Guide to Solar Panels in Illinois in 2023
How Much Do Solar Panels in Illinois Cost?
The exact cost and savings of your system may vary depending on several factors, including:
- The size of your system
- Your current energy usage
- Your current electricity rates
- Any incentives in your area
- The size and layout of your roof
- Preference of loan or cash financing
With Palmetto, the cost of solar panels in Illinois starts at $85 per month for a loan.1
4 Reasons Why It’s Worth Going Solar in Illinois
Mitigate OutagesAdd battery storage to your solar system and rely on clean energy if and when outages roll through.
Count On SavingsThe sun is relentlessly shining energy upon us. Solar panels take advantage of this by providing you with consistent, reliable power.
Lower Your FootprintUnlike fossil fuels, solar energy is both clean and renewable—a better solution for your home, your community, and the environment.
Increase Home ValuePlanning to sell? Solar-powered homes have been shown to stand out, earn more, and sell faster in the national real estate market.
Learn How Solar Works in Illinois
Homeowners who install solar panel systems in Illinois utilize net metering. Net energy metering allows you to earn credits toward your utility bill for the excess electricity your PV system generates and sends to the electric grid. These credits can be used to offset retail electricity purchased during other time periods, like at night.
Available Solar Incentives in Illinois
The Illinois Adjustable Block Program, also referred to as Illinois Shines, is the most notable state solar incentive, and for good reason too, as it’s very valuable. Other Illinois solar incentives include:
- Solar Tax Credit: Most solar energy installations are eligible for the Residential Clean Energy Credit, previously called the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Eligible homeowners can deduct up to 30% of their solar power system’s costs from their total tax liability for the year of installation.
- Illinois Adjustable Block Program: Solar system owners are eligible for a one-time, upfront rebate in exchange for selling their Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) to the utility for 15 years. A typical 8 kW system can expect to receive $6,000-$7,000 depending on their utility and expected production. The incentive program is designed to lower the value paid per SREC as more solar customers enroll, so now is the time to go solar in Illinois and lock in the best rate.
- State Property Tax Exemption: Solar has been shown to increase the value of your home. Illinois exempts this addition from your property taxes, meaning you don’t pay extra taxes because you got solar panels.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does solar work with my utility provider in Illinois?
Palmetto will manage the solar interconnection application process with your utility. Once the system is installed, we will submit the required documentation and pay any fees. Your utility will grant Permission to Operate (PTO) your solar system and enable net metering credits on your bill.
If you receive electric supply from a competitive supplier, it’s highly recommended to break the contract and return to your utility provider (ComEd or Ameren) to ensure net metering credits are received. Illinois’s net metering law requires ComEd and Ameren to provide 1-to-1 net metering credits, but unfortunately, does not require it for third-party suppliers. 1-to-1 net metering means the credit the utility provides for you on your utility bill is the same value as the rate of electricity that the utility charges you.
What is net metering?
Net metering, or net energy metering (NEM) is a billing mechanism that enables you to send extra solar energy your solar panels generate beyond what your home can consume at the moment back into the electric grid. In return, you earn credit that you can use to offset the cost of electricity you pull from the grid in the future. The value of the credit depends on how electricity rates and net metering policies are structured in your utility.
Learn more about net metering here
How long do solar panels last?
The first solar cells were manufactured by Bell Laboratories in the late 1950s and are still functional today. Likewise, panels installed on homes in the 1970s and ’80s continue to generate power. Most solar modules today have a 25-year power output warranty and may continue to produce power well beyond that point. Homeowners interested in additional protection and savings can enroll in Palmetto Protect and earn quick access to energy monitoring, dedicated customer support, exclusive discounts, and best-in-class maintenance services.
Where do I start? It seems complicated.
You're right, solar energy can feel very complex, especially if you're researching providers, technologies, incentives, municipal requirements, permits, the list goes on. That’s why Palmetto created end-to-end solar energy solutions allowing you to plug into savings with less time and no hassle. From financing and design to installation, production monitoring, and maintenance, our dedicated Customer Experience Team is here to answer questions, address concerns, and guide you through every step of the process. Visit our product pages to learn more about Palmetto’s solar and storage solutions.
Will solar panels work with my roof?
Before designing your custom solar solution, we’ll take a detailed survey of your property and assess the solar energy potential of your roof. Beyond the size, angle, and orientation of your roof, we’ll look at shading, estimated tree growth, materials, ventilation and drain pipes, and the overall condition. Because solar panel arrays can last 25-30 years without the need for repair or replacement, it’s important the roof beneath is in good shape. In some cases, it may be advisable to have your roof repaired or replaced entirely before the installation of solar panels can begin.
How much of my home can be powered by solar panels?
That depends on your overall household energy usage relative to the total capacity of your solar array. Many homeowners desire a system size producing 100% of their energy usage needs, but they may not always be possible. Alternatively, if you plan to change your behavior, such as by purchasing an electric vehicle, you may wish to go a little larger than historical usage.
How much does a solar power system cost?
The cost of your solar power system will vary based on a number of factors including your location, the size of your solar array, installation fees in your area, and if you desire energy storage for backup power. That said, solar technologies have never been more efficient or affordable.
Does my solar array come with a warranty?
What happens if I produce more solar power than I need?
Your home will still be connected to the electric grid so you have power when your system is not producing. Excess energy produced beyond what your home is using at any moment can flow back into the grid, and will earn you credit on your electricity bill. If you choose to integrate energy storage with your solar power system, any excess energy that is produced and not immediately used by your household will function to charge your battery. This, in turn, allows you to access stored solar power for your home when energy usage exceeds production, and provide valuable backup power during an outage.
Will I still receive an electric bill with solar panels?
Yes, almost all solar customers maintain a connection to the grid, even those with battery storage, which means you will still receive an electricity bill, though you can dramatically reduce the amount you pay each month thanks to the energy produced by your solar panels.
If there is a power outage, will my power go out?
- The size and production of your solar panels
- The size of the battery system
- The battery state of charge when the outage occurs
- The areas or appliances in your home that are prioritized to receive power when the grid goes down.