6 Best Solar Companies in Illinois (2022 Rankings & Reviews)

We recommend vetted solar companies that have:

  • Availability in your area
  • Affordable pricing and financing options
  • At least 5 years of experience
  • Outstanding customer reviews
Ecowatch Author Karsten Neumeister

By Karsten Neumeister, Solar Expert

Updated 9/18/2022

Why You Can Trust EcoWatch

Our content is created and advised by solar industry experts, giving you the information you need to make smart decisions about solar for your home.

No other site has access to the same data and insider information as EcoWatch, and you can rest assured our reviews and rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

Best Solar Companies in Illinois

On the hunt for the best solar companies in Illinois? The Prairie State is a surprisingly hot place for solar growth, so several of the best installers in the nation are setting up shop to help residents adopt renewable energy. In this article, we’ll help you narrow in on the top options that may be available in your area.

Jump to Section:

  1. 5 Best Solar Companies in Illinois
  2. GRNE Solar
  3. Windfree Solar
  4. Sun Badger Solar
  5. StraightUp Solar
  6. ADT Solar
  7. SunPower
  8. Choosing the Best Installer For Your Home
  9. Cost of Solar In Illinois
  10. FAQ: Best Solar Companies Illinois

 

Best National Provider
Badge icon

Nationwide Service

Ecowatch rating

Average cost

$$$$$

SunPower

  • Pros icon Most efficient panels on the market
  • Pros icon National coverage
  • Pros icon Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Pros icon Great warranty coverage
  • Con icon Expensive
  • Con icon Customer service varies by local dealer

Services Offered

  • Service icon Solar Panels
  • Service icon Solar Batteries
  • Service icon EV Chargers
  • Service icon System Monitoring
Best Warranty Coverage
Badge icon

Regional Service

Ecowatch rating

Average cost

$$$$$

ADT Solar

  • Pros icon Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Pros icon Expansive service area
  • Con icon Some reported communication issues
  • Con icon No leases or PPAs

Services Offered

  • Service icon Solar Panels
  • Service icon Solar Batteries
  • Service icon EV Chargers
  • Service icon Energy-Efficiency Upgrades
Outstanding Regional Installer
Badge icon

Regional Service

Ecowatch rating

Average cost

$$$$$

Read full review now

Sun Badger Solar

  • Pros icon Offers products from leading manufacturers
  • Pros icon Competitive pricing
  • Pros icon Offers rewards for customer referrals
  • Con icon No leases or PPAs
  • Con icon Relatively young company

Services Offered

  • Service icon Solar Panels
  • Service icon Solar Batteries
  • Service icon EV Chargers
  • Service icon Maintenance & Repairs
Outstanding Regional Installer
Badge icon

Regional Service

Ecowatch rating

Average cost

$$$$$

Read full review now

GRNE Solar

  • Pros icon Representatives are experts on local policies
  • Pros icon Comprehensive service offerings
  • Pros icon Excellent reputation
  • Con icon Limited brands of solar equipment available

Services Offered

  • Service icon Solar Panels
  • Service icon Solar Batteries
  • Service icon EV Chargers
  • Service icon Maintenance & Repairs
  • Service icon System Monitoring
Outstanding Local Installer
Badge icon

Local Service

Ecowatch rating

Average cost

$$$$$

Read full review now

Windfree Solar

  • Pros icon Excellent reputation
  • Pros icon Outstanding workmanship
  • Con icon Slightly limited service area
  • Con icon May be overqualified for residential systems
  • Con icon No leases or PPAs

Services Offered

  • Service icon Solar Panels
  • Service icon Solar Batteries
  • Service icon EV Chargers
  • Service icon Energy-Efficiency Upgrades
  • Service icon Community Solar
Outstanding Regional Installer
Badge icon

Regional Service

Ecowatch rating

Average cost

$$$$$

Read full review now

StraightUp Solar

  • Pros icon Certified B Corp
  • Pros icon Full-service home energy solutions
  • Pros icon Representatives are experts on local policies
  • Con icon Limited service area
  • Con icon No leases or PPAs

Services Offered

  • Service icon Solar Panels
  • Service icon Solar Batteries
  • Service icon EV Chargers
  • Service icon Community Solar
  • Service icon Maintenance & Repairs

Our Picks for Top Illinois Solar Installers

Here are our top picks for Illinois solar installers.

