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

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

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 Lake Forest 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

Why you can trust EcoWatch

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 Lake Forest?

Special Assessment for Solar Energy Systems

Incentive Type:
Property Tax Incentive
Varies

ComEd - Energy Efficiency Program for Residential

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Appliances
Air Purifier: $50
Clothes Washer: $50
Dehumidifier: $50
Electric Clothes Dryer: $50
Freezer: $50
Refrigerator: $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
Miscellaneous
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

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 designed to make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives to help people install solar panels on their homes. Various kinds of incentives, including discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits, might be available to you. Some incentives may be handled by the state of Illinois, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while other incentives are federal. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:

  • Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions may come in two forms. First, there is sales tax exemption, which is applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to exclude the added value of your solar system when calculating property tax for your house.
  • Rebates: Some solar companies will help you claim a rebate, or partial refund of your purchase, for your solar system. States or counties will also sometimes offer limited-time rebates. If you receive a rebate, that amount will usually come off the total price before any tax credits are calculated.
  • Tax Credits: Tax credits lower, dollar-for-dollar, how much income tax you owe the federal government. Tax credits differ from tax deductions.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): In most cases, solar systems that produce more than a specified (generally small) amount of electricity qualify for SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and performance-based incentives in general are typically provided by your state government. When you receive an SREC, you can sell it to your utility company or another buyer, and this is usually considered part of your taxable income.
  • Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get once your solar panels are up and running. If you have a net metering agreement in place with your Lake Forest utility company, they will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your monthly utility bill. In some locations, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in others you might receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.

Federal Solar Incentives

When people think of solar incentives, federal incentives may be the first thing that comes to mind. You might have 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 the total cost of installing solar panels, including the panels themselves as well as labor, equipment and accessories. You can claim this credit for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own and that is located in the United States. From its original value of 30% of the total cost, the credit has fluctuated slightly between 26-30%, and you may qualify for varying percentages depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum claim amount.

Wondering how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Get in touch with your local Lake Forest solar panel installation expert to get more information.

In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act made revisions to the ITC, now referred to as the Clean Energy Credit. The new Clean Energy Credit extends until 2035. Homeowners are now eligible for a 30% credit for solar systems installed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032. This new credit will then see a slight annual decrease until it expires. Starting in 2023, the expansion will also make claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before.

Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Lake Forest solar panel company can answer your questions and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit may apply to you.

State & Local Solar Incentives

There are more than just federal solar incentives; rebates, tax credits and more are often offered at the state and local level. Certain incentives are ongoing, while others are offered for only a limited time. These local incentives might come from the Illinois government, or from your specific county or municipality.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Lake Forest

Solar incentives can be offered by the federal government, the Illinois government or your local utility company. The growing number of available solar incentives has facilitated the nationwide growth of solar energy use in the last 15 years. Your local Lake Forest solar panel installation expert can give you more information about which incentives you can apply for, and get you started on the path to switching to renewable energy today.

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 Lake Forest, IL Solar Incentives FAQs

How can I find out if I qualify for certain solar incentives?

Generally, solar incentives apply to:

  1. a new solar system
  2. installed on property that you own
  3. within the U.S.
  4. within the date range specified by a particular incentive.

Specific incentives, including those run by the Illinois government or by your county/municipality, sometimes have additional qualifications. Get in touch with your local Lake Forest solar installer to learn more about what incentives your project will qualify for.

If I installed solar panels on my house a few years ago, can I still claim incentives?

An excellent idea would be to talk to someone from the company that installed your solar panels — or speak to a local Lake Forest solar installer — to better understand which incentives you may qualify for. If your system was installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the recently increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Solar panels installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.

Who installs solar panels near me?

To learn about the top solar panel installation companies near you, take a look at our article on Lake Forest's top solar panel companies.

How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?

The federal solar tax credit, formerly known as the ITC and now titled the Clean Energy Credit, is slated to end on January 1, 2035. The current 30% credit will end in 2032, replaced by a 26% credit in 2033 and a 22% credit in 2034.

Can I use a combination of solar and another type of renewable energy to power my home?

Yes, you can use 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. You should discuss your plan with your local Lake Forest solar installation expert, to make sure you know what you'll need and what kinds 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.

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