Going solar in Illinois

In Illinois, an average home needs a 7kW solar system in order cover most of their electricity needs. Given the average residential price-per-watt of $4.02 in Illinois, a 7kW system can cost around $28,140 depending on applicable rebates and other factors.

Select your county by clicking on the map and see the potential generated solar power and panel pricing. See how it compares with the US state average.

Average out-of-pocket cost for a 5 kW system The upfront amount spent to buy and install solar.
Illinois: $20,100US Average: $19,594
Average Payback Period The number of years until you break even on the solar investment.
Illinois: 17 yearsUS Average: 13 years
Average Net 20-year savings The total amount of money saved over 20 years minus the out-of-pocket cost.
Illinois: $3,669US Average: $10,133

Solar Potential in Illinois

Estimated system size and solar electricity production per median viable roof in
Illinois.

Roof size 679sq. ft.
Capacity 9.5kW DC
Electricity 11kkWh AC per yr.

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Compare solar panels by system size in Illinois

Get the most value out of your roof by comparing the different benefits a given system size has.

System Size 3kW
Roof Size Min. space required
215 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $581 a year
Est. Price
$12,060
Savings from a 3kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 4,296 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $48
  • Full payback in 21 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 1.59 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 73 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 3,924 mi less a year
System Size 4kW
Roof Size Min. space required
286 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $775 a year
Est. Price
$16,080
Savings from a 4kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 5,728 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $65
  • Full payback in 21 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 2.11 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 97 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 5,232 mi less a year
System Size 5kW
Roof Size Min. space required
358 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $968 a year
Est. Price
$20,100
Savings from a 5kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 7,160 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $81
  • Full payback in 21 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 2.64 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 121 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 6,539 mi less a year
System Size 6kW
Roof Size Min. space required
429 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $1,162 a year
Est. Price
$24,120
Savings from a 6kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 8,592 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $97
  • Full payback in 21 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 3.17 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 146 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 7,847 mi less a year
System Size 7kW
Roof Size Min. space required
501 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $1,356 a year
Est. Price
$28,140
Savings from a 7kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 10,024 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $99
  • Full payback in 24 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 3.24 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 149 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 8,024 mi less a year

Illinois solar incentives, tax credit, and rebates

Illinois has 10 rebates and tax credits that you may be eligable for. Visit the official links for more details to see if you apply.

Solar incentives in IL

City of Chicago - Small Business Improvement Fund

Value:Up to $150,000

The Chicago government has established a Small Business Improvement Fund to support businesses making energy efficiency upgrades through grants. A private organization, SomerCor 504, handles the practical business of the fund. Projects eligible for grants include energy-efficient HVAC, roofing, windows, and insulation. Funding can cover three quarters of project costs. Applicants are subject to caps on net worth and number of employees. Businesses that rent their property may be subject to additional conditions. Additional information is available from the SomerCor website.

City of Chicago - Green Building Permit Programs

Value:Up to $25,000

Chicago offers specialized permitting processes for various environmentally-friendly projects or energy efficiency upgrades. Any home, business, or industrial facility may qualify to have their review period expedited and fees waived. Eligible installations and upgrades include solar PV/thermal systems, wind turbines, efficient roofing, rain reclamation, and geothermal systems; all must be LEED or Green Globes certified to qualify. Once a project is approved, the maximum turnaround time shortens to 30 days. Further, any fees up to $25,000 become waived. Additional information and early application forms are available from the Chicago website.

City of Chicago - Solar Express Permit Program

Value:Varies

Through a 2013 ordinance, Chicago homes and businesses may be eligible for a streamlined permitting process for rooftop solar PV installations. Depending on the system's size, applicants may receive a $100 discount on permit fees and a same-day approval with waived zoning evaluation. Interested property owners must hire a solar contractor certified by both ComEd and the City of Chicago. Participating contractors will follow new guidelines established by the ordinance when applying for the expedited process. Additional information is available through the Chicago municipal website.

Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation Grants

Value:Varies

Commonwealth Edison funds the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (ICECF). The foundation supports private investment in renewable energy for Illinois through a variety of grant initiatives targeted at communities and schools. Eligible projects for a grant include solar, wind, and biomass installations interconnected to the grid. One initiative funding wind power for schools also supports related educational programs. Additional information is available through the ICECF website.

Net Metering

Value:Varies

Renewable energy and distributed generation customers in Illinois may enter net metering or "dual metering" arrangements with their utility. By using their generation system, customers generate renewable energy credits. By law, they hold ownership of the RECs they generate, but they may choose to sell them to the utility upon signing a net metering contract. Dual metering is for property types in a "competitive class". Utilities should install a dual-channel meter to measure net excess generation (NEG) sent back to the grid. The customer will receive a bill credit for monthly NEG at a variable rate. Net metering operates in a similar fashion, but uses a single bidirectional meter and is designed for residential and certain commercial properties (these are "non-competitive classes".) Additional information is available from the Illinois Department of Energy.

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Value:Varies

The Illinois legislature enacted the state's first renewable portfolio standard in 2007 and established the Illinois Power Agency for its enforcement. The current standard requires 25% of the state's renewable energy to come from renewable sources by 2026, with 6% coming from solar installations, 75% from wind turbines, and 1% from distributed generation systems. Compliance is measured using a renewable energy credit (REC) system pegging electric capacity to an adjusted dollar value. Utilities in the state must obtain these credits through their own generation activities or by purchasing them from distributed generation customers.