  1. GRNE Solar
  2. Windfree Solar
  3. Sun Badger Solar
  4. StraightUp Solar
  5. ADT Solar
  6. SunPower

Honorable mentions include Blue Raven Solar.

Comparing the 6 Best Solar Companies in Illinois

GRNE Solar

Service Area: Entire state; based in Palatine

What We Like: GRNE Solar has established deep roots in the Midwest, with teams dedicated to both residential and commercial solar installations. Its experienced team of consultants, technicians, engineers and electricians cater to a variety of needs, with expertise in pitched roofs, ballasted arrays, ground-mounted panels and more.

What We Don’t Like: GRNE Solar has yet to offer backup battery options besides the LG Chem. Though we did name it one of the best solar batteries available, some customers might be interested in other models, like the Tesla Powerwall.

What Customers Are Saying: “We had a large, 53-kW ground-mount system installed by GRNE. Everything went smoothly, was professionally done, and I haven’t had any problems after three years. Being a large system, we did some research and found there was an alternative mounting method that would save a lot of money on the installation. GRNE was one of the few who were capable of using this method, which is one of the reasons we went with them.” — Rick T. via Google Reviews

GRNE Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2012
  • Services Provided: Solar panel, backup battery and electric vehicle charger installations; maintenance; monitoring
  • Warranty: Product-specific warranties
  • Financing Options: Solar loans, power purchase agreements (PPAs)

Windfree Solar

Service Area: Chicago metropolitan area

What We Like: Windfree Solar is a full-service renewable energy contracting firm that’s run by a team of well-respected, multi-disciplinary leaders from Chicago’s business, architectural and artistic communities. With creative solutions, premiere workmanship and a decade-plus of experience, Windfree Solar has cemented itself as a leader in Illinois’ clean energy economy.

What We Don’t Like: Windfree Solar’s expertise leans toward the commercial side and may be overqualified for simpler jobs. Homeowners looking for an accessible, low-maintenance residential solar system may find a more simple approach elsewhere.

What Customers Are Saying: “Superb company. They went out of their way to get materials during this difficult supply chain time. Salespersons are very knowledgeable and helpful. Project managers were available and first-rate. The installers were very professional and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend them.” — Christopher Heffner via Google Reviews

Windfree Solar at a Glance: 

  • Year Founded: 2009
  • Services Provided: Solar panel, backup battery and EV charger installations; energy efficiency upgrades; community solar and small wind power
  • Warranty: 15-year workmanship warranty, 25-year product warranty
  • Financing Options: Solar loans

Sun Badger Solar

Service Area: Entire state; Based in Wisconsin

What We Like: After its founding in 2018, Sun Badger Solar quickly expanded to become a popular choice for homeowners throughout the four states it serves: Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Florida. Customers who choose Sun Badger Solar rake in the abundant benefits of the company’s services, including flexible financing ($0-down solar loans), competitive pricing, information on tax credits, a diverse array of solar brands (Tesla, LG, SolarEdge, Q Cells) and solid warranties.

What We Don’t Like: Although Sun Badger Solar is an excellent option for your solar needs, the company does have an A- on BBB, which isn’t bad, but is a lower rating than most of its competitors. The company is also kind of young by industry standards, only founded in 2018.

What Customers Are Saying: “I have just completed the process of going Solar and I must say that working with Sun Badger was a great experience. They performed all of the heavy lifting with paperwork and equipment and their service was fantastic. They maintained contact with me during every step and now I am enjoying the production of electricity being generated on top of my house at a very affordable price. I highly recommend this company to anyone that is ready to make the switch..” — David via Google Reviews

Sun Badger Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2018
  • Services Provided: Solar panel, battery and EV charger installations; system maintenance
  • Warranty: 25-year workmanship and equipment warranties
  • Financing Options: Cash, $0 down Solar loans

StraightUp Solar

Service Area: Central Illinois; based in St. Louis

What We Like: Since 2006, StraightUp Solar has installed more than 1,700 residential and commercial-scale solar projects in Illinois and Missouri. An engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company, this installer provides reliable, turn-key solutions for solar projects, battery storage, EV chargers and more. StraightUp Solar also has its B Corp certification, committing to a high standard of social and environmental ethics.

