DeSIRE Incentive Information
Interest in improving the energy efficiency of homes and businesses and in installing renewable energy systems is growing, but cost can be a barrier. Fortunately, there is a comprehensive resource that aggregates information about federal, state, local and utility incentives and policies for renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements.

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) is an online searchable database that has been operated by North Carolina State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) since 1995 and is funded by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). 

DSIRE, pronounced “desire,” does a great job of maintaining the database and keeping information current. They provide the relevant details for each incentive, plus a summary, link to the original source, and contact information if you have additional questions.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity offers a Solar and Wind Energy Rebate Program that rebates between 25% and 40% for solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, and small wind systems, up to a maximum of $10,000.  This program does have system size, equipment, and installation requirements and property owners are encouraged to apply before making a financial commitment. Click here for details.

There is also a Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit of 30% for solar, wind, geothermal, and fuel cells. Click here for details. Take advantage of all of these savings now before they disappear!

Visit DSIRE at

The Illinois Solar Energy Association offers the Renewable Energy Credit Aggregation Program (RECAP) to Illinois solar PV system owners, providing them with the opportunity to receive payment for their SRECs. Before the RECAP program was implemented, only large energy producers had the ability to sell their SRECs. The program was created in 2008 to provide an additional revenue stream for small PV system owners and to support Illinois solar development. 

RECAP is a partnership with Community Energy, Inc (CEI). ISEA members SREC’s are used to supply the solar portion of the award winning City of Naperville Renewable Energy Program. This partnership is the first market example of SREC transactions within Illinois.

What is a Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC)
Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems have two outputs - electricity and solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs). For every 1000 kWh (1 MWh) of solar electricity generated, one SREC is also issued. SRECs are tradable, non-tangible pollution abatement rights.

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