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Illinois Solar Information

Illinois isn’t a bad state for solar. There’s always enough sunshine to cover your basic energy needs or at least to reduce your monthly electricity bill. The 26% Federal Solar Tax Credit as well as some local incentives will make your solar installation even more profitable.
  • #33
    Illinois ranks #33 in the USA for savings from installing solar panels
  • 5868.41 kWh
    Annual AC energy output of a 4 kW solar system installed in Illinois
  • 4.91 kWh
    Solar Radiation (kWh / m2 / day)
  • 9 ¢ /kWh
    The cost of electricity today in AmerenCILCO
  • 19 ¢ /kWh
    If you don't go solar. The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years

Illinois Solar Facts

  • $1.99
    Average cost of a 4kw solar power system in 2019.
  • 12 years
    Average system payback period.
  • $33,612.08
    Average lifetime savings.
  • 6 ¢ /kWh
    Levelized cost of solar energy.
  • 7 kW
    Recommended system size.

Illinois is not only a state marked by forests, rivers, farming, incredible nature scenery, but it is also known as a newly emerged solar market. Located in the Midwest, Illinois receives below average sunlight, however, having the country’s best solar incentives and programs make Illinois one of the most promising states for going solar.

Illinois Solar Facts

  • The average payback period for solar panels in Illinois is from 6.7 to 9.1 years.
  • Up to $32,870 can be saved over 20 years minus out-of-pocket cost.
  • Excess amount of electricity produced by solar panels can be sold to local utilities.
  • Prices for solar panel systems have dropped by more than 80%.
  • Solar Power System Cost in Illinois
  • $1.99 per watt
  • $12,704.90 total
  • 12 years

The Cost of Solar Panels in Illinois

As for October 2020, the average cost of a solar panel installation in Illinois varies from $2.63 to $3.55 per watt ($/W), making the total price range from $13,132 to $17,768. This price does not include the Federal Investment Tax Credit or State solar incentives. Potential solar buyers are expected to save between $24,295 to $32,870 over the course of 20 years.

Illinois Solar Rebates and Tax Credits

The Federal Investment Tax credit (ITC) – is a state program also known as the Federal solar tax credit. The program gives 26% reduction to federal income taxes if solar panels were installed before December 2019. Income tax deduction is expected to be lowered to 22% in 2021 and eliminated the year after for non-commercial organizations. Companies will still receive 10% reduction of the cost for solar system installation from 2020 onwards.

Property tax break – solar systems are not included in property tax bills for all Illinois state residents, therefore solar buyers are not additionally taxed. However, the exemption is not valid for equipment that is often used in solar systems.

Illinois Solar Incentives

Illinois Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) – to achieve a goal of producing 25% of all electricity in the state from renewable resources, the local government incentivizes its residents to install solar panels by granting one Solar Renewable Energy Credit for each megawatt hour their solar panels produce. Later all credits can be sold for energy to their utility company.

Illinois net metering – this incentive allows utilities to buy back all excess electricity that private solar panels generate. For example, if a solar panel produces between 40 kW and 2 MW excess amount of electricity, the utility company will credit the panel owner the same amount they would to other energy suppliers.

ComEd commercial solar rebates – ComEd, as one of the largest utility companies in Illinois, incentivizes organizations to install solar panels with their new program that helps reduce out-of-pocket costs. All commercial ComEd customers can get a rebate for $250$ per kW but only if solar panel capacity is less than 2000 kW.

Pros and Cons of Buying Solar Panels in Illinois

Pros of Buying Solar Panels

  • Electricity price increase

    Illinois electricity price is below national average with 13 cents per kWh, however, governmental programs to reduce the usage of cheap fossil fuels and to regulate CO2 emissions will increase the price of electricity in the near future.
  • Clean and renewable energy at low cost

    Solar panels are an environmentally friendly source of energy that does not emit or pollute. Apart from out-of-pocket costs, solar systems can save a considerable amount of money after 5-6 years of payback period.
  • Increase in home value

    A recent study has shown that solar panels add additional value to a house. People are 4 times more willing to buy property with pre-installed solar panels.
  • Low noise level

    Solar panels, unlike other sources of renewable energy (ex. wind turbines), do not have moving parts. This characteristic makes them even more valuable for households.
  • Low maintenance

    Solar panels do not require weekly cleanings. It is recommended to clean solar panels 2-4 times a year by simply removing unnecessary debris.
  • State and federal help

    The Federal Investment Tax Credit, Illinois Solar Renewable Energy Credit and Illinois net metering offer significant help to Illinois residents in buying solar panels. Also, people who have financial difficulties can always apply for solar loan programs.

