An Environmentally Friendly Way To Lower Energy Bills
Tired of using coal powered electricity? Want to see your electric meter run backward?
Install Solar Panels
Solar panels convert sunlight to energy using photovoltaic cells that generate electrons when exposed to the sun. These electrons produce direct current (DC) electricity and converted to alternate current (AC), which can be used to power appliances, electric vehicles, or be stored in batteries.
Solar panels significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially in areas that rely heavily on coal, like Naperville, where Accelerate Climate Solutions is located. Solar owners enjoy reduced electricity bills and energy independence. The policy of "net metering" available to anyone in Illinois with solar panels connected to the local electricity grid, means that as an owner of rooftop solar, when you produce more electricity than you can use, the electric utility pays you for the excess.
This page provides resources for people wanting to install and own their own solar array, but there are other options, depending on where you live. For example, some ComEd customers have the ability to choose their source of electricity, allowing you to opt for solar, wind, hydro, or a mix. Another option is a power purchase agreement. In this scenario, a third party owns the solar array on your house or building, and you receive a reduced electricity rate. (PPAs are not currently allowed in Naperville). Finally, several companies offer lease agreements, in which a third-party owns the panels, and the property owner pays a monthly fee to access the energy (Forbes). Leases save on up-front costs, but do not provide the same return on investment as owning.
Coming soon, more Green Banks will be setup around the country to provide buyers will low-interest loans for adding renewable energy and efficiency. The Department of Energy has a list of Green Banks currently operating.
How Much Can You SAVE?
Inflation Reduction Act:
Qualified home owners and businesses are eligible for a 30% tax credit against the cost of their system. The Rewiring America Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) Calculator is a great resource to learn how much you can save on solar and other tech that will reduce your carbon impact.
Tax-exempt organizations can receive 30% direct pay. Additional incentives are available if the system meets certain sourcing and labor requirements. Check out this great explainer video and webpage from Solar States.
Naperville Solar Installation Rebates through the Naperville Renewable Energy Program
The City of Naperville Electric Utility is offering incentives from $1,000 to $3,000 to Naperville Electric Customers for residential solar energy systems installed.
Commercial customers can receive a $50,000 maximum cost reimbursement award, up to 50% of the applicant’s total cost of the energy improvement project.
Sell your Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to save more on your installation costs
Residential: REC’s are a state incentive, whose value is equal to the solar energy you produce over 15 years times the price set by the Illinois Power Agency for REC’s. For your system, the value is 7.1 cents/kWh produced, which is paid in year one. Please note this is an incentive which is subject to tax. (Source: ComEd)
Commercial: REC’s are a state incentive, whose value is equal to the solar energy you produce over 15 years times the price set by the Illinois Power Agency for REC’s. For commercial customers, this is paid out over 5 years, and the REC value varies based on the size of the solar system. Please note this is an incentive which is subject to tax. (Source: ComEd)
Save even more by joining a solar group-buy:
A group-buy gets you a volume discount by combining the purchasing power of multiple homeowners and ensures you're using a trusted and vetted contractor.
Learn more from Solar Switch Chicagoland.
Some low-income households can install solar panels for little to no upfront cost.
Total savings is expected to be around two-thirds the cost of the whole system, and even more if you are income-qualified for ILSFA. Contact Accelerate Climate Solutions to help you navigate these incentives!
MoneyGeek has a summary of the cost savings you can get with a solar system, including return on investment and payback time.
Participating in other incentive programs, e.g., the Naperville Renewable Energy Program or selling your Renewable Energy Credits can get you a quicker and larger return.
See if your roof is right for solar and how much you can save using Google Project Sun Roof.
Learn More about IL Solar for All (ILSFA)
Learn all the ways you can save by reducing your carbon footprint by using the Rewiring America Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) Calculator
ComEd provides a nice summary of tax credits and renewable energy credits for solar.