Consumer Protection Requirements & Resources

The Illinois Power Agency believes that strong consumer protections are critical to the success of Illinois Shines. Illinois Shines is a state-administered incentive program supported by funds collected from Illinois residents and businesses. Approved Vendors and Designees who participate in the Program and benefit from its incentives must comply with all Program requirements. Approved Vendors and Designees must provide clear and honest information to customers, should be responsive to customer questions and concerns, and strive to ensure that customers have a positive experience. The Program Administrator investigates customer complaints and other alleged Program violations and may require Approved Vendors and Designees who violate requirements to take corrective action or follow a compliance plan. For serious and/or repeated violations, the Program Administrator may also issue formal warnings and suspensions.
Approved Vendors and Designees should be familiar with and must comply with all requirements in the following documents:
Approved Vendors and Designees should also review and comply with directions in Program announcements and Frequently Asked Questions.
Three people in a meeting room, discussing.

Consumer Protection Resources

Program Violations Report – Shares warning and suspension letters involving Approved Vendors and Designees found to have violated Program guidelines

Consumer Complaint Report – Lists all consumer complaints received by the Program Administrator, and all Approved Vendors and Designees who have been suspended from the Illinois Shines Program

Annual Complaint Report – Contains information regarding complaints received and any disciplinary action taken by the Program Administrator over the course of the year

Help for Stranded Customers – Provides resources for customers whose Approved Vendor and/or Designee is unable or unwilling to complete the solar project installation and/or submit a project application to the Illinois Shines program

Consumer Protection Working Group – A monthly public forum to discuss market trends, best practices, consumer education, updates to Program requirements and documents, and other onsumer protection issues for both Illinois Shines and Illinois Solar for All

Informational Brochures – Program brochures providing key Program information and specific for both

Disclosure Form Deep Dive – A digital resource allowing consumers to walk through sample Disclosure Forms, section by section, based on project type and utility, and, for distributed generation, by finance type and whether your project application will be submitted to take the Distributed Generation/Smart Inverter Rebate

The Illinois Power Agency seeks public comment on a potential modification to a portion of the new Distributed Generation (DG) Disclosure Forms. The new Distributed Generation (“DG”) Disclosure Forms that were put out for public comment in December 2022 (for implementation starting June 1, 2023) included a new section, titled “Project Efficiency.” The intent of the section was to provide information to customers on if their project was designed or sited in a sub-optimal way. For example, if a solar project is shaded or is sited on a northern facing roof, it is important that the customer understand the limitations of the project design and/or siting. The IPA proposed this new disclosure because it is aware that there have been projects that have been submitted in both the Illinois Shines and Illinois Solar for All programs that have relatively low performance because of siting/design issues. In the public comments, questions were raised about exactly what number would be disclosed, and how that number would be calculated. Based on that feedback, the Agency is considering modifying this portion of the disclosure form to be framed as “Project Performance” – that is, eliminating the use of the term “efficiency” – and using the Total Solar Resource Fraction (“TSRF”) as the actual number that is disclosed. This Request for Public Comment includes a full description of the proposed, new modification, including a mock up of how the new “Project Performance” section of the Disclosure Form would appear using the TSRF approach.

Comments in response to this request are due:  March 10, 2023. Comments should be submitted to  with the subject line “[Responding Entity Name] – Response to New DG Disclosure Forms – Project Performance (“Efficiency”) Disclosure.” Comments will be posted online.

The Illinois Power Agency published a packet of thirteen Consumer Protection Proposals for Public Comment on December 2, 2022. Each proposal includes background information, a description, redline edits to the relevant Program documents, questions for feedback, and referenced exhibits, are linked here. (Proposal PacketExhibit 1Exhibit 2, and Exhibit 3). Please see the below reference table for each proposal and its associated deadline for comments. Comments should be submitted to  with the subject line “[Responding Entity Name] – Response to Consumer Protection Proposals.”

#1 – Updated and Streamlined Disclosure Forms
Proposals #2-13

#2 – Requirements for Designee Management Plans

#3 – Clarification about Approved Vendor Responsibility for Designees that Market “TBD” Community Solar Offers

#4 – Restrictions on Marketing ARES Products in Conjunction with ILSFA Offers

#5 – Exception to Allow ILSFA Approved Vendors to Use the ILSFA Logo with Approval of the Program Administrator

#6 – Community Solar Billing Issues – Notification and Payment Plan

#7 – Adjusted Disclosure Form Execution Process for Community Solar for Large Commercial and Industrial Customers

#8 – Clarification on Restrictions for Offering Distributed Generation Projects that Cannot Take Advantage of Net Metering Crediting under the Public Utilities Act

#9 – Program Violation Response Matrix

#10 – Requirement to Provide a Copy of Executed Disclosure Form and Contracts to Customer

#11 – Community Solar Contract Requirements – Insurance and Maintenance

#12 – Community Solar Contract Requirements – Assignments

#13 – Replace References to “Adjustable Block Program” and to Separate ABP and Illinois Shines Websites

December 30, 2022

Consumer Protection Updates

This blog includes key items specific to Illinois Shines Consumer Protection, but AVs and Designees are still expected to read all Program announcements in full, which contain other critical Program items and updates.