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Top Solar Installers in Chicago
When switching to solar energy, many homeowners prefer to hire a solar company since putting up a solar system yourself can be a difficult project. Some solar installers, particularly local ones, can help you take advantage of incentives in Chicago, thereby optimizing your ROI.
If you're searching for a solar installer in Chicago, the EcoWatch team has put together a list of our top suggestions here:
See all of the solar companies in Chicago
Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Chicago
For many Chicago homeowners, the decision to install a solar energy system depends on cost. However, the range of solar installation costs can be quite wide in Chicago, with typical prices between $20,000 to $40,000. There are several factors that considerably influence the price you'll pay, which we'll go over below.
Solar Equipment Size
Size is one of the largest factors that determines the overall cost of going solar. That's why it's important to accurately gauge the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your typical energy use. Some solar panel brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — are more expensive upfront but also tend to offer higher efficiency. In a city like Chicago, where sunlight is relatively abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. In addition, if you have a small roof or you don't have a lot of space for your panels, higher efficiency options will be a better option. Additional equipment like electric vehicle chargers and solar batteries will also increase the cost.
Solar Financing Terms
For some homeowners, paying for solar panels out of pocket can be difficult. Solar loans are provided by most installers in Chicago, which can reduce, or in some cases totally eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more accessible. Although solar loans make switching to solar energy more accessible for Chicago homeowners, they can also increase the total you pay for your system, depending on your interest rate and how long you take to pay off the loan. If you make a larger down payment, though, you can avoid paying as much in interest.
Solar Panel Installation Company
The remaining significant cost factor you should take into consideration is the installer you choose. Given the booming popularity of sustainable energy solutions in Chicago, you'll have a great number of options to choose from, but each comes at various price points for labor and equipment. Companies that only sell high-efficiency and high-priced products — like Maxeon solar panels from SunPower or Tesla Powerwall batteries — so choosing those installers will generally come with an above-average cost. It's best to do some research and go with the 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||$9,074||14.2 years|
|8 kW||$2.78||$15,594||$12,404||13.9 years|
|10 kW||$2.73||$19,110||$15,887||13.7 years|
|12 kW||$2.68||$22,473||$19,523||13.4 years|
|14 kW||$2.62||$25,684||$23,312||13.1 years|
|16 kW||$2.57||$28,741||$27,254||12.8 years|
|18 kW||$2.51||$31,646||$31,349||12.6 years|
|20 kW||$2.46||$34,398||$35,596||12.3 years|
Solar Incentives in Chicago
How to Save on Solar Panels
There are a large number of companies to choose from in Chicago, and some homeowners feel overwhelmed considering their options. Picking the right company for you can be challenging, so here are some tips to help you decide:
- Reputation: The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a respected certification organization for sustainable energy professionals. If your solar panel installer is NABCEP-certified, it most likely has a good reputation and is qualified to install your solar system. Another way you can look into your installer's reputation is by reading reviews.
- Contract: It's important to read through your solar installer's contract thoroughly to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what expectations you should have about the project timeline.
- Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and kind has varying levels of quality, durability and energy efficiency. They will come at different prices as well. The company you choose has an impact on which solar panel brands you have access to.
- Warranty: A comprehensive, long-term warranty can help keep your solar panels running smoothly and save you money on part replacement and repairs.
EcoWatch's Chicago, IL Solar Cost FAQs
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.