CHICAGO – As part of its commitment to driving the clean energy future Illinois’ consumers want, ComEd today announced a new rebate proposal designed to jumpstart solar in Illinois. The proposal, which is part of a series of solar initiatives ComEd supports, will help reduce the up-front costs of installing solar panels for both residential and business customers. ComEd was joined in its announcement by leaders of the Chicago Federation of Labor, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 134 and Local 15, Millennium Solar, Englewood Blue, the Chatham Business Association, and several local faith communities.
ComEd and its partners are seeking to make solar an increasingly viable and accessible option for Illinois consumers who want to “go green,” setting the foundation for the growth of smart, sustainable solar in the state. Through the proposed solar rebate, ComEd would provide a rebate of $1,000 per KW of installed solar capacity to residential customers and $500 per KW to commercial and industrial customers.
The solar rebate is part of a larger policy package that includes initiatives aimed at increasing access to, and shared benefits from, solar energy – including equitable pricing policies, access to community solar, and lower up-front costs for consumers desiring to install solar devices. The solar policy package, which will require approval from the Illinois General Assembly or Illinois regulators, is supported by solar companies like Universal Solar – a company which manufactures panels and creates jobs in Illinois.
“We are proud to announce this innovative solar rebate proposal, which would help reduce barriers to solar ownership even as we work to adjust net-metering policies to ensure that some customers don’t have to pay more for the choices of other customers,” said Fidel Marquez, ComEd’s Senior Vice President of Government and External Affairs. “We are committed to the communities we serve, and this is a pioneering part of a smart solar policy that will benefit our customers and the environment for years to come.”
As part of ComEd’s larger focus on getting solar right in Illinois, the solar rebate proposal and comprehensive policy package will serve to set the policy stage for the smart, sustainable growth of solar.
“The solar rebates will greatly benefit residents and businesses in our communities, and will position Illinois as a leader in how to incorporate solar in a smart and responsible way,” said Reverend Walter Turner, New Spiritual Light Missionary Baptist Church. “ComEd is committed to meeting the needs of our communities, and we’re glad to see their leadership in ensuring solar incentives and policies benefit all of us, not just some.”
Labor leaders in attendance heralded ComEd’s announcement as important for Illinois’ green economy. “ComEd’s proposed solutions to help support the growth of solar hold great promise for good-paying jobs in Illinois,” said Jorge Ramirez, President of the Chicago Federation of Labor. “We look forward to working on the surge of solar panel installations we anticipate ComEd’s policies would make spur.”
Today’s announcement builds on the energy company’s existing solar initiatives – from receiving DoE SunShot Initiative funding to incorporate solar in the Bronzeville microgrid, to partnering with Cook County on its Solar Market Pathways project on community solar. The company is also currently developing a first of its kind engineering tool to seamlessly guide solar integration into the energy grid.
In addition, ComEd has begun STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education on solar. In February, ComEd partnered with local community organizations to launch a new STEM Program in honor of Black History Month. This “Solar Spotlight” program saw local African American high school students to participate in an innovative, two-day solar immersion experience that included the installation of solar-powered lights in their communities.
In attendance at today’s event was Christopher Williams, President of Millennium Solar – which helped run the first Solar Spotlight program – who stated that, “We are thrilled to have partnered with ComEd as it launched such an innovative solar education program. ComEd is leaning forward when it comes to embracing solar, and we’re proud to be a part of that.”