By Tyler Meder
There truly has never been a better time to go solar. From the federal tax incentives letting you write off 26% of your systems production value on your Federal Income Taxes, to solar panels themselves being at their lowest price in history. Not even to mention all the tax incentives and rebates offered at the state level!
What are SRECs?
SREC is an acronym that stands for Solar Renewable Energy Credit. One SREC is equal to 1,000 KWh (1 MWh).
The idea of an SREC or an SRECs system is that if you are a residential, Solar Energy producer, when you produce energy for your home, and excess energy that goes into either your solar battery storage, or back into the grid, you are also producing SRECs along the way. From there your utility will keep track of your SREC production.
Then there will be programs in place for you to "sell" your SRECs. In some places there are multiple options on how you can go about selling your credits, sometimes you can sell them as you make them, or sell them yearly or monthly. However, here in Illinois there is only one option which makes the program significantly more simple.
What will happen is, if you qualify for the program, you will receive an up front check, for 15 years of you solar system's SREC production. So for example : If your system was estimated to produce 10,000 KWh a year (10MWh) that is 10 SRECs per year, over 15 years that is 150 SRECs. 150 SRECs x the price of an SREC equals an upfront check for most likely over $10,000 in your pocket!
The exact pricing and rollout of the Illinois SRECs program is still subject to change though. The pricing of each SREC is based on multiple factors such as supply and the prices of other forms of energy. However, a number that is getting tossed around a lot is $72.97 per SREC, which would make the total of your 15 year rebate around $10,945.
Why is the SRECs program happening and why now?
In Illinois, lawmakers have agreed to have Illinois as a whole be 100% running on renewable energy by 2045. A significant portion of that agreement will be produced by residential Solar Energy producers. So because of this, some of Illinois' largest utility companies (ComEd) and some third party agencies such as the Illinois Power Agency (IPA) will buy SRECs from Solar producing homeowners, in order to offset their own energy use and production.
If the utility can buy and use SRECs, which is thousands of KWh of renewable energy, then it offsets their own non-renewable energy use and production, and helps move Illinois towards being completely renewable or at "Net-Zero" Carbon Emissions.
How much can this program really save me?
If you were to enroll in a monthly solar payment plan with us, whether it be the solar lease or the solar loan, with this new SRECs program and the existing 26% Federal Tax Credit, you could save half or more on your monthly solar payments.
What steps can I take now if I want to apply for this program?
You won't have to do much of anything! When you partner with us for your solar project we will submit the SRECs application on your behalf for all of our new customers! Once we do that if you are approved, most homeowners can expect to receive their Illinois solar incentives about 180 days after their system is installed.
This program is going to be huge for solar energy producers in Illinois and if solar was something you were considering, now would be the time to take the steps to making your dream of renewable, cheap energy a reality.
To schedule your free, no obligation, solar quote, reach out to us either online with the contact form on our homepage, or over the phone at 800-878-6316. An energy specialist would be happy to answer any final questions you may have at your appointment!
What is Illinois Shines? Illinois Shines is the brand name of the Adjustable Block Program, a state-administered program for new solar photovoltaic (“PV”) systems. The program provides payments in exchange for 15 years of Renewable Energy Credits (“RECs”) generated by new PV systems. These payments, made by Illinois utilities, vary depending on the system’s size and where it is located. Participating in Illinois Shines is the same thing as participating in the Adjustable Block Program. Download the brochure here.