Solar Panel Cost Guide in Champaign, IL (Oct 2022)

  • Champaign Solar Installation Cost: $12,058
  • 25-Year Savings: $10,106
  • Payback Period: 13.6 Years

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EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 9/16/2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Champaign

Here's how much it might cost to install solar panels in Champaign.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Champaign, the average cost of a solar system is $3 per watt. The average Champaign homeowner needs a 6.3-kilowatt system, which would cost about $12,058, or $8,923 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

Keep in mind that the numbers above are only averages. The price you'll pay for solar may vary based on your household energy needs, the type of solar system you want, your solar contractor and more. For many homeowners, the upfront investment in solar power is worth paying. On average homeowners in Champaign see about $13,000 in savings on electricity bills over 20 years.

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

Solar savings over time in Champaign

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-11,172
3 years $-9,399
5 years $-7,625
7 years $-5,852
9 years $-4,079
11 years $-2,306
13 years $-533
15 years $1,240
17 years $3,014
19 years $4,787
21 years $6,560
23 years $8,333
25 years $10,106

Top Solar Installers in Champaign

When switching to solar energy, many homeowners decide to go with a solar installer since putting up a solar system yourself can be a challenging project. Also, companies with an outstanding reputation that cost more upfront could actually save you money in the long run because of their warranties, repair services and expert design.

You can get a free estimate from a local solar installer on how much your investment in solar could cost for your home. Here are some nearby:

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

The Green Panel

★★★★★
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 Champaign

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Champaign

Although the average cost of solar panels in Champaign is $12,058, your final cost may be higher or lower than that. There are several factors that can have a sizable impact on the cost of a solar panel installation. Below are some of the more crucial things to consider.

Solar Equipment Size

The size of the solar panel system you need is the most important cost factor to consider. For every additional kilowatt you need, you can expect your total to increase by nearly $2,730. The type of solar equipment you choose can increase or decrease your cost by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. If you opt for the most efficient solar panel brands, you'll end up paying more upfront than if you opted for the most affordable panels. However, higher efficiency could save you more in the long run on your energy bills. Additionally, add-on products, like solar batteries, can bring your total well above the Champaign average.

Solar Financing Terms

Many homeowners find the average cost of solar in Champaign to be prohibitively steep, even if the investment pays off over time. Fortunately, almost every solar company in the area provides access to financing options. Solar loans drastically decrease upfront costs in most cases, but they also result in paying more over time due to interest. It's a good idea to include the interest you'll pay in your final cost estimate. If you can afford to pay a larger down payment, you can reduce your total costs and the amount of time it'll take to pay back the loan.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar installer you choose will influence your total cost to adopt solar energy. Different companies will charge different amounts for the equipment and labor. Additionally, some companies in Champaign are more knowledgeable about local solar incentives and can help you learn about additional rebates or tax exemptions. However, they may charge more for that service. Even if they cost more upfront, they could help you save more money in the long run.

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 $9,143 14.2 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $12,497 13.9 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $16,003 13.6 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $19,662 13.3 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $23,474 13.1 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $27,439 12.8 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $31,557 12.5 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $35,828 12.2 years

Solar Incentives in Champaign

Name Special Assessment for Solar Energy Systems
Incentive Amount Varies
More Info Click here

Name Solar Renewable Energy Credits
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the brand of solar panels and the installer you choose greatly affects your costs and your system's efficiency, production, and durability, it's important to pick the right ones for you. Here are some things to keep in mind to help with your decision:

  • Solar Panel Brands: Not all solar companies carry the same brands of solar panels, so the brand and type of panel you want can play a considerable role in the company you opt for.
  • Warranty: If you're worried about the longevity of your solar panels, verifying your company offers a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty can help put you at ease.
  • Contract: It's important to look over your solar installer's contract thoroughly to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what expectations you should have about your solar system's energy production.
  • Installation Process: Get detailed information from your solar installer about the installation process and what to expect, such as when the site survey will be completed and how long it will take.

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

The Green Panel

★★★★★
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 Champaign, IL Solar Cost FAQs

How much does it cost to install solar panels in Champaign?

This is a tough question to answer precisely, 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 higher quality panels, or if you have above-average energy consumption. On the other hand, you can spend less if you want a smaller solar panel system or cheaper solar panels.

Is cost the most important thing to consider when buying solar panels?

Cost is a very important factor to consider, but whether it's the most important for you depends on why you decided to go solar. In places where rooftop space is limited, efficiency can trump the cost. Other factors that are important to take into account are the quality and durability of your solar panels.

Can solar panels completely eradicate my power bills?

It is possible to eradicate your electricity bills with solar panels, but for most homeowners throughout Champaign, 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 contact a local solar installer to see how many panels can fit on your roof.

How many solar panels do I need to power my home?

To figure out what solar panel system size you need, you should find out how much energy your home needs and how much sunlight your home gets. For a general estimate, however, since each panel can typically produce about 250 to 400 watt-hours per hour, the average house will need 20 to 35 panels.

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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