Solar Panel Cost Guide in Central, IL (Jan 2023)

  • Central Solar Installation Cost: $11,753
  • 25-Year Savings: $16,253
  • Payback Period: 10.5 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated January 20, 2023

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We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other site has covered renewables as long as us, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites. Our rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

Average Cost of Solar Panels in Central

Find out what the average cost of installing solar panels is in Central.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Central, the average cost of solar panels is $3 per watt. The average solar panel system size in Central is around 6.2 kilowatts, meaning a cost of about $11,753 for a solar installation, or $8,697 after the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

The actual price you pay can be above or below the average in Central based on a variety of factors, such as the model of solar panels you choose and the solar installer you hire. For most homeowners, the upfront investment in solar power is worth paying. On average Central homeowners see about $17,000 in savings on electricity bills over 20 years.

For a free quote from a local solar installer that has been pre-vetted by EcoWatch, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Central

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-10,632
3 years $-8,392
5 years $-6,151
7 years $-3,911
9 years $-1,670
11 years $570
13 years $2,810
15 years $5,051
17 years $7,291
19 years $9,532
21 years $11,772
23 years $14,013
25 years $16,253

Top Solar Installers in Central

Many homeowners choose to hire a solar installer since installing solar panels by yourself can be a lot of work. Companies can also have access to various kinds of the best solar panels and help you pick which one will be best for you.

Working with a licensed solar company can make going solar easier. Here are our recommendations:

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

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

Best Solar Financing

Blue Raven Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent reputation
  • Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
4.5

  • Price-match guarantee
  • Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
  • Best solar battery on the market
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

See all of the solar companies in Central

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Central

Although the average cost of a solar system in Central is $11,753, your final cost may be above or below the average. There are many factors that can have a sizable impact on the cost of a solar system installation. Below are some of the more important things to take into consideration.

Solar Equipment

One of the most significant factors to consider when it comes to the cost of adopting solar energy is the size of the solar system, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). The more energy your household uses, the larger your system will likely need to be. You can expect to pay around $2,730 per kilowatt in Central. Some solar brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — are more expensive upfront but also tend to offer better efficiency. In a city like Central, where sunlight is relatively abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. Also, if you have a small roof or you don't have a lot of space for your panels, higher efficiency options will be more impactful. Additional equipment like electric vehicle chargers and solar batteries will also increase the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

Most solar companies in Central provide solar loans, which reduce your upfront costs of installing a solar system. Even though solar loans make switching to solar energy more accessible for Central homeowners, they can also raise the total you pay for your system, depending on your interest rate. If you put down a larger down payment, though, you can cut back on how much interest you have to pay.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The last significant cost factor you should consider is the installer you choose. Given the booming popularity of clean energy solutions in Central, you'll have many options to choose from, but each comes at different price points for labor and equipment. Companies that only sell products with high efficiency and therefore a higher price point — like Maxeon solar panels from SunPower or Tesla Powerwall batteries — so choosing those installers will generally come at a higher cost. It's best to do some research and choose a company that has the products, warranties and services you want and also fits within your budget.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $2.84 $11,925 $15,399 10.9 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $20,838 10.7 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $26,429 10.5 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $32,174 10.3 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $38,071 10.1 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $44,121 9.9 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $50,324 9.7 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $56,680 9.4 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the type of solar panels and the installation company you choose considerably impacts your costs and your system's durability and efficiency, it's important to select the right ones for you. Here are some things to keep in mind to help with your decision:

  • Installation Process: Make sure you're aligned with the company regarding how the installation process will go and what you need to do before your solar system is installed, such as updating your electrical system or roof.
  • Solar Panel Brands: The brand of solar panel you need to get plays a role in which company you should choose, since different companies offer different panels.
  • Reputation: Solar companies that have great reviews from their customers and that have been in business for many years most likely provide quality solar panel installation and expertise.
  • Contract: Before signing a contract with a solar company, make sure to read it through carefully so you understand the terms. Also, ask questions if you're not sure about some of the terms, such as what the warranty covers and if there are any guarantees about energy production.

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

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

Best Solar Financing

Blue Raven Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent reputation
  • Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
4.5

  • Price-match guarantee
  • Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
  • Best solar battery on the market
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

EcoWatch's Central, IL Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Central?

This is a tough question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on a variety of factors. Broadly speaking, it costs about $13,650 for a 5-kW system and $27,300 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. You can expect to pay more if you want additional solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have higher-than-average energy needs. Conversely, you can spend less if you want a smaller solar panel system or less expensive solar panels.

Should I lease or buy solar panels in Central?

Leasing solar panels can be an attractive choice, because it commonly comes with low or $0 upfront payments. The downside is that you won't be able to save as much. If you lease, you don't own the system, so you can't claim any tax rebates and credits and your home value won't increase. Buying solar panels is a better way to go if you want to maximize your savings.

Can solar panels eliminate my energy bills?

It is possible to eliminate your electricity bills with solar panels, but for most homeowners in Central, that will require at least a 10-kW system. Not all homes will have the roof space for that size system, so you'll want to check with a local solar installer to see how many panels can fit on your roof.

How long do solar panels last in Central?

On average, the lifespan of solar panels is about 25 to 30 years. Some even last up to 50 years, but their efficiency decreases by about 0.8% each year. You can choose to replace them sooner if you want to maintain a larger amount of energy production.

Our goal is to reach as many people as we can with sensible solutions like solar energy. Our team of full-time local researchers collects solar price and installation data for every city in America then compiles it to create these digestible city guides. If you want to read our solar expert's opinion on the top solar companies featured here, follow this link.

Company research was conducted by Melissa Smith and Karsten Neumeister. Local data analysis was conducted by James Savino. See something we missed or could do better? Email the editor.

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