Illinois Solar Panels

Pricing & Installation Data

Find out if solar panels are right for your home in Illinois.

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Illinois

Solar Panels in Illinois

The Prairie State, where the sun doesn't just grow the corn—it powers homes and businesses. Illinois has been making significant strides in solar energy, boasting some of the country's most ambitious projects. Take, for example, the largest urban solar array in the U.S., a 10 MW installation in West Pullman, Chicago. Or the 20 MW Grand Ridge Solar Plant in LaSalle County. Even the University of Illinois is in on the action with a 5.87 MW solar farm built in 2015. 

But it's not just about the big installations; it's about making solar accessible for everyone. In 2016, ComEd tried to slap additional fees on residential solar users but had to pull back due to public outcry. 

Fast forward to 2022, and Illinois has installed a whopping 2,036 MW of solar capacity, enough to power 217,000 homes. And with net metering rules that allow customers generating up to 40 kW to roll over their surplus each month, the state is making it easier than ever to go solar. 

Ranking 15th nationally, Illinois is a rising star in the solar game.

While solar power and other renewable energy options are booming in popularity, there is much to consider. Whether you are trying to reduce your carbon footprint or your utility bills we’ll walk you through the most important factors to help you make the best energy decision.

Cost of Solar in Illinois

The average price for a home solar panel system in Illinois is $18,960 for a 6kW system or about $3.16 per watt. Systems will vary depending on the solar installation company the types of solar panels you choose and the size of your system. When shopping for solar panels you should consider getting multiple quotes from various installers.

Average Cost
6 kW System
Average Cost
10 kW System
Estimated
Tax Credit
(10 kW System)
Average
Cost/Watt
U.S.Average$18,771$31,285$9,385.50$3.13
Illinois$18,360$30,600$9,180$3.06
U.S.Average$18,771$31,285$9,385.50$3.13
Most Costly State(Michigan)$22,680$37,800$11,340$3.78
Least Costly State(Arizona)$14,640$24,400$7,320$2.44

Costs by Solar System Size in Illinois

For most, the ideal solar system size is the sweet spot between price and capacity. The goal is to generate enough electricity to cover your home's demand while keeping overall costs low as possible.

I.E. Get the best bang for your buck.

System SizeSystem CostCost After Federal Tax Credit
5 kW$15,300$8,785
6 kW$18,360$10,542
7 kW$21,420$12,299
8 kW$24,480$14,056
10 kW$30,600$17,570

Pros and Cons of Solar in Illinois

Solar's got a lot to offer, but let's be honest—it's not all sunshine and rainbows. Before you commit to harnessing Illinois' solar potential, it's crucial to weigh both the pros and the cons. We're here to lay it all out for you, but remember, the final call is yours to make. 

Whether you're excited about Illinois' growing solar capacity or cautious about the upfront investment, we've got the breakdown. 

We want to give you the details so you can make an informed decision about going solar in Illinois.

Illinois Solar Pros

  • Reduce or eliminate electric bills
  • Energy independence from the grid
  • Property tax incentive that values your solar equipment more than a conventional energy system
  • Illinois Shines program pay lump sum on expected value of energy production
  • Reduce your carbon footprint
  • Increase home value (4.1% on average)
  • Illinois ranks 15th in solar in the U.S.

Illinois Solar Cons

  • Not viable for all roofs or homes
  • Installation costs
  • Financial liability

EnergyBot's Take

Just looking at the data, solar is a viable option in Illinois. The state has been investing in large solar projects and has policies that encourage residential solar adoption. 

Recent policy changes have made net metering more accessible. While Illinois might not be as sunny as some other states, the financial incentives and supportive policies make it a strong contender for those considering solar.

The average savings for a 6 kW solar panel system installed in Illinois is around $1,200 annually. Over 25 years, this would translate to approximately $30,000.

But while this all sounds great, consider your home and finances. Additional unexpected costs like roof structure reinforcements and permits could add up.

If you are on the fence you can use this tool to get an accurate cost breakdown for your home based on your historical energy usage.

