Skip Navigation

The U.S. Department of Energy and the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center are excited to announce that a new, modernized DSIRE is under construction. The new version of DSIRE will offer significant improvements over the current version, including expanded data accessibility and an array of new tools for site users. The new DSIRE site will be available in December 2014. Staff are currently working hard on the new version of DSIRE but are also maintaining the content of the current version of DSIRE. Thank you for your continued support and patience during this transition. We hope you are as excited for December as we are!

US Department Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
IREC North Carolina Solar Center
Home Glossary Links FAQs Contact About Twitter    Facebook


Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

Printable Version
Net Metering   

Last DSIRE Review: 08/27/2014
Program Overview:
State: Illinois
Incentive Type: Net Metering
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Anaerobic Digestion, Small Hydroelectric, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels, Microturbines
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, State Government, Fed. Government, Agricultural, Institutional
Applicable Utilities:Investor-owned utilities, alternative retail electric suppliers
System Capacity Limit:Current rules: 40 kW
New rules per SB 1652/HB 3036: 2 MW
Aggregate Capacity Limit:Current rules: 1% of utility's peak demand in previous year
New rules per SB 1652/HB 3036: 5% of utility's peak demand in previous year
Net Excess Generation:Current rules: Credited to customer's next bill at retail rate; granted to utility at end of 12-month billing cycle
New rules per SB 1652/HB 3036: Only non-competitive customer. Non-hourly customers are credited on next bill at retail rate; granted to utility at end of 12-month billing cycle. Hourly customers receive energy credit and delivery service credit based on the hourly rate.
REC Ownership:Customer owns RECs
Meter Aggregation:Allowed
Web Site:
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
ยง 220 ILCS 5/16-107.5
Authority 2:
Date Effective:
83 Ill. Adm. Code, Part 465
Authority 3:
Date Enacted:
S.B. 1652
Authority 4:
Date Enacted:
H.B. 3036
Authority 5:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
S.B. 3811

NOTE: Legislation enacted in 2011 and 2012 (S.B. 1652, H.B. 3036, and S.B. 3811) has changed several aspects of net metering in Illinois. For customers in competitive classes as of July 1, 2011, the law prescribes a dual metering and bill crediting system which does not meet the definition of net metering as the term is generally defined. Click here for information regarding competitive classes, and here to find utility switching statistics. The law also increases the system capacity limit to 2 MW and the aggregate capacity limit to 5%. Additionally, agricultural residues, untreated and unadulterated wood waste, landscape trimmings, and livestock manure are added to the list of eligible resources. More information will be posted here once the ICC develops new rules.

Illinois enacted legislation in August 2007 (S.B. 680) requiring investor-owned utilities in Illinois to begin offering net metering by April 1, 2008. In May 2008, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) adopted final rules for net metering, effective May 15, 2008. While Illinois's investor-owned utilities and alternative retail electricity suppliers must offer net metering, the state's municipal utilities and electric cooperatives are not required to do so.

Eligibility and Availability 

In Illinois, net metering is available to electric customers that generate electricity using solar energy, wind energy, dedicated energy crops, anaerobic digestion of livestock or food processing waste, hydropower, and fuel cells and microturbines powered by renewable fuels. Systems up to 40 kilowatts (kW) in capacity that are intended primarily to offset the customer's own electrical requirements are eligible.*

Each investor-owned utility and retail supplier must provide net metering and dual metering until the load of its net-metering customers and dual-metering customers equals 1% of the total peak demand supplied by the utility during the previous year. For residential customers, net metering is "typically" accomplished through use of a single, bi-directional meter. For non-residential customers, net metering is "typically" accomplished through the use of a dual meter. Dual metering is required for non-residential customers with systems greater than 40 kW but not greater than two megawatts (MW). The utility must provide the necessary metering equipment for systems up to 40 kW in capacity, while customers with systems greater than 40 kW but less than 2 MW must pay for the costs of installing necessary metering equipment. (Net metering and dual metering are not available to systems greater than 2 MW.) An electricity provider may choose to allow meter aggregation for community-owned wind, biomass, solar, or methane digesters, or other situations where multiple individual customers are served by the same renewable generating facility (such as an apartment building).

S.B. 1652 added a provision that requires all net-metered systems to be installed by a certified contractor. In March 2012, the ICC opened a docket (Case No. 12-0213) to determine the specific certification requirements

Net Excess Generation 
For systems up to 40 kW in capacity, any net excess generation (NEG) during a billing period is carried over as a kilowatt-hour (kWh) credit to the following billing period. At the end of an annualized period, any remaining NEG credits in the customer's account expire. Customers may select an annualized period that ends with last day of either their April or October billing period for this purpose.

For customers taking service under a time-of-use (TOU) tariff, any monthly consumption of electricity is calculated according to the terms of the contract or tariff to which the same customer would be assigned to or be eligible for if the customer was not a net-metering customer. When net-metering customers under TOU tariffs are net generators during any discrete TOU period, the net kilowatt-hours (kWh) produced are valued at the same price per kWh as the utility would charge for retail kWh sales during that same time of use period.

Credits for NEG may be used to offset other charges assessed by the electricity provider. In addition, all net-metering customers (and dual-metering customers) hold ownership and title to all renewable-energy credits (RECs) and greenhouse-gas credits associated with customer generation.

*Illinois allows dual metering for systems greater than 40 kW but not greater than 2 MW, although the customer must pay for the metering equipment, and non-residential customers must pay for "all taxes, fees and utility delivery charges" for the gross amount of electricity delivered by the utility. As an economic incentive, dual metering is generally less favorable to customers than net metering.

  Eric Schlaf
Illinois Commerce Commission
527 East Capitol
P.O. Box 19280
Springfield, IL 62794-9280
Phone: (217) 782-2743
Fax: (217) 782-1042
Web Site:
NCSU - home
Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.