Interconnection Standards

Value:Varies

Illinois has adopted various state standards for distributed generation and interconnection using systems rated for less than 10 MW. Regulations are amended and enforced by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC). Each connected generation system is sorted into one of four tiers based on capacity. Which tier a system falls into determines engineering standards, permit processes, and the minimum liability insurance coverage that the system's owner must carry. Distributed generation for systems over 10 MW is also standardized under a different set of rules. Additional information is available from the ICC website.

Energy Efficiency in State Government

Value:Varies

New government buildings or renovation projects in Illinois should comply with certain green building standards. Any new occupied state building or renovation affecting a maximum of 10,000 square feet should meet the highest feasible LEED standard, though the state does not need to apply for formal LEED certification. New buildings or renovation projects over 10,000 square feet must meet LEED Silver standards and apply for formal certification. A project may be exempt if costs toward meeting green building standards exceed benefits. Historic buildings may carry an exemption by default if improvements would negatively affect their aesthetics or status. Additional information is available from the Illinois Department of Commerce website.

Illinois Municipal Electric Agency - Electric Efficiency Program

Value:Varies

Residential, commercial, and wholesale customers of the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency may be eligible for a variety of financial incentives on energy efficiency equipment and projects. Eligible items and services will change from time to time. Current programs include rebate offers on HVAC, lighting, motors, and generation equipment. For each of these projects, the rebate amount averages at 7 cents per saved kilowatt hour for the first year of the improvements' deployment. The application process involves project reviews. Customers should submit copies of the city permits they have obtained for their proposed projects. To ensure accountability, IMEA requires the submission of receipts and a final inspection upon completion of the project. Additional information is available from the IMEA website.

Solar Renewable Energy Credits

Value:Varies

The Illinois Power Agency is a legislative organization that aids several private electrical utilities (Commonwealth Edison and Ameren, specifically) in purchasing renewable energy credits, including credits designated exclusively for solar energy. To meet renewable portfolio standards, the IPA acts as a diplomatic middleman to create purchasing agreements between utilities. As IPA both designs and operates procurement programs using a variety of tracking systems, customers participating in arrangements such as net metering may interface directly with the IPA. Additional information is available from the agency website.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • As a general rule, unless there are local limitations, the main limitations to the amount of solar panels you can put on your roof are the available space on your roof, your electricity usage, your providers net metering rules, and the limitations of your house hold electrical system.
  • Based on our research the average price per installed watt is $4.02 in Illinois. This means for a 10kW system you can expect to pay $40,200 though pricing can vary significantly between installers based on the projects requirements.
  • Based on a Zillow research study from 2019, home with solar panels sell for roughly 4.1% more.
  • To generate the most power, solar panels in the United States should face true south as this generally results in the solar panels receiving the most light each day throughout the course of the year. That said, given that energy prices are often variable throughout the day, your installer may recommend you rotate your panels slightly so that the panels will receive more light at the end of the day when energy prices can be more expensive. That said, for most consumers the positioning of solar panels is highly dependent on your home's roof.
  • Based on our continuously updated database of solar installers, we have found 55 verified solar install companies in Illinois

Solar installers in Illinois (55)

Freedom Forever

Temecula, CA(800) 685-1850

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Solar SME Inc.

Duncanville, TX(832) 626-2337

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

YellowLite

Cleveland, OH(877) 743-8757

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Academy Energy Group

Newburgh, IN(812) 518-2150

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Auditing of energy requirements for independent energy generation.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

SunVest Solar

Pewaukee, WI(262) 547-1200

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

StraightUp Solar

St. Louis, MO(844) 494-7544

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Plug PV

Albany, NY(518) 948-5316

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

SunPro Solar

Mandeville, LA(866) 599-3643

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Auditing of energy requirements for independent energy generation.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Power Home Solar

Mooresville, NC(704) 870-3670

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

RISE Power

Richardson, TX(855) 747-3769

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Dividend Finance

San Francisco, CA(415) 805-7000

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Eagle Point Solar

Dubuque, IA(563) 582-4044

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Palmetto Solar

Charleston, SC(855) 339-1831

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

SunPower Corporation

San Jose, CA(800) 786-7693

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Silver Sun Solar

Deltona, FL(340) 227-7785

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

EFS Energy

St. Louis, MO(314) 771-5131

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Tick Tock Energy

Effingham, IL(217) 994-9020

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Rethink Electric

Wood Dale, IL(630) 747-4587

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

Harvest Solar

Jackson, MI(888) 907-6527

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

AES Solar

Carterville, IL(618) 988-0888

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Sunnova Energy

Houston, TX(866) 786-6682

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Sunrun

San Francisco, CA(833) 394-3384

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

GRNE Solar

Palatine, IL(312) 859-3417

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Sigora Solar

Charlottesville, VA(434) 465-6192

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Entegrity

Little Rock, AR(800) 700-1414

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Ideal Energy

Fairfield, IA(800) 634-4454

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Soltage

Jersey City, NJ(201) 432-1786

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Engie North America

Houston, TX(713) 636-0000

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

City Electric Supply

Dallas, TX(866) 634-9853

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

LightEdison

Denver, CO(888) 966-6377

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

PowerHome Solar

Mooresville, NC(704) 870-3670

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Empire Solar Group

Salt Lake City, UT(800) 467-4562

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

Badass Energy

Claremont, CA(909) 320-9860

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.
Last Reviewed By: Fernando García
Published: 2022-09-18