Solar Panel Cost Guide in River Forest, IL (Feb 2023)

  • River Forest 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 River Forest

Find out what the average cost of solar panels are in River Forest.

In River Forest, solar panels cost about $3 per watt on average. Using this figure, a typical 6.4 would cost about $12,211 before the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

The prices above are just estimates to give you an idea of how much a solar energy system could cost. The actual cost of making the switch to solar can vary based on a few factors, such as what size system you need, your energy usage and what company you go with. For many homeowners, the upfront cost of solar panels is worth paying. On average River Forest homeowners see about $13,000 in savings on utility bills over 20 years.

To see your potential savings and connect with a local solar company, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in River Forest

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 River Forest

Installing solar panels on your own can be a difficult task, which is why getting a solar installer is a good option for many homeowners. A solar installer can also help save you money in the long run by providing warranties, repairs and system component replacements.

If you'd like to switch to solar energy but still aren't certain which solar panel company to go with, here are our recommendations for providers in River Forest:

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 River Forest

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in River Forest

Cost is usually one of the most important factors for homeowners wanting to invest in solar. There are a few primary factors that determine your overall cost in River Forest: solar equipment and system size, financing options and the solar installation company you choose. We'll cover each of these briefly below.

Solar Equipment

When it comes to estimating the cost of solar panels in River Forest, one of the most crucial factors is the size of the system you need. Solar systems are sized by kilowatts (kW) and are chiefly 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. There are a lot of different solar panel brands and the one you choose also affects the cost. Usually, the brands that offer higher efficiency tend to also be more expensive. Additionally, the type of equipment you're looking to get can affect your total cost. If you just need panels, your system will be far less expensive than if you also need solar batteries or an electric vehicle charger.

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for solar out of pocket can be difficult. Solar loans are offered by most installers in River Forest, which can reduce, or in some cases completely eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more accessible. When considering your overall cost, you should also calculate the interest you'll pay if you choose to go with a solar loan. Also, paying a higher down payment can lower the total interest paid over time.

Solar Panel Installation Company

Finally, the company you get to install your solar system can play a part in determining how much it costs. River Forest's solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. Larger national companies generally have lower costs, but some local companies undercut them by promoting sales and discounts. While the smaller companies might not have access to specific equipment options like Tesla Powerwall batteries or additional services like electric vehicle charger installation, they might be cheaper overall.

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

  • Reputation: Solar installers that have great reviews from their customers and that have been operating for many years in most cases offer quality solar panel installation and expertise.
  • Warranty: Companies typically offer different kinds of warranties that cover different things. A 25-year, all-inclusive warranty is the gold standard.
  • Contract: It's important to read your solar installer's contract closely to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what you can expect about the installation process.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and model offers varying levels of quality, durability and efficiency. They will come at different costs as well. The company you choose plays a role in 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 River Forest, IL Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in River Forest?

This is a tough question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on many 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. It will be more expensive if you want extra solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have above-average energy needs. On the other hand, you can spend less if you opt for a smaller solar panel system or less efficient solar panels.

Can you get solar panels for free in River Forest?

A solar panel system isn't free in River Forest, but there are some options that can make getting them more feasible, such as leasing solar panels or getting a solar loan. There may also be local programs or incentives that can further reduce the cost.

Can solar panels completely eradicate my power bills?

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

How long do solar panels last in River Forest?

Even though the average lifespan of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, that doesn't mean they stop working completely at that time. What this means is the amount of energy they produce will have decreased significantly after that point. You can choose to 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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