Leasing vs Buying Solar Panels in Illinois

There are several ways you can purchase and/or finance your solar panel installation in Illinois. Your goals and financial situation will dictate which option is best for you.

Cash Purchase

The most straightforward option. You pay upfront for the entire cost of the rooftop solar system. No interest, and fewer headaches, but many people are hesitant about spending several tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket.

Solar Loan

The most common method for buying solar systems. Like many other types of large purchases, you can finance your solar system through a bank or solar loan provider.

This sounds great, and many other solar loan salespeople will leverage the low payment to justify the costs. You will likely hear something like "You pay $250 a month on your electric bill, with a solar loan you will pay $200 and have free electricity."

Do your due diligence before you sign on the dotted line. There are many horror stories of variable loan terms, ballooning interest rates, and harsh missed payment penalties.

Solar Lease

Leasing solar panels generally involves less money out of pocket upfront. But, it's important to note - you do not own your solar energy system. You essentially renting the solar system. A solar provider will install the equipment and charge you a fixed monthly fee.

Most solar lease contracts last for a couple of decades, during which time the provider will keep an eye on the system's hardware and performance. At the end of your lease, you can choose to:

  • Renew your lease agreement
  • Purchase the system
  • End your lease agreement

Solar leases can be complicated. Not all are bad, but in many cases the lease terms in not in favor of the buyer. Before you decide on a solar lease make sure to read your contract thoroughly. If you don't understand something, ask an expert.

Power Purchase Agreements

A power purchase agreement (PPA) is a financial agreement where a solar company will design and install a solar system on your home or business with little or no cost upfront. Instead of paying a monthly fee like a lease, the agreement includes a fixed price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity generated.

For example, you agree to pay $0.12 per kWh of electricity generated for the next 20 years. The solar company will install and maintain your system and sell the power back to you that you use. They may also collect payment for any additional energy they put back into the grid.

Just like a lease, you do not own the panels. When the contract is up, they will either be removed or your contract may have other terms for you to buy or renew your power purchase agreement.

Power purchase agreements can be complicated. Before you sign make sure you review the contract and if possible have an expert in power purchase agreements review the details.

Illinois Solar Incentives

In addition to the 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit, you may be eligible for solar incentives that could significantly reduce the cost of solar panel installation. Some incentives are statewide and others are more local. 

On the state level, Illinois has a unique program called "Illinois Shines," which offers an upfront cash grant based on the expected solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) your system will generate over 15 years. 

For an average 6 kW system, you could be looking at a grant of around $6,600.

This table shows the available incentives in Illinois. But, just because you don't see it here doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Check with your local utility for other potential incentives.

