Commercial Solar Incentives in the Land of Lincoln

In Illinois, a state known for its commitment to renewable energy, there are several incentives available specifically designed to support and encourage the adoption of solar power systems by commercial entities. These incentives can significantly offset the initial investment and provide long-term financial benefits. In this guide, we will explore the key incentives available in Illinois, including net-metering, the REAP Grant, SRECs, utility-provided rebates, and PACE financing, to help you navigate the solar landscape in the Prairie State.


Commercial solar net-metering is a crucial incentive for businesses considering solar installations in Illinois. Under this program, excess electricity generated by your solar system is fed back into the grid, allowing you to earn credits on your utility bill. During periods of low solar production, such as at night, you can draw electricity from the grid using these credits. In Illinois, net-metering is required to be offered by public utilities, providing businesses with the opportunity to maximize their energy savings and enhance the return on investment for commercial solar projects. To participate, businesses must meet specific requirements and complete the application process with their utility company, adhering to the regulations set forth by the Illinois Commerce Commission.

REAP Grant (Renewable Energy for America Program)

The REAP Grant is a federal program available to Illinois businesses looking to invest in renewable energy systems, including solar. By taking advantage of this grant, Illinois businesses can offset a significant portion of their commercial solar project costs. The state of Illinois, through its commitment to clean energy, encourages businesses to utilize the REAP Grant to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy sources. Eligibility criteria for Illinois businesses include factors such as project size, location, and energy production. The application process requires thorough documentation, including an energy assessment and a comprehensive project plan. Successful applicants can receive substantial grant amounts, making the REAP Grant a valuable incentive for commercial solar projects in Illinois.

SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Credits)

SRECs play a vital role in Illinois’ solar incentive landscape. By generating solar energy, businesses in Illinois can earn SRECs, which represent the environmental attributes and benefits associated with clean energy production. These credits can be sold on the market, providing additional revenue streams for commercial solar system owners. In Illinois, the Adjustable Block Program is the mechanism through which SRECs are created and managed. Businesses must register their solar systems and receive certification to participate in the program, ensuring accurate measurement and verification of solar energy generation. The value of SRECs depends on market demand and the Illinois Power Agency’s procurement plans, making it a dynamic and valuable incentive for businesses looking to capitalize on their solar investments in Illinois.

Utility Provided Rebates

Illinois utility companies, such as ComEd and Ameren, actively support the adoption of solar energy by offering rebate programs specifically tailored to businesses and commercial solar installations. These utility-provided rebates offer upfront financial incentives to offset the initial costs of solar installations and make them more affordable for businesses. Eligibility criteria, rebate amounts, and program details may vary among the different utility companies operating in Illinois. It is essential for businesses to consult their respective utility company for specific program information. By leveraging utility rebates in Illinois, businesses can significantly reduce the payback period and enhance the financial viability of commercial solar projects.

PACE Financing (Property Assessed Clean Energy)

PACE financing is a financing option available to businesses in Illinois seeking to fund their solar projects through a property tax assessment. Illinois is one of the states that have embraced PACE financing as a means to accelerate the adoption of clean energy. It offers competitive interest rates, long repayment terms, and no upfront costs, making it an attractive choice for businesses looking for alternative financing methods. PACE financing is available for both new solar installations and system upgrades. Eligibility requirements and loan terms may vary across different jurisdictions within Illinois. By leveraging PACE financing, businesses in Illinois can enjoy the benefits of solar energy without the burden of upfront capital expenditures.

Genie Energy Ltd., (NYSE: GNE, GNEPRA) is a global energy solutions company. We supply customers in the US and Europe with electricity, including electricity generated from renewable resources and with natural gas. Through Genie Solar Energy and Prism Solar, we design, construct and install commercial solar energy solutions. We provide commercial and industrial clients with energy brokerage and consultative services through our Diversegy brand.