Solar Panel Cost Guide in Evanston, IL (Feb 2023)

  • Evanston Solar Installation Cost: $12,211
  • 25-Year Savings: $10,400
  • Payback Period: 13.5 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 Evanston

Let's take a look at the average cost of solar in Evanston.

The national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, but in Evanston it's $3 per watt. Since a 6.4-kW system is needed to cover the energy needs of a typical home in Evanston, the average price of going solar will be about $12,211 before claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

These figures are just estimates, and how much solar costs for you will most likely differ based on factors unique to your home and what company you want to go with. For most homeowners, the upfront investment in solar is worth paying. On average Evanston homeowners 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 the EcoWatch team, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Evanston

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-11,307
3 years $-9,498
5 years $-7,689
7 years $-5,880
9 years $-4,071
11 years $-2,262
13 years $-453
15 years $1,356
17 years $3,165
19 years $4,974
21 years $6,783
23 years $8,592
25 years $10,400

Top Solar Installers in Evanston

Trying to put up solar panels yourself can be a time-consuming project, which is why getting a solar installation company is a good option for many homeowners. Solar companies offer key benefits that can help you get the most out of your investment, like warranties, monitoring and free repairs.

If you'd like to switch to solar energy but still aren't sure which solar system installer to go with, here are our suggestions for providers 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

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 Evanston

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Evanston

Cost is often one of the most important factors for homeowners who are considering investing in solar. There are a few major factors that determine your overall cost in Evanston: solar equipment and system size, financing options and the solar installation company you choose. We'll go over each of these briefly below.

Solar Equipment

When it comes to estimating the cost of solar panels in Evanston, one of the most crucial factors is the size of the system you need. Solar systems are sized by kilowatts (kW) and are primarily based on your home's energy consumption, which you can figure out by looking at past electricity bills. Your total cost can increase by around $2,730 for each additional kilowatt you need. The model of solar panels and equipment you get is another factor that will substantially impact costs. Solar panels that are more efficient, like monocrystalline panels, tend to be more costly. Moreover, solar equipment goes beyond just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to consider 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 into a solar system that falls within your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

Most solar installers in Evanston offer solar loans, which reduce the initial cost of installing solar panels. However, the interest on solar loans also increases your all-in costs, so it's crucial to include that in your estimate as well. You can always lower the total you pay in interest and sometimes even your APR by making a larger down payment.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The last significant cost factor you should consider is the installer you choose. Given the booming popularity of renewable energy solutions in Evanston, you'll have lots of options to choose from, but each comes at various 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 provides the products, warranties and services you want and also is 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 $9,307 14.0 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $12,715 13.8 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $16,276 13.5 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $19,990 13.2 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $23,856 13.0 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $27,876 12.7 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $32,048 12.4 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $36,374 12.2 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the kind of solar panels and the installation company you choose has an impact on 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:

  • Contract: Before you sign a contract with a solar company, make sure you 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 what services you can expect from them.
  • Installation Process: Get detailed information from your solar installer about the installation process and what to expect, including when the site survey will be done and what the project timeline is.
  • Reputation: Long-standing companies likely have a solid reputation. This is important because it ensures that it will not only see your solar installation through, but will also provide quality aftercare and customer support, such as part repairs and replacements.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and type has varying levels of quality, durability and energy efficiency. They will come at different prices as well. The company you choose affects which solar panel brands you have access to.

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 Evanston, IL Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in Evanston is about $13,650 for a 5-kW system and $27,300 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the actual cost will depend on stuff 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 Evanston?

Leasing solar panels can be an attractive choice, as it typically 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 it worth going solar in Evanston?

Solar panels can be a good investment for many homeowners, but they might not be worth it for everyone. If your home doesn't get a lot of direct sunlight and/or your power bills are already pretty low, solar panels might not be for you.

How often do you have to replace solar panels?

On average, solar panels can last 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 level 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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