed on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. Originally, you could claim 30% of the total cost, although certain projects may qualify for only 26%, depending on the details. There is no maximum amount you can claim.

To better understand exactly how much the ITC could save you, get in touch with your local Gardner solar panel installer.

The ITC was both renewed and expanded by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. Homeowners can now qualify for a credit of 30% of the total solar system installation costs for projects that began after January 1, 2022 and will be finished by the end of 2032. The credit percentage will then begin to decrease annually until the Clean Energy Credit ends in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion to the program will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.

Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Gardner solar panel company can answer any questions you have and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Some solar incentives may be provided at the state and local level. As with federal incentives, these can include tax credits, rebates and more. Certain incentives are ongoing, while others are available for a limited time. They might be given by your county or municipality, or by the Illinois government.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Gardner

The expanding number of solar incentives available has enormously increased the use of solar power nationwide over the past 15 years. You can get solar incentives from the Illinois government, the federal government or your local utility company. Getting in touch with your local Gardner solar panel installer is a great first step towards getting the most money possible when you switch to solar energy.

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Solar Financing

Blue Raven Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent reputation
  • Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
4.5

  • 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 Gardner, IL Solar Incentives FAQs

If my house already has solar panels, can I still claim incentives?

You should plan to talk to someone from the company that installed your system — or reach out to a local Gardner solar installer — to clarify which incentives you may qualify for. If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the recently increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Solar systems installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.

How much will solar panels save me on my electric bill in Gardner annually?

After adding solar panels to your house in Gardner, you can anticipate savings of around $892.11 per year, or around $16,950.16 over 20 years.

Who installs solar panel systems near me?

To learn about the top solar panel installation companies near you, read our article on Gardner's top solar panel companies.

What are some environmental benefits of adding solar panels to my house?

You can decrease your carbon footprint by 500 pounds of CO2 a year when you install solar panels. This adds up to roughly 13,000 pounds over 20 years. In addition, solar power is a renewable energy source, which means that making the switch reduces the drain on our planet's resources.

Can I claim incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?

The order your incentives will be applied in may vary depending on which incentives you receive but typically yes, you can receive multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Check with your solar installer or a local tax professional to make sure you are claiming all the incentives you are eligible for and applying them in the correct order.

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.

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