Solar panel installations are on the rise as solar produces around 1% of electricity generated around the globe. That number is up to 1.6% in the United States. DNV GL released its 2018 Energy Transition Outlook, which predicts that the reach of solar electricity could expand by 65 times in the coming years. That would place it as one of the biggest energy sources in the world.
There’s no denying the power and potential of renewable solar. Despite the promising outlook, there are still many who aren’t ready to take the next step. One of the primary
concerns is cost. While solar can save people in Chicago a lot of money on utility bills, there is an initial investment that must be made first.
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Solar Panel Costs Are Lower Than Ever
Anyone who considered installing a solar system over a decade or two ago may have been put off by the price. Years back, a new installation was very expensive. Just 10
years ago, the price was around $8.50 per watt. Today, it is down to as little as $2.98 per watt. That’s over a 60% decrease in one decade.
The average installation cost for a 6 kW residential solar system was at $51,000 10 years ago. Now, you can install a system of the same size for under $18,000. There are indications that the prices may continue to go down, making solar even more accessible.
Those quotes are based on the total cost of a home solar installation. They may still seem expensive, especially for a Chicago household with limited income or small business that has few resources. It is possible to install for even less with solar rebates and incentives.
Chicago Solar Rebates and Incentives
The less you pay for your solar panels, the sooner you will begin reaping the financial rewards of having them installed. Illinois ranks 33rd in solar growth. A 2017 U.S. Solar Market Insight Report found that the state saw a 13.5 megawatt capacity increase.
The current average cost of solar panels in Chicago is $3.46 per watt for a 6 kW system. That comes to a total installation cost of $20,757. You can lower it further by
taking advantage of Federal solar credits, which could knock the total down to
Before you pay for a new solar installation, make sure you know about all the ways that you can lower the total cost. This will help ease the initial financial burden and give you the best value possible out of your renewable energy investment.
- Federal Investment Tax Credit – The Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) encourages new installations by giving residents a tax credit that’s equal to 30% of the installation cost. This only applies to systems that are paid for with cash or a solar loan. There are income requirements as well, so make sure you check out the current guidelines. You can also contact MOXIE to learn more about eligibility.
- Illinois Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) – Illinois operates under a renewable portfolio standard. That means that the state is working towards generating 25% of its power from renewable resources by 2025. As an incentive, the state awards one Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) per megawatt hour your system produces.
- ComEd Rebates for Commercial Systems – ComEd is one of Illinois’ largest utility providers. They offer rebates for industrial and commercial customers. If you plan to power your business with renewable energy, you could lower out-of-pocket costs. Qualifying ComEd commercial customers can receive $250 per kW rebate when using a solar system with a 2,000 kW capacity or less.
- Net Metering in Chicago – Illinois started its net metering program in April of 2008. Eligible renewable generators of 40 kW or less earn a one-to-one retail rate credit. These credits can be carried over each month, so there’s potential to earn money by offsetting traditional utility costs. This won’t lower the cost of the installation, but it will help you make back the money spent faster.
Am I Eligible for Solar Rebates?
There are several ways you can lower the initial cost of your solar installation and earn more through continued use of the system. It can be difficult to know the current guidelines and options without paying close attention to the industry.
A professional can guide you to the information you need before you buy solar. MOXIE’s experts are here to help you navigate the process. We will show you which rebates and incentives you are eligible for and how to use them. We welcome your questions and provide advice based on accurate, relevant information. MOXIE is your premier Chicago Solar Installer. Contact us today to learn more about how to lower your solar installation costs in Chicago.