Name State Category Type
ComEd - Wind & Photovoltaic Generation Program IL Regulatory Policy Net Metering
Special Assessment for Solar Energy Systems IL Financial Incentive Property Tax Incentive
Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation Grants IL Financial Incentive Grant Program
City of Chicago - Green Power Purchasing IL Regulatory Policy Green Power Purchasing
Vehicle Conversion Rebate IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Renewable Energy Resources Trust Fund IL Regulatory Policy Public Benefits Fund
Fuel Mix and Emissions Disclosure IL Regulatory Policy Generation Disclosure
DCEO - Solar Energy Incentive Program IL Financial Incentive Grant Program
Renewable Portfolio Standard IL Regulatory Policy Renewables Portfolio Standard
Solar and Wind Energy Rebate Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Illinois - Green Power Purchasing IL Regulatory Policy Green Power Purchasing
OEM Vehicle Rebate IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Fuel Cost Differential Rebate IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Ethanol and Biodiesel Sales Tax Exemption IL Financial Incentive Sales Tax Incentive
Chicago Photovoltaic Incentive Program (PIP) IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Illinois Renewable Fuels Development Program IL Financial Incentive Grant Program
ComEd - Interconnection Guidelines IL Regulatory Policy Interconnection
Pike County - Wind Turbine Siting Standards IL Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
Efficient Housing Construction Grant IL Financial Incentive Grant Program
City Water Light and Power - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
City Water Light and Power - Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Building Energy Code IL Regulatory Policy Building Energy Code
Energy Efficiency Trust Fund IL Regulatory Policy Public Benefits Fund
Large-Customer Energy Analysis Program (LEAP) IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Wind Energy Production Development Program IL Financial Incentive Grant Program
City of Evanston - Green Power Purchase IL Regulatory Policy Green Power Purchasing
City of Chicago - Building Energy Code IL Regulatory Policy Building Energy Code
City of Chicago - Green Building Permit Programs IL Financial Incentive Green Building Incentive
Net Metering IL Regulatory Policy Net Metering
Green Neighborhood Grants IL Financial Incentive Grant Program
Property Valuation for Commercial Wind Energy Equipment IL Financial Incentive Property Tax Incentive
Biogas and Biomass to Energy Grant Program IL Financial Incentive Grant Program
Energy Efficiency and Demand Response Fund IL Regulatory Policy Public Benefits Fund
Interconnection Standards IL Regulatory Policy Interconnection
Renewable Energy Business Development Grant Program IL Financial Incentive Industry Recruitment/Support
ComEd -Energy Efficiency Program For Businesses IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Public Sector New Construction and Retrofit Program IL Financial Incentive Grant Program
Ameren Illinois (Electric) - Lighting Incentives for Businesses IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Energy Efficiency in State Government IL Regulatory Policy Energy Standards for Public Buildings
ComEd - Energy Efficiency Program for Residential IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Ameren Illinois (Electric) - Residential Energy Efficiency Incentives IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
North Shore Gas - Chicagoland Natural Gas Savings Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Illinois Solar Energy Association - Renewable Energy Credit Aggregation Program IL Financial Incentive Performance-Based Incentive
MidAmerican Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs (detailed) IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
MidAmerican Energy (Electric) - Commercial EnergyAdvantage Rebate Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
MidAmerican Energy - EnergyAdvantage Commercial New Construction Rebate Program (detailed) IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
MidAmerican Energy - EnergyAdvantage® New Homes Program (detailed) IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
MidAmerican Energy - Commercial EnergyAdvantage Rebate Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
MidAmerican Energy - EnergyAdvantage® New Homes Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
MidAmerican Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Sales Tax Exemption for Wind and Solar Energy - High Impact Business IL Financial Incentive Sales Tax Incentive
Illinois PACE Financing Program IL Financial Incentive PACE Financing
Statewide Renewable Energy Setback Standards IL Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
ComEd - Energy Efficiency Program for Commercial New Construction IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Ameren Illinois - Instant Incentives Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Ameren Illinois Utilities - Small Business Energy Efficiency Incentive Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Ameren Illinois (Electric) - Commercial Kitchen and Refridgeration Rebate Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Ameren Illinois (Electric & Gas) - Multi-Family Properties Energy Efficiency Incentives IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Illinois - Residential Energy-Efficient Appliance Rebates IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Illinois Municipal Electric Agency - Electric Efficiency Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Nicor Gas - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebates IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Nicor Gas - Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebates IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives (AIEC) - HomE Residential Rebate Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Public Sector Energy Efficiency Programs IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Green Energy Loans IL Financial Incentive Loan Program
North Shore Gas - Commercial & Industrial Prescriptive Rebate Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Corn Belt Energy Coop - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Illinois Solar and Wind Rights IL Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Access Policy
School Energy Efficiency Grant Program IL Financial Incentive Grant Program
Jo-Carroll Energy - Energy Efficiency Rebate Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Energy Efficiency Resource Standards IL Regulatory Policy Energy Efficiency Resource Standard
