With community solar, you can subscribe to a share of a solar farm near you. If you have an electric bill, you can support renewables without installing anything on your property – and save money!Illinois is one of the most recent states to adopt community solar, having done so with the passing of the Future Energy Jobs Act in late 2016. Since then, the market has grown substantially thanks to the Illinois Shines program, which provides financial incentives for community solar projects. Though later to the game than other Midwestern states (looking at you, Minnesota), IL is well-positioned to become one of the top states for community solar in the U.S.
Savings differ from program to program, and also vary by month. On average, most community solar subscribers in Illinois receive a 5-10% discount off of traditional electricity costs over the course of a year.
Electricity bill savings differ from program to program, and also vary by month. On average, most community solar farm subscribers receive a discount between 5-10% off of traditional electricity costs over the course of a year.
After subscribing to a community solar program, you will start receiving two separate bills: you’ll continue receiving a monthly bill from your utility company, but this bill will include any applicable credits from the community solar farm. You will also receive a separate bill from your community solar provider for the cost of your share or subscription.
Sign up or membership fees vary depending on the project, provider, and payment model – many community solar providers offer $0-down subscription options, while others may charge a small, initial sign-up fee to get you up and running.
It depends – if you’re moving to a location that’s still in the same electricity service territory as your current home, you may be able to transfer your community solar subscription to your new address. However, if you’re moving further away, you may need to cancel your subscription or transfer your contract to another utility customer (whether that be the new homeowners or someone else in the project’s service territory). Cancellation and transfer terms and applicable fees vary by project and provider, so confirm these policies with your provider prior to signing up.
Before signing a contract with a community solar provider, it’s important to compare estimated savings, cancellation terms, project location, payment model, subscription fees, and more. Using the Community Solar Marketplace, you can compare multiple local options and find the best project for you.
Community solar programs help support local renewable energy jobs and project development in Illinois, connecting you directly to clean energy projects in your community.
You can save 5-10% off of your annual electricity costs with community solar.
Unlike rooftop solar, you don’t need to own your property to take advantage of community solar (you just need an electric bill!)
Many community solar farms have no subscription fee and are easy to opt-out of. Plus, you don’t need to install or maintain any equipment on your property.
There are 5 community solar developers offering 11 active projects in Illinois.
Which option is right for you?
Here’s some of the main differences to keep in mind as you’re deciding between community and rooftop solar: