Illinois Shines Makes the Future Brighter for Solar in Illinois

Newly-refunded SREC program makes 2022 look bright for solar

Illinois Shines is an exciting incentive program that is helping to make Illinois a leader in residential solar adoption, not just in the Midwest region, but in the whole nation. If you’re considering going solar in Illinois, you need to know about this program and how it can benefit you.

What is an SREC, and how can it save you money?

Also known as the Adjustable Block Program, Illinois Shines is a type of incentive known as a Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC). SRECs are a way of generating income from your home solar system. For each megawatt hour (MWh) of power your solar system generates, you generate an SREC, which can be sold to an approved vendor through the Illinois Shines Program for cash. Eligible new solar systems installed in 2022 under the Illinois Shines program will be eligible to accrue SRECs for 15 years.  

Illinois Shines is part of the state’s plan to hit its ambitious Renewable Portfolio Standard goal of producing 50% of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2040. Power produced by residential solar systems counts toward the goal. Utilities in Illinois are required to purchase SRECs to comply with the program and contribute to the state’s renewable energy goal. The money you make from selling the SRECs your system earns can add up to thousands of dollars over the 15-year eligibility window, helping you offset your utility bills and start profiting from your solar investment much faster.

It’s back!

The only downside of the Illinois Shines program is that it sets limits on participation, with “blocks” for certain amounts of generating capacity in different categories and for different utilities. Illinois Shines first opened in January 2019 and supported over 670 megawatts of new solar generation in Illinois, but quickly filled up. Under new legislation signed into law at the end of 2021, however, new “blocks” of capacity have been opened to Illinois homeowners. The return of Illinois Shines, combined with the state’s net metering policies for almost all residential customers, are creating a compelling financial case to go solar for more and more Illinois homeowners. 

Illinois Shines and Zenernet

Under Illinois Shines, homeowners have to apply to participate through an approved vendor. Zenernet has a partnership with approved vendor SRECTrade, which is a broker that helps solar-empowered homeowners in several states with SREC programs get the most return from selling the certificates generated by their systems to the utilities. This means that you don’t have to worry about dealing with SREC trading yourself when you go solar with Zenernet – we’ll set everything up so that all you have to do is wait to get paid.

Solar systems in states with SREC programs like Illinois Shines also must meet certain technical requirements so that power generation is accurately monitored. Zenernet works only with experienced, highly-trained  installers who understand the ins and outs of going solar under Illinois Shines and will ensure these requirements are satisfied.

Ready to learn more?

If you’re a homeowner in Illinois who wants to find out whether Illinois Shines can make solar make financial sense for you, schedule a chat with one of our expert energy consultants today – and follow us on social media so you don’t miss an update about solar news in Illinois. 

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