Ameren Illinois (Gas) - Residential Energy Efficiency Incentives IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Ameren Illinois - Energy-Efficiency Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
City of Chicago - Energy Standards for Public Buildings (The Chicago Standard) IL Regulatory Policy Energy Standards for Public Buildings
MidAmerican Energy (Gas) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
MidAmerican Energy - Illinois Business Programs and Rebates IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Cook County - LEED Requirement for County Buildings IL Regulatory Policy Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Large Distributed Solar and Wind Grant Program IL Financial Incentive Grant Program
ComEd, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas & North Shore Gas - Small Business Energy Savings Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Solar Renewable Energy Credits IL Financial Incentive Performance-Based Incentive
City Water Light and Power - Solar Rewards Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Corn Belt Energy Coop - Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Wabash Valley Power Association (23 Member Cooperatives) - Residential Energy Efficiency Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Efficient Living Energy Grant IL Financial Incentive Grant Program
Residential On-Bill Financing Programs - Nicor Gas, North Shore Gas, Peoples Gas, Ameren and ComEd IL Financial Incentive Loan Program
Distributed Generation Contractor Licensing IL Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Contractor Licensing
Public Sector Energy Efficiency Aggregation Program IL Financial Incentive Grant Program
Peoples Gas - Residential Rebate Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
North Shore Gas - Residential Rebate Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Energy Impact Illinois Rebates IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
ComEd - Business Instant Lighting Discounts Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Peoples Gas & North Shore Gas - Bonus Rebate Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
ComEd, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas & North Shore Gas - Complete System Replacement Rebate Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
North Shore Gas - Home Energy Jumpstart Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Public Sector Combined Heat and Power Pilot Program IL Financial Incentive Grant Program
City of Chicago - Solar Express Permit Program IL Financial Incentive Green Building Incentive
City of Chicago - Solar Express Permit Program IL Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
City of Chicago - Solar Zoning Policy IL Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Access Policy
Wastewater Treatment Plant Energy Efficiency Grant IL Financial Incentive Grant Program
Driving a Cleaner Illinois Program IL Financial Incentive Grant Program
Electric Vehicle Fleet Fee Exemption IL Financial Incentive Other Incentive
Improvement Valuation of Commercial Solar Energy Systems IL Financial Incentive Property Tax Assessment
Adjustable Block Program (Illinois Shines) IL Financial Incentive Solar Renewable Energy Credit Program
Illinois Solar for All Program IL Financial Incentive Solar Renewable Energy Credit Program
MidAmerican Energy Residential Energy Efficiency Rebates IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Electric Vehicle Rebate Program IL Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Charging Infrastructure Grant Program IL Financial Incentive Grant Program
Tax-Exempt Financing for Green Buildings, Renewable Energy & Brownfield Redevelopment US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Conservation Security Program (CSP) Production Incentive US Financial Incentive Performance-Based Incentive
Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Federal Excise Tax Exemption for Gasohol US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Exemption
Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS) US Financial Incentive Corporate Depreciation
Energy Star Financing and Mortgages US Financial Incentive Loan Program
USDA Rural Housing Service Loans US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Corporate) US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Exemption
Renewable Energy Production Incentive (REPI) US Financial Incentive Performance-Based Incentive
Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC) US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Small Business Administration Loan Programs US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Energy-Efficient Mortgages US Financial Incentive Loan Program
USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs - Funding Opportunities US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Green Power Purchasing Goal for Federal Government US Regulatory Policy Green Power Purchasing
Energy-Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Deduction
Energy-Efficient New Homes Tax Credit for Home Builders US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Energy-Efficient Appliance Manufacturing Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Industry Recruitment/Support
Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Personal Tax Credit
Veterans Housing Guaranteed and Insured Loans US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Federal Appliance Standards US Regulatory Policy Appliance/Equipment Efficiency Standards
Energy Goals and Standards for Federal Agencies US Regulatory Policy Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) US Financial Incentive Loan Program
U.S. Department of Treasury - Renewable Energy Grants US Financial Incentive Grant Program
USDA - High Energy Cost Grant Program US Financial Incentive Grant Program
USDA - Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program US Financial Incentive Loan Program
USDA - Repowering Assistance Biorefinery Program US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Title I Property Improvement Loans US Financial Incentive Loan Program
USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance (EA/REDA) Program US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Fannie Mae Green Financing – Loan Program US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Qualified Commercial Clean Vehicle Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Tax Credit (Corporate) US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Tax Credit (Personal) US Financial Incentive Personal Tax Credit
Previously-Owned Clean Vehicle Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Personal Tax Credit

