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Illinois ComEd Customers Should Go Solar in 2024 Because of Upcoming Net Metering Changes

ComEd is Changing its Net Metering Rates Starting 2025

ComEd customers in Illinois have arguably the best incentives in the entire country to switch to solar renewable energy. Illinois residents can get 60-70% of the cost of their home solar system paid for when they take advantage of the federal solar tax credit (ITC) along with the generous Illinois SHINES program.

Currently, ComEd offers arguably the best solar incentive for homeowners- 1:1 net metering. However, ComEd (Commonwealth Edison) customers in Illinois will not be able to take full advantage of this incentive after 2024. If you are a ComEd customer, consider installing a solar system before the end of 2024 to take full advantage of 1:1 net metering. This article will explain how 1:1 net metering works and how you can take full advantage of it before ComEd stops offing it in 2025.

What is 1:1 Net Metering?

Net metering is a service offered to homeowners with solar systems tied to the utility grid. During the day, when the sun is shining on your PV (photovoltaic) solar panels, your home’s solar system will generate more electricity than your home consumes.

For customers using net metering, the excess energy produced by your solar panels is sent into the grid through a bidirectional meter. The utility company buys this excess energy produced by the solar panels and the homeowner then banks “credits” that they can draw upon when the sun is not shining and their solar panels are not producing energy.

Net metering is a great deal for homeowners because the grid acts like a giant battery that the homeowner can draw from at no charge when they use the electricity “credits” that they have banked. Importantly, homeowners taking part in net metering don’t need to purchase additional battery storage for their home’s solar energy system, significantly reducing the overall cost.

One-to-one (1:1) net metering simply means that the utility company will buy your excess electricity for the same price you would pay the utility for the same amount of electricity.

For example, the average price of electricity in Illinois is 16.79¢ per kWh (kilowatt hour). Using this figure, homeowners using 1:1 net metering would receive a 16.79¢ credit for every kWh of excess energy sent into the grid. This equal exchange is very beneficial for homeowners generating solar electricity.

How Net Metering Applies For Daily Usage

It is easy to understand how net metering is beneficial for homeowners over a full 24 hour day by viewing this graph. The black line represents how much electricity the solar panels are generating when the sun is shining and the blue line represents how much electricity the home is consuming.

The dark orange shaded area is the excess energy the panels are producing when the sun is shining. This excess energy flows into the grid, building up credits for use when the sun is not producing electricity.

The blue shaded area of the graph represents the electricity your home needs to draw from the grid when the sun is not producing. You would use the credits you banked during the day when the sun was generating excess energy to pay for the electricity you draw from the grid. This would result in no payment to the utility company.

How Net Metering Applies For Yearly Usage

Illinois has long, cloudy, cold winters. The sun clearly will not produce as much solar electricity. However, net metering provides a solution to this problem.

Illinois solar owners will produce additional net metering credits from approximately April to September that they can draw from in the winter months.

Understanding ComEd’s Net Metering Billing and New Rates in 2025

ComEd has two primary charges for the electricity homeowners draw from the grid- the supply charge, and the delivery charge. The supply charge is the charge for the electricity production, for example, a power-plant. The delivery charge accounts for the costs associated with transmitting the power to your house.

Right now, ComEd customers using net metering enjoy getting credited with the same price as ComEd charges for both the supply charge and delivery charge. Starting from December 31st, 2024, ComEd will credit customers sending electricity back to the grid only for the supply charge. This will cause significantly lower net metering credits for customers will install their solar systems after January 1st, 2025.

To better understand how ComEd credits homeowners with net metering, here is a link to a sample net metering bill from ComEd’s website. This bill reflects ComEd’s current net metering policy, homeowners will not be credited for the delivery charges if their system starts operating after December 31st, 2025. Homeowners who currently use net metering with ComEd and homeowners who have their home solar system operating before the deadline will receive grandfathered status, allowing them to continue with 1:1 net metering for the life of their solar system.

You Can Get Grandfathered Into ComEd’s Net Metering If you Switch Before 2024

ComEd will grandfather you into their 1:1 net metering program if you get your solar installed and operating before the December 31st, 2024 deadline.

ComEd residents can get their home solar system operating in as little as 60 days after signing, but it can sometimes take longer for more complicated installations. This is mostly because of the permitting and inspection processes involved. However, if you want to get grand-fathered into their 1:1 net metering program before it ends in 2025, take this timeframe into consideration.

Free Home Energy Savings Report

If you are interested in finding out if your home qualifies to take advantage of ComEd’s current 1:1 net metering program before it ends at the start of 2025, simply set up a quick, friendly meeting with me to see if your home qualifies. You can book a quick, no-pressure, no-BS meeting here, or you can call or text me at (779) 379-1095 with and question you may have. -Brian Walker

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