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$26,000,000+ total discounts to Perch subscribers!

Community solar in Illinois

Perch helps thousands of renters, homeowners and businesses save money the easy way from solar—no rooftop panels required. Help your wallet, help the planet. Get matched to a local solar farm today!

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Meet community solar, the easy way to save without rooftop panels

Lower your electricity bills and help the environment. Let Perch match you to a local solar farm.


Topics covered
  • 1.
    About community solar
  • 2.
    How does community solar work in Illinois?
  • 3.
    Who can join community solar?
  • 4.
    Sign up and save
  • 5.
    Benefits of community solar
  • 6.
    Community solar FAQs
  • 7.
    Illinois' clean energy programs

About Perch

Perch was part of the team that pioneered community solar in Massachusetts in 2013. Now serving customers on over 110 solar projects across the country and growing, we're helping lower electricity costs for residents and businesses, one community at a time.

About community solar: A subscription that rewards you for helping the planet

Community solar is an exciting solar sharing option available in Illinois for those who can't install rooftop panels, but still want the cost-savings and eco benefits of solar power. With Perch, we'll match you to a local solar farm in your area. Your “subscription” enables that farm to pump more clean energy onto the grid. In return, you receive a discount on your own electricity cost in the form of credits. Perch handles all the legwork, you just sit back and enjoy the savings.

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How does community solar in Illinois work?

  • 1
    A local solar farm exists or a new one is built
  • 2
    It's connected to the utility and sends eco-friendly solar power to Illinois' electric grid
  • 3
    The energy production is translated into "solar credits," and as a subscriber of the farm you earn a share of those credits
  • 4
    Credits are applied directly to your electricity bill, reducing what you owe each month
  • No changes to your existing utility or electric provider
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Who can join community solar in Illinois?

If you pay an electric bill, you might be eligible for community solar! No rooftop panels required.

Residents

Owners and renters; houses, apartments, condos and all types of residences.

Businesses & franchises

Show your customers you’re eco conscious and improve your bottom line, too.

Universities & hospitals

Put your savings back into those who really matter.

Non-profits

You’re giving so much to your community, enjoy energy savings in return.

Commercial & industrial

The higher your energy bill, the higher potential for savings.

Municipalities

Reinvest your savings into local areas of need.

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Get started in 3 steps
  • 1

    Apply online

    Provide some basic info and a copy of your electric bill or utility account number—we’ll take it from there.

  • 2

    Get matched to a solar farm

    We’ll see if there’s an eligible solar farm in your area, and then analyze your energy usage so we can subscribe you to the right amount of solar shares based on your electricity needs—helping you save as much as possible.

  • 3

    Enjoy savings

    Thanks to government incentives, you’ll get a discount on your electricity cost in the form of credits—like a reward for supporting clean energy generation! Savings vary by state and solar project.

Benefits of community solar in Illinois

Benefits to subscribers

  • Save on your electricity costs

  • Available to renters and homeowners, businesses, institutions, municipal buildings and more

  • No rooftop panels required, no installation, no maintenance

  • You feel good about playing a part in transitioning to a cleaner, greener electric grid

Benefits to the state of Illinois and the planet

  • Fights global warming by enabling more eco-friendly clean energy generation

  • Helps lessen Illinois's dependence on harmful fossil fuel energy sources, lowering the state's overall carbon emissions

  • Community solar programs create local jobs, as every new solar farm requires workers

  • Boosts the local economy since community solar projects and the jobs they create directly serve the communities they're in

Get simple solar savings without the rooftop panels

Lower your electricity bills and help the environment. Let Perch match you to a local solar farm.

Illinois community solar FAQs

How do community solar credits and billing work in Illinois?

In Illinois, there is what’s called Universal Consolidated Billing (UCB). This means that, as a community solar subscriber, you simply receive your regular utility bill and it’ll just have an additional section or line item showcasing your solar farm credits and how much they’re offsetting your cost. It’s all consolidated right on your existing bill (unlike Non-Universal Consolidated Billing which includes two bills: one from your utility and one from the project itself). UCB is the preferred method within the industry and for you, the subscriber. That’s because you don’t need to do anything differently. Its one-bill model is seamless and efficient.

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Who in Illinois is eligible for community solar?
Some eligibility requirements do apply depending on the project and location. But if you pay an electricity bill, you may be eligible for community solar! That includes residents (renters and homeowners), businesses, franchises, non-profits, universities, religious organizations, hospitals, municipality buildings, stores, and more.
Does it cost anything to join a Illinois community solar program?
No. Signing up for community solar with Perch is totally free with no upfront fees. Once you’re matched to a farm, we’ll thoroughly explain how your credits work so you aren’t surprised by anything.
How much can I save with community solar in Illinois?
Based on Illinois legislation and the policies around specific projects, community solar subscribers in Illinois can expect to save between 5-10% on annual electricity costs! Savings vary based on your location and the project you’re assigned to and may differ month to month. Exact savings not guaranteed.
Does community solar change my utility company or electricity provider?
Nope! Neither your utility nor electricity provider will change with community solar.
Does Perch own the solar farms in Illinois?
We don’t. Solar farms are usually owned by companies, firms, special entities or in some cases the utilities themselves. Perch just manages solar farms and helps you, the customer or subscriber, get savings.
Where does the electricity go that a Illinois solar farm generates?
Onto the overall grid! Because solar farms are connected to the utility, the energy they produce is put onto the grid and the utility distributes it as needed. The benefit is that the utility is getting loads of clean, eco-friendly energy as opposed to energy from harmful fossil fuel sources.
Does a solar farm have to be in my city or town for me to subscribe?
No. While there does need to be one within a certain vicinity and with a certain amount of capacity available to take on subscribers, it doesn’t necessarily need to be in your city or town. The solar farm’s energy isn’t going directly into your home or business, so it’s not as though you must be within range of the transmission lines. When you sign up with Perch, the first thing we do is check if there’s a solar farm available to you.

About Illinois community solar and the state's clean energy programs

Illinois’ community solar program started in 2016 with the passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA). This act established the Adjustable Block Program, or ABP (also called Illinois Shines ). Under this program, the state opens up new “blocks” of solar energy capacity for development. The solar developers gain the right to sell renewable energy credits (RECs) to the state for 20 years at a fixed price. At least 30% of the solar systems developed under the ABP must be “traditional community solar.”

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Get matched to a local solar farm and save on your electricity costs.