Yesterday the Illinois Power Agency (IPA) announced the initial Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) prices large Illinois utilities—such as ComEd—must pay homeowners who install solar as part of the Illinois Shines program. These prices determine the financial incentives for home solar in Illinois. For a typical home, these amount to about 30% of the cost of a system.
SRECs are one of two types of financial incentives for residential solar in Illinois. Read more about how these incentives work here.
Initial Illinois SREC Prices
Illinois law requires ComEd and other large utilities to purchase SRECs at prices set by the IPA. The IPA’s goal is to set the prices at a level that allows the state to meets its legislated target of 25% renewable energy by 2025.
The initial prices for most of northern Illinois are:
- Small systems: $72.97 per SREC (applies to systems smaller than 10 kilowatts AC)
- Large systems: $73.23 per SREC (applies to systems between 10 and 25 kilowatts AC)
These prices will decline in “blocks” over time as more-and-more homeowners go solar.
The Basics and Value of Illinois SRECs
When a homeowner installs rooftop solar in Illinois, his or her system technically produces both electricity and SRECs. SRECs represent the “renewableness” of solar energy production. One SREC represents the renewable attributes of one megawatt-hour (MWh) of solar energy production.
For “small” systems (the category most residential systems fall in), utilities must purchase the rights to 15 years of SRECs up-front. For large systems, utilities purchase the rights to the 15 years of SRECs over four years.
The Future of SREC Prices
While the Illinois SREC price for small systems is $72.97 today, it will likely decline in the future. The IPA has said it expects the prices to decline 4% with each block, but it may adjust that based on market conditions. For the part of northern Illinois covered by ComEd, the initial block is 52 MW, or the equivalent of about 8,700 residential solar systems.
But don’t worry—when you decide to go solar with Certasun, we make a reservation and lock in your SREC price so you can count on your incentive payment.
If you want to take advantage of this incentive program, contact us for a completely free consultation!