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.
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By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated May 04, 2023
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Lake Forest?
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 are designed to make renewable energy usage more affordable through financial incentives for those who install solar panels on their homes. Different kinds of incentives, like cash back, discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill, might be available to you. Certain incentives may be offered by the state of Illinois, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while other incentives are federal. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Rebates: A solar 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 county or your state. The rebates are usually applied before calculating tax credits.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much in taxes you owe the government.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for cash that is generally considered part of your taxable income. Typically, a certain (small) threshold of energy production must be met before your solar system qualifies for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. These kinds of incentives are typically handled at the state level.
- Net Metering: You may be able to sign a net metering contract with your Lake Forest utility company, that may apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity that is generated by your solar panels. Your utility company will then deduct this value from your monthly utility bill.
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions can come in one of two forms. The first is sales tax exemption, applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to ignore the added value of your solar system when paying property tax on your home.
Federal Solar Incentives
When thinking about solar incentives, you likely think of federal incentives first. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is probably the best-known federal solar incentive. The ITC provides a tax credit for a set percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC can be credited towards the value of a solar system installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar system has to have been installed on a property you own after January 1, 2006 for you to be eligible for the credit. Originally, the ITC covered 30% of all installation costs (panels, labor, equipment and accessories), although this amount has fluctuated slightly over the last few 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 amount you can claim.
Reaching out to your local Lake Forest solar panel installation expert is the best way to learn more about how the ITC could apply to you.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, expanded and extended the ITC (as well as retitling it the Clean Energy Credit). For solar systems installed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032, homeowners can receive a credit for 30% of the total cost. This percentage will decrease annually after 2032 until the Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. The program expansion also makes claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before, starting in 2023.
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
Some solar incentives may be provided by state and local governments. Similar to federal incentives, these might include tax credits, rebates and more. Incentives might be provided by your county or municipality, or by the state of Illinois. Some incentives may be available for only a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Lake Forest
Solar incentives might be provided by your local utlity company, the Illinois government or the federal government. The large number of available incentives has facilitated the nationwide growth of solar energy use in the last 15 years. When you're ready to switch over to solar energy, talking to your local Lake Forest solar panel installation expert is an excellent place to start.
Best Solar Financing
Blue Raven Solar
- Industry-leading in-house financing
- Competitive pricing
- Excellent reputation
- Doesn't offer solar batteries
Best Warranty Coverage
- Industry-leading warranty coverage
- Expansive service area
- Some reported communication issues
- No leases or PPAs
EcoWatch's Lake Forest, IL Solar Incentives FAQs
How much will a solar system save me annually on my electric bill in Lake Forest?
Generally, Lake Forest homeowners who install solar panels save approximately $715.19 per year, or approximately $13,588.54 over 20 years after making the switch.
What are the environmental benefits of switching to solar energy?
Solar energy is a renewable energy source — by switching where you get your energy, you can help lessen the strain on our planet's resources. A solar system can also lower your home's CO2 emissions by 450 pounds yearly, or around 9,000 pounds in 20 years.
When does the federal solar tax credit end?
The Clean Energy Credit (previously called the federal solar tax credit, or the ITC), is scheduled to end on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.
If I switch my appliances out for ones that can use solar energy, are there credits I can claim?
The new Inflation Reduction Act creates a variety of new financial incentives to encourage you to make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details regarding these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.
Can I apply for incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
Yes, you can receive both rebates and tax credits towards the cost of solar panels. Depending on which incentives you are claiming, they may apply in a different order. Make sure that you speak with your solar installer or a local tax professional to verify that you are claiming the correct incentives and that you're getting the most money you can.
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.