What We Don’t Like: StraightUp Solar’s service area might be limited for readers in northern Illinois or the Chicagoland area.

What Customers Are Saying: “We just had our solar array installed by Straight Up Solar.  Could NOT be happier with the project. From start to finish — and beyond — customer service has been stellar. I’m NOT used to that these days! No one was pushy or tried to get me to purchase things I wasn’t interested in. Do yourself a favor and give them a call, you won’t regret it.” — Yvonne via Google Reviews

StraightUp Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2006
  • Services Provided: Solar panel, backup battery and EV charger installations; community solar; maintenance and monitoring
  • Warranty: 10-year workmanship warranty, 10-year production guarantee
  • Financing Options: Solar loans, solar leases via SunPower partnership

ADT Solar

Service Area: Entire state; based in Elk Grove Village

What We Like: ADT Solar is an experienced and qualified national installer, using products from some of the best solar brands, like LG solar panels and Enphase microinverters. ADT’s warranty is what sets it apart from the competition, however: Each solar panel installation it performs comes with a 25-year labor warranty and a 25-year production guarantee.

What We Don’t Like: ADT Solar outsources its work to certified installers across the state. Though the standards are high to certify with ADT, the quality of its installations is very dependent on the quality of the local installer.

What Customers Are Saying: “Amazing team and products. I had been searching for solar for over a year and had quotes from six different companies. ADT was by far the best value. Not the cheapest, but the best price for premium LG panels.” — Jhorline via Google Reviews

ADT Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2008
  • Services Provided: Solar panel, backup battery and EV charger installations
  • Warranty: 25-year labor warranty, 25-year production guarantee
  • Financing Options: Solar loans
  • Learn More: ADT Solar review

SunPower

Service Area: Entire state

What We Like: SunPower is one of the largest installers in the nation, selling and installing its own products across the entire state of Illinois. Its solar panels, manufactured by its close partner company Maxeon, are some of the best in the business when it comes to power, efficiency and sustainability.

What We Don’t Like: SunPower is only able to service so many states across the nation by employing subcontractors to carry out its installations. This means that the quality of your installation will depend on the installer in your area. In Illinois, most installations are carried out by Legacy Solar, a well-regarded company.

What Customers Are Saying: “Every single person I worked with from Legacy was incredibly helpful, knowledgeable, and just easy to talk to. They stuck to the schedule they promised, and the install looks fantastic (as do my electric bills now). If you’re considering going solar, please give these folks a call.” — Kyle via Google Reviews

SunPower Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 1985
  • Services Provided: Solar panel, backup battery and EV charger installations
  • Warranty: 25-year labor warranty, 25-year production guarantee
  • Financing Options: Cash, solar loans
  • Learn More: SunPower review

How We Chose the Best Illinois Solar Companies

We thoroughly researched the services, reviews and reputations of as many solar companies in Illinois as we could find so we could rank them impartially. Following this methodology, we landed on the companies listed above as the best solar companies in Illinois.

Choosing the Best Installer For Your Home

Solar companies need to stand out in order to earn your business. For this reason, each focuses on different specialties. It’s important to understand your energy goals prior to choosing a solar contractor so you can be sure that you get the most out of going solar.

Services Offered

The services offered by individual Illinois solar companies will vary slightly. Certain companies choose to specialize in roofing and workmanship, and others will focus more energy on solar financing if budget is a priority. We recommend looking for a solar company with a breadth of quality services. Be sure to have a good idea of your goals for going solar — whether that’s lowering your electric bill or lowering your carbon footprint — as this will be a good guide for picking a company that can meet your needs.

Coverage Areas

A number of the best Illinois solar companies are actually headquartered in neighboring states like Wisconsin, Iowa or Missouri. As a result, some local providers will only cover certain regions of Illinois. Keep in mind that a smaller service area doesn’t equate to a lower-tier company. Be sure to choose a company that covers your area — and keep in mind that your solar project’s overall costs will be higher the further your provider operates from your home.

Installation Process

The installation process for a home in Chicago will look a lot different than an agricultural project in a rural area of Illinois. When choosing a solar installation company, look for one that offers a range of high-quality services. We recommend familiarizing yourself with the solar installation process prior to signing a contract. Make sure your solar provider can outline the process for you in detail.

