The Illinois Adjustable Block Program has great news for homeowners currently using or looking into solar power. With the passing of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, or CEJA, homeowners everywhere are looking to take advantage of the opportunities available. A few goals of this legislation is to obliterate carbon pollution, create more job and training opportunities in the clean energy workforce, as well as make clean energy more affordable and accessible. An interesting aspect of CEJA is the Adjustable Block Program, which is great for Illinois residents looking to take advantage of affordable solar and equitable jobs.
And who can blame them? The sun is always shining brightly when you’ve got a dazzling set of solar panels generating clean, affordable energy for your home. Through this legislation, the local government is providing access to solar panels. Illinois homeowners will definitely reap the benefits for years to come. Along with a host of environmental benefits, people are learning that Illinois solar can be just as accessible as it is valuable.
We’ll get into the Illinois Adjustable Block Program later. First, let’s take a look at how CEJA is changing the landscape for solar energy.
The Illinois Climate and Equitable Jobs Act
CEJA is for sure a trailblazer policy that will aid the state of Illinois in its goal to run on 100% renewable energy by 2050. This ambitious, yet accomplishable goal will help Illinois join other states, like California and New Mexico, who have required a carbon-free power sector. Take a look at some of the cities that had the same clean energy idea in mind.
Currently, Illinois is a part of the 23 U.S. states that have adopted 100% carbon-free electricity goals. But this is just the beginning.
The 3 Heavy Hitters for Clean Energy
For Illinois, this massive commitment to clean energy and decarbonization means that CEJA has several bold changes in store for Illinois residents. Here are a few notable ones:
- Renewable Portfolio Standard Program – Did someone say a solar boost? Funding for this program is doubled in the finalized version of CEJA that will be implemented. Through this program, the Illinois Power Authority must reach 40% renewable energy by 2030 and 50% by 2040. This offers great Illinois solar panel incentives for homeowners, but more on that later. CEJA also requires that utility-scale wind and solar projects have project labor agreements that secure wages for all non-residential wind and solar projects.
- Decarbonization Initiatives – CEJA is making strides to stamp out fossil fuels in the Illinois power sector. According to the report from BOMA Chicago, “Municipal coal plants (CWLP and Prairie State Generating Campus) must reduce emissions by 45 percent by 2035. If they miss that goal, they have three more years to hit the target or close one of their generating plants. All private-fired coal and oil-fired electric generating units must be closed by January 1, 2030. In addition to this, all privately owned coal and oil-fired electric generating units must be closed by 2030.” Since Illinois is making such an ambitious request, the legislation is providing means to support the transition from coal to solar.
- Workforce Expansion – An expansion of renewable energy generation means a nice increase in the necessary workforce to make this transition not only possible, but sustainable. The Energy Transition Assistance Fund and the Clean Jobs Workforce Network Hubs Program will provide resources for education and the foundation for a career in clean energy.
For more information, check out BOOM Chicago’s succinct guide to everything CEJA. Or, save yourself the hassle and contact one of our Solar Energy Specialist’s today!
The 3 Knockout Illinois Solar Panel Incentives
Clearly, the innovative CEJA is taking the Illinois power infrastructure into a whole new world. But there’s also quite a compelling component that has the solar world excited for development. This legislation contains many wins for renewable energy, including new incentives for residential, community, and commercial solar projects.
Let’s take a look at the Adjustable Block Program and a few other Illinois solar panel incentives.
#1 The Illinois Adjustable Block Program
Illinois will truly be shining with one of the sunniest aspects of the CEJA yet. The Adjustable Block Program, also known as Illinois Shines, is managed by the Illinois Power Agency. It offers some of the best Illinois solar incentives for residents through the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for distributed solar generation. This is a state-administered incentive program that fosters new solar energy generation and makes it easier for more people to use solar energy.
A block is a predetermined amount of program capacity available for a specific project. Funding and cost will be determined at a set price for RECs. This system is intended to transition from one price level to another based on the market response. Ultimately, this should result in a rapid progression to lower prices, making solar systems affordable and more accessible.
Through this initiative, homeowners can earn Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) their home solar system produces. It also provides a set price for the purchase of each SREC through 15-year contracts from qualifying solar array projects.
#2 Illinois Solar for All
The key to affordable and accessible solar energy. The Illinois Solar for All Program has seen a funding increase to $50 million through CEJA. Instrumental in the development of solar projects in low-income residential neighborhoods, this program makes solar energy more accessible to communities that might not have had access to it. It supports community solar initiatives and funds residential distributed generation projects for Illinois homeowners who might not have otherwise afforded the transition.
Illinois Solar for All facilitates greater access to clean energy through equitable participation to the following communities:
- Income-eligible homeowners and renters
- Non-profit organizations
- Public facilities that serve disenfranchised communities
- Environmental justice initiatives
Another perk of participation is that eligible participants will have no costs upfront. Ongoing expenses will also not exceed 50% of the value of the energy generated from the solar system.
Read about all the new advancements headed your way from this program.
Wondering about what net metering programs are in Illinois? Net metering is based on how much energy your solar system produces, how much your home consumes, and credits you for the excess generation on your utility bill. It’s great to understand how to read your electricity bill to understand how much you can really save when you use solar energy to power your home.
Eligible solar homeowners can earn a big rebate through CEJA. It requires that utility companies pay a rebate of $300 per kilowatt (kW) of installed capacity for net metered projects and $250 per kW of installed capacity for community solar projects. Talk about a pushback!
What the Illinois Solar Program Could Mean for You
Of course, there’s more to the dynamic developments for solar energy in Illinois. But the CEJA is making great strides for solar energy Illinois homeowners can’t do without! Ideally, the features of these programs will support the development of new photovoltaic distributed generation and community solar projects in Illinois.
Participating in Illinois Shines through your system’s solar generation means your home plays a vital role in helping Illinois exceed its renewable energy goals. If you want to learn more about the CEJA Adjustable Block Program, contact one of our knowledgeable Solar Energy Specialists today!Schedule Your Free Solar Consultation