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

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

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 Waterloo 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 Waterloo?

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 designed to encourage homeowners to make the switch to renewable energy by providing financial incentives that lower the burden of solar panel installation and use. Solar incentives could include cash back, upfront discounts or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, some by the Illinois government and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. 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 at the time you purchase your solar panels. The second is property tax exemption. This allows you to ignore the value added by your solar system when paying property tax on your house.
  • 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. Typically, there is a small threshold of energy production to meet before your solar system can earn SRECs or other performance-based incentives. These kinds of incentives are typically handled at the state level.
  • Rebates: Your solar installer might help you claim a rebate, or partial refund of your purchase, for your solar panels. Counties or states will also sometimes offer limited-time rebates. If you receive a rebate, that amount will usually be deducted from your total price before tax credits are calculated.
  • Net Metering: Net metering factors in after your solar system is up and running. If you have a net metering agreement with your Waterloo utility company, they will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your utility bill each month. In some places, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other places you may be refunded 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.

Federal Solar Incentives

When thinking about solar incentives, you probably think of federal incentives first. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is probably the most commonly known federal solar incentive. The ITC offers a tax credit for a predetermined percentage of the cost of your solar system.

The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and allows you to deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, equipment, accessories and labor. This credit can be claimed on solar panels installed on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. The original claim amount was 30% of the total cost, although depending on when the project was completed, your credit may range from 26-30%. There is no maximum amount you can claim.

Speaking with your local Waterloo solar panel installation expert is the best way to learn more about how the ITC applies to you.

In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act laid out new provisions for the ITC, now titled the Clean Energy Credit. The new Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. American homeowners are now eligible for a 30% credit for solar systems that began installation after January 1, 2022 and are completed by the end of 2032. The credit will then decrease annually until it expires. The expansion also makes claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before, beginning in 2023.

Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Waterloo solar panel installation expert is the best person to answer your questions regarding the new Clean Energy Credit and how it applies to you.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Rebates, tax credits and more might be claimed at multiple levels. On top of federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones as well. These incentives — which may be provided by the state of Illinois, or by your county or municipality — may be offered for only a limited time, or on an ongoing basis.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Waterloo

You can apply for and receive solar incentives from the federal government and the Illinois government, as well as from your local utility company. The increased availability of solar initiatives in the past 15 years has helped greatly increase nationwide adoption of solar energy. We suggest talking to your local Waterloo solar installation company to learn more about these incentives and to make sure that you're getting the largest number possible for your solar system.

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 Waterloo, IL Solar Incentives FAQs

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

It's best to speak with your local Waterloo solar installer for a better understanding of which incentives your project may qualify for. Typically, solar incentives apply to new solar panel systems installed on a property you own (in the U.S.) within a specified date range. Some incentives, like those offered by the government of Illinois, might have other requirements.

My home already has solar panels installed. Does my system qualify for any incentives?

An excellent idea would be to talk to the company that installed your solar system — or call a local Waterloo solar installer — to better understand which incentives you might 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. Systems installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.

What are some environmental benefits of installing solar panels on my home?

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

When does the federal solar tax credit end?

The federal solar tax credit, previously called the ITC and now called the Clean Energy Credit, is set 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 claim incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?

Yes, you can claim 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. Be sure to talk to your solar installer or a local tax professional to ensure 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.

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