Cons of Buying Solar Panels

  • Expensive installation of solar panels

    With an average cost of $17,768, solar panels are considerable investment. Apart from installation, batteries for energy storage and panel installation place preparation, for example removing trees that block sunlight, can cost a significant amount of money.
  • Late benefits return

    Only 5-6 years after installation solar panel buyers can see the first cuts in utility bill costs.
  • Solar panels are weather dependent

    If the installation place lacks sunlight even for couple of days in a row, a solar panel user can run out of energy. It is recommended to consult a professional who can analyze and calculate the efficiency of a solar panel system before buying a panel.

Is it worth buying a solar panel in Illinois?

Illinois is not the sunniest state in the country, but the recent 80% solar panel price drop and the inevitable electricity cost increase show that installation of a solar system may be a good investment for future life in Illinois.

Tell us how much you are spending on electricity and we’ll calcalute how much you can save if you go solar
According to AmerenCILCO, we received the cost of kWH in your area and calculated energy consumption based on an average electricity bill for 3 months.
I am claiming the 26% Federal Tax Credit (ends 2022) i

When you install a solar system, 26% of your project expenses apply toward a credit to offset any taxes you owe that year. This federal tax credit is a major incentive to go solar, but it is going to be phased out by 2024.

To be eligible to claim this credit, you must owe federal taxes.

System size

  • Mini
  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large
We recommended
6.38 kW medium system size
Provides up to 80% of electricity consumption
$1.99 per watt
Average system cost
  • image rec 3
    18 x 370 watt
    solar panels
  • +
  • image rec 3
    18 x 300 watt
    microinverter
  • +
  • image rec 3
    2 x 3 800 watt
    inverter
$69.58/ month
Estimated savings on your average quarterly bill
  • $12,704.90
    Estimated system cost
    Excludes 26% Federal Tax Credit.
    This price does not include the installation cost.
  • 12 years
    Average system payback period
  • $33,612.08
    Estimated utility savings

Example of 4 kW system calculation in Minnesota for electricity bill $100

  • 9 ¢ /kWh
    The cost of electricity today in AmerenCILCO
  • 19 ¢ /kWh
    If you don't get solar. The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years
  • 6 ¢ /kWh
    levelized cost of solar energy

Relevant product for your system

Entry-level solar panels x 18
$7,390.98
  • View
Entry-level microinverter x 18
$3,152.38
  • View
Entry-level inverter x 2
$2,734.70
  • View
  • View
In stock
Trina 410W Solar Panel 144 cell TSM-410-DE15M(II) - A1 Solar Store 18% Off
Cell number 144 cell
DC/Charger Volt Compatible 12v, 24v, 48v
Price per Watt $0.62
Rated Power Output 410 W
Voltage (VOC) 49.4 V
Cell Type Monocrystalline
Pickup at 2 locations or US shipping
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Panasonic 340W Solar Panel 96 cell VBHN340SA17 Monocrystalline White - A1 Solar Store
Cell number 96 cell
DC/Charger Volt Compatible 12v, 24v, 48v
Price per Watt $1.07
Rated Power Output 340 W
Voltage (VOC) 71.3V
Cell Type Monocrystalline
Pickup at 4 locations or US shipping
In stock
Panasonic HIT 330W Solar Panel 96 cell VBHN330SA17 Monocrystalline Black - A1 Solar Store
Cell number 96 cell
DC/Charger Volt Compatible 12v, 24v, 48v
Price per Watt $1.01
Rated Power Output 330 W
Voltage (VOC) 69.7V
Cell Type Monocrystalline
Pickup at 3 locations or US shipping
In stock
Mission Solar Panel 420W 72 Cell PV Module MSE420SX6W Monocrystalline Black - A1 Solar Store 
Cell number 72 cell
DC/Charger Volt Compatible 12v, 24v, 48v
Price per Watt $0.77
Rated Power Output 420 W
Voltage (VOC) 49.14 V
Cell Type Monocrystalline
Pickup at 1 location or US shipping