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

  • Empire Solar Installation Cost: $12,116
  • 25-Year Savings: $13,596
  • Payback Period: 11.8 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

Why you can trust EcoWatch

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 Empire

Here's how much it might cost to go solar in Empire.

The national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, but in Empire it's $3 per watt. Because a 6.3-kW system is needed to cover the energy consumption of a typical home in Empire, the average price of going solar will be about $12,116 before claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

Bear in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average Empire homeowner. The cost of a solar system for your home may be different depending on factors unique to your situation, like your household energy use and solar contractor. Even with the significant upfront cost, the average Empire homeowner can save around $15,000 on their electricity bills over 20 years, which is one of the advantages of solar.

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

Solar savings over time in Empire

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-11,087
3 years $-9,030
5 years $-6,973
7 years $-4,917
9 years $-2,860
11 years $-803
13 years $1,254
15 years $3,311
17 years $5,368
19 years $7,425
21 years $9,482
23 years $11,539
25 years $13,596

Top Solar Installers in Empire

Although you can install solar panels yourself, it involves extra effort and handiness. That's why most homeowners choose to hire a solar panel installer. A solar installer can also help save you money over the lifespan of your system by offering warranties, repairs and part replacements.

You can work with a local solar installer to get a free estimate on how much solar panels could cost for your home. Here are some near you:

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 Empire

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Empire

The cost of installing a solar system in Empire can vary by more than $10,000 from home to home. Your actual cost depends on several factors. The biggest one is the size of the system your home needs, and other factors include the equipment you choose, financing options and the solar company you choose.

Solar Equipment

When it comes to estimating the price of a solar system in Empire, one of the most important factors is the size of the system you need. Solar systems are sized by kilowatts (kW) and are mainly based on your home's energy usage, which you can figure out by looking at past power bills. Your total cost can increase by about $2,730 for each additional kilowatt you need. The brand of solar panels and equipment you choose is another factor that will substantially impact costs. Solar panels that are more efficient, like monocrystalline panels, tend to cost more. Plus, solar equipment goes beyond just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to make decisions about the kind of racks used to mount the panels, inverters, solar batteries, etc. It's important to take all of this into consideration when looking for a solar system that falls within your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

Solar panels can save you money on energy bills over many years, but they can also be a significant investment. That's why many Empire homeowners opt to finance their solar panel systems to make paying for solar more affordable. However, the interest on solar loans also adds to your total costs, so it's vital to take that into consideration as well. You can always lower the total you pay in interest and sometimes even your APR by putting more money down.

Solar Panel Installation Company

A final factor to keep in mind when trying to figure out the cost of solar for your home or business in Empire is the company you hire to install your solar system. As with choosing a company to renovate your kitchen, for example, there are plenty of solar installers that provide a range of services at different price points. 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 at a higher cost. It's best to do some research and decide on the company that provides the products, warranties and services you're looking for 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 $12,400 12.3 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $16,839 12.0 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $21,431 11.8 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $26,176 11.5 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $31,073 11.3 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $36,124 11.1 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $41,327 10.8 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $46,683 10.6 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the brand of solar panels and the company you choose has an impact on your costs and your system's efficiency, production, and durability, it's important to select the right ones for you. Here are some things to keep in mind to help with your decision:

  • Solar Panel Brands: Homeowners will have different preferences for panels based on their locations and how much efficiency they need. Even though there are many options for which kind of solar panel you can get, not every company will have the exact one you may want or need, so be sure to take a look at their list of options before deciding.
  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a sound reputation as a company and have proven expertise in the field. A couple of ways to check this are to look for whether a company has technicians that hold a certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and if it has positive reviews from past customers.
  • Contract: When looking over your solar company's contract, ask for clarification about any terms you're not sure of and be sure you understand what happens in scenarios such as a system part breaking or the company going out of business.
  • Warranty: A comprehensive, 25-year warranty can help keep your solar system running smoothly and save you money on part replacement and repairs.

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 Empire, IL Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in Empire is about $13,650 for a 5-kW system and $27,300 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the real cost will depend on things such as the type of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you consume.

Should I lease or buy solar panels in Empire?

Leasing solar panels can be an appealing choice, as it commonly comes with low or $0 upfront payments. The drawback 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 incentives and your home value won't increase. Buying solar panels is a better option if you want to maximize your savings.

Is going solar worth it?

Whether or not solar panels are worth it depends on some different factors like the cost of electricity near you and how much direct sunlight your roof gets.

How long do solar panels last in Empire?

Though the average lifespan of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, that doesn't mean they should be disposed of at that time. What this means is how much energy they produce will have decreased significantly after that point. You can replace them once you've had them for that long or you can continue to use them at a lower efficiency.

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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