Illinois Shines Program: This program provides upfront cash based on the expected amount of solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) your system will produce over 15 years. For an average 6 kW system, you can expect a grant amount of about $6,600.

Property Tax Incentive: Illinois offers a property tax incentive that values your solar equipment no more than a conventional energy system.

Illinois Solar Companies

There are hundreds of solar companies in Illinois. From solar installers to solar loan providers, and manufacturers. Each is a piece of the puzzle to help you get outfitted with solar panels.

To make things simple, EnergyBot works directly with 3 of the largest solar companies to give you a comprehensive view of the market.

The solar companies we partner with:

  • Project Solar - A nationwide provider of solar panel systems that has a non-sales-oriented approach to building your system. They build your system from their central office and send a local company to complete the solar panel installation.
  • EnergySage - The largest online solar installation network. They work with thousands of installers to help you find the perfect solar system for your home. With thousands of successful solar installations, they can give you a range of bids and pricing options.
  • Tesla - Brains behind some of the most cutting-edge technology in the automotive industry, Tesla also offers sleek and powerful solar systems and battery systems.

We believe comparing these three names in the solar industry will give you the info you need to decide if solar panels are right for you.

Before You Install Solar Panels

Just because solar is a popular discussion right now, doesn’t mean it makes sense for everyone. It is still a large and expensive decision. Installing solar has great financial and environmental benefits but it won’t feel beneficial if you run into issues. Along with studying a 20-year cost comparison for your home, read some more tips to keep in mind when mulling over your decision on your installer, system design, and financial plan.

  • What are the long-term savings and payback period for installing a solar panel system?
  • How will installing solar panels impact my home's value?
  • What is the system’s Return on Investment (ROI)?
  • Are there any specific design or aesthetic considerations for solar panel installation?
  • How do I weigh the environmental benefits against the costs of installation?
  • What are the specific terms and conditions for the installer?

Green Benefits for All

State Senator Cristina Castro has been an advocate for fair wages and wage equality. He spearheaded a new law that created a significant step in aligning the state's clean energy goals with labor rights.

The law is integrated into the Illinois Solar for All program, which aims to make solar energy more accessible. By requiring developers to pay the prevailing wage to workers on solar projects that receive state renewable energy credits, the law ensures that the financial benefits of the state's clean energy incentives are shared more equitably, not just benefiting the developers but also the workers involved. 

The Prevailing Wage Act, which the new law ties into, sets a standard for wages on public works projects. This new law extends those standards to solar projects, classifying them as public works projects for the purpose of wage requirements. The law was signed on June 30, 2023 and is effective immediately, marking a quick transition towards fairer labor practices in Illinois' growing solar industry.

Why Trust EnergyBot

We have helped thousands of customers find electricity plans for their home or business. And we are pretty darn good at it, with over 1,000 5-Star reviews we know how to help you stay powered up.

Now using the same one-of-kind technology and platform we are helping consumers in Illinois decide if solar is right for them. You will notice that sometimes our numbers make solar look less attractive. That's not by accident. We believe you should have full transparency during the solar purchasing process.

We aren't here to sell you something. We are here to help you make the best energy decision for your home or business.

Illinois Solar FAQs

The cost of solar panel installation in Illinois can vary significantly based on a number of factors, including the size and type of the system, the complexity of the installation, your solar installer, and the specific location. However, the average cost of solar panels in the U.S. was about $3.13 per watt, before any incentives or tax credits.

A typical residential solar system is usually around 8 kilowatts (8,000 watts), but varies based on energy use and the size of the house. The US average cost for a 6 kW system is $18,771 and the US average cost for a 10 kW system is $31,285, before incentives. The average price for a home solar panel system in Illinois is $18,960 for a 6kW system or about or about $3.16 per watt.