Solar Pricing and Financing

The cost of solar panels is one of the most common deterrents to solar. We understand why. If paying for solar panels upfront isn’t feasible for you, many of the best solar companies in Illinois offer flexible financing options.

Industry Affiliations

When narrowing down the best solar installers near you, keep an eye out for certifications that reflect a reputable status within the industry. For example, employing NABCEP-certified technicians or holding membership in the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) are good signs of a reliable company. We also like to see that installers are certified to install equipment from top solar brands.

Types of Panels

Different solar companies will offer slightly different types of solar panels. You’ll typically see a lot of the best solar panels — LG, Q Cells, REC and others — but make sure to ask about product portfolios upfront. Reference our guides to the most efficient solar panels and affordable solar panels to learn more about the variations in equipment.

Incentives, Rebates, and Tax Credits

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (or SRECs), and similar incentives are a big driver of solar’s popularity in Illinois. In a state where incentives and rebates hold so much significance in value, it’s wise to choose a company with plenty of experience working through complex tax exemptions and utility rebates. More on this below.

Warranty

Surprises happen, and a solid warranty can ensure the reliability of your system for decades after purchase. A strong warranty should never be an assumption when signing a contract, so always clarify before offering your signature.

An underrated consideration behind a warranty: Your warranty is only valid so long as the company that installed your solar system stays in business. The solar business is booming, and a number of companies will either consolidate or fail over the next decade or so. For this reason, we emphasize industry experience when it comes to determining a warranty’s strength.

Cost of Solar In Illinois

Based on market research and data from top solar panel brands, we found the average current cost of solar in Illinois to be around $2.73 per watt, slightly above the national average of $2.66 per watt. Using this average, we can calculate that after applying the 30% federal solar tax credit, a 5-kW solar panel system would cost around $9,555, and a 10-kW system would cost around $19,110.

Any of the best solar companies in Illinois should explain the federal tax credit, local incentives and solar tax exemptions to reduce your overall project costs. In Illinois, expertise in the many statewide incentives may be more important than elsewhere in the U.S., especially for commercial installations.

We encourage you to familiarize yourself with what’s available in your area as well. Here’s a brief rundown of Illinois solar incentives.

Illinois Solar Incentive Illinois Solar Incentive Overview
Standardized Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) Illinois incentivizes its residents with SRECs for contributing to the state’s renewable energy goals. SRECs are certificates earned for every megawatt-hour of clean energy generated by your system. These credits can be sold through the SREC market to help offset the cost of solar.
Illinois Net Metering Illinois’ net metering policy mandates utility companies credit you for any excess energy your solar system produces. Your excess energy savings can offset a big chunk of the cost of solar.
Illinois Solar For All Program Illinois’ Solar for All provides greater access to clean energy for low-income communities through various public grants and loans.
ComEd Commercial Solar Rebates Commercial solar panel systems up to 2,000 kilowatt (kW) of total capacity are eligible for a $250 rebate per kW through ComEd’s solar rebate program. For example, a rebate for a 100-kW system would be $25,000.
Property Tax Exemptions It’s well-known that solar adds to your property value, but property tax exemptions offer the key value behind that fact. Without an exemption, your property tax would be raised accordingly with the boost in your home value from solar.
Illinois does not offer a sales tax exemption.

How to Find the Best Solar Installer in Illinois

Overall, Illinois residents enjoy access to a number of growing solar companies capable of performing reliable installations. Though each company’s specialty might differ slightly, most offer both residential and commercial services backed with knowledge of Illinois’ financial incentives and tax exemptions.

When narrowing down the best solar companies in Illinois, we recommend reaching out to a few providers and getting free quotes. In the process, you’ll be able to compare offers to find the most value, as well as learn more about the solar potential of your home or business. Speaking with several companies also allows you to find a representative you trust and makes you feel confident in making the significant investment that solar is.

See also: Calculate how much you can save by going solar

Read More About Going Solar

FAQ: Best Solar Companies Illinois

At EcoWatch, we’re happy to get questions about the process and costs of getting rooftop solar from Illinois residents. Below are some of the questions we see most often, along with our responses. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at solar@ecowatch.com.

Blog author image

Karsten Neumeister

Solar Expert

Karsten is a researcher, editor, writer and energy specialist focused on environmental, social and cultural development. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the solar energy sector, studying energy policy, climate tech and environmental education. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.