2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Highland, IL - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Highland.
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 Highland?
Special Assessment for Solar Energy Systems
Solar Renewable Energy Credits
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
The term "solar incentives" broadly refers to financial incentives designed to encourage the adoption and use renewable energy by making the installation and use of solar panels more affordable. Various kinds of incentives, like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits, might be available to you. Some incentives may be offered by the state of Illinois, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while others are federal. Types of solar incentives might include:
- Tax Credits: Different from tax deductions, tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax that you owe the government.
- Rebates: Rebates, or cash back after a purchase, are usually applied before any solar tax credits are calculated. Solar rebates may be provided by your local utility company, by your county or by your state.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar performance-based incentives are generally handled by your state government. Once your solar panel system meets the qualification threshold (usually a small amount of energy production), you are eligible to receive SRECs that can be sold to your utility company or other buyers. The money you make from the sale is generally considered part of your taxable income.
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar panel system may qualify for exemptions on both sales and property tax. Sales tax exemptions are effective at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions let you exclude the value that solar panels add when you are calculating property taxes on your house.
- Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant after your solar system is up and running. If you have a net metering agreement in place with your Highland utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your utility bill each month. In some locations, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other places you might receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the kind of incentives that you are most likely to have some knowledge of. An incentive many people are likely to be familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This is a tax credit for a specific percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. The credit initially covered 30% of the total cost — for panels, accessories, equipment and labor — although that amount may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar project was undertaken. There is no cap on the claim amount.
Reaching out to your local Highland solar panel installation expert is the best way to understand how the ITC could apply to you.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, added more provisions to the ITC (as well as retitling it the Clean Energy Credit). The Clean Energy Credit has increased the current credit up to 30% for solar installation projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed by the end of 2032. After 2032, the credit percentage will decrease slightly each year until the end of the program in 2035. Starting in 2023, the program expansion will also make credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, talk to your local Highland solar installation company.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives are often also provided at the state and local level. Like with federal incentives, these can include tax credits, rebates and more. These incentives may be distributed by your county or municipality, or by the Illinois government. Some incentives may be available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Highland
You can qualify for solar incentives from the federal government and the Illinois government, as well as from your local utility company. This increase in availability of solar initiatives in the past 15 years has helped increase solar adoption nationwide. When you're ready to make the switch to solar energy, calling your local Highland solar panel installation expert is a great first step.
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 Highland, IL Solar Incentives FAQs
How much will a solar system save me on my electric bill in Highland annually?
On average, Highland homeowners who install solar panels save approximately $862.18 per year, or approximately $16,381.50 over 20 years after making the switch.
Who installs solar panel systems near me?
To find the best solar panel installer in your area, check out our guide to the best solar companies in Highland.
If I switch my appliances out for ones that can use solar energy, are there benefits that I can claim?
The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act introduces a number of incentives designed to reward homeowners who make eco-friendly upgrades. Some of these incentives include rebates and tax credits for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives here.
Can I receive incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
The order your incentives will be applied in could vary depending on which incentives you receive but usually yes, you can claim multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Check with your solar installer or a local tax professional to confirm you are claiming all the incentives you are eligible for and applying them in the correct order.
Can I use a combination of multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?
Yes, you can utilize multiple types of renewable energy to power your home — for example, a combination of solar and geothermal. You can also use both renewable energy sources and a non-renewable backup source of energy. Make sure that you discuss your plan with your local Highland solar panel installer, so that you understand what you'll need and what types of incentives 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.