The number of solar panels you would need depends on a variety of factors such as:

  1. Your home's energy consumption: The first step is to calculate your household's energy use. You can do this by looking at your electricity bills to see how much electricity you use in a year, usually measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The average U.S. home uses around 10,400 kWh per year, but this can vary widely based on the size of your home, the efficiency of your appliances, and your personal habits.
  2. The amount of sunlight your location receives: This can vary depending on where you live. For example, if you live in a place that has many sunny days like Arizona, you might require fewer solar panels compared to someone living in a place with less sunlight like Seattle.
  3. The efficiency of the solar panels: Not all solar panels are created equal. Some panels can convert sunlight into electricity more efficiently than others. On average, residential solar panels have an efficiency rating between 15-20%. The higher the efficiency, the fewer panels you would likely need to meet your energy needs.
  4. The size of the solar panels: Solar panels also come in different sizes. A common size for residential use is roughly 65 inches by 39 inches. Each panel typically produces around 250 to 400 watts of power, but this can vary.

To give you a rough estimate, let's say you live in a location that receives about 5 hours of peak sunlight per day, your solar panels have an efficiency of 20%, and each panel has a power rating of 300 watts. If your home uses about 10,400 kWh per year, you would divide this by 365 to get your daily energy use (about 28.5 kWh). You would then divide this by the hours of peak sunlight (5 hours), to get your required power output per hour (about 5.7 kW). If each solar panel produces 300 watts (or 0.3 kW), you would divide 5.7 kW by 0.3 to get the number of solar panels you need, which would be about 19 panels.

  • Lower Electricity Bills:
    Once your solar panels are installed, you can generate your own electricity and reduce your reliance on the grid, which can lower your monthly bills.
  • Environmental Benefits:
    Solar energy is clean and renewable, so using it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollutants.
  • Increased Home Value:
    Installing solar panels can increase the value of your home and make it more attractive to potential buyers.
  • Long-Term Savings:
    While the upfront cost of installing solar energy systems can be high, they can pay for themselves over time through lower energy bills and other savings.
  • Location:
    Homes in areas with lots of sunlight are generally better candidates for solar panels. If your home is shaded or doesn't receive much sunlight, it may not be the best choice.
  • Roof Orientation:
    Ideally, your roof should be facing south to get the most sunlight throughout the day.
  • Roof Condition:
    Your roof should be in good condition and able to support the weight of the solar panels. If your roof needs repairs or replacement, it's best to take care of that before your solar installation.

The installation process for solar panels can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the size of the system and the complexity of the installation.

Your installer should be able to give you an estimated timeline based on your specific project.

Solar panels generally require very little maintenance. However, it's a good idea to have them inspected every few years to ensure they are working properly and to clean off any debris or dirt that may have accumulated on the panels. Most solar panel installers offer maintenance services for an additional fee.

When designing a solar system, there are several key factors to consider. You'll want to start by assessing your energy needs to determine the system size that will cover your consumption. Location matters, too—think about the angle and orientation of your roof, as well as any potential obstructions like trees or buildings that could block sunlight. 

Don't forget to consider local climate conditions, as they'll impact your system's efficiency. 

Finally, make sure to explore available incentives, rebates, and financing options to maximize your investment. It's a good idea to consult with professionals to tailor the system to your specific needs and local regulations.

There are two main types of solar panels: Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline. There are pros and cons to both. Either type can produce enough solar power for your home. We recommend getting a recommendation from a solar installer for your home. Depending on your budget, location, and other factors they can recommend the most efficient solar panels for your home. 

Getting a solar permit is pretty straightforward but can vary depending on your local jurisdiction. 

Typically, you'll need to submit a permit application to your local building department, which usually includes site plans and system specs. Some cities have streamlined this process to encourage solar adoption. It's always a good idea to consult your local building department for the nitty-gritty details like required documentation and fees. 

If you're working with a solar installation company, they often handle the permitting process for you.

Chicago

Chicago Permits for Solar

Aurora

Solar in Aurora

Rockford

City of Rockford Solar Permitting Check List

Naperville

Solar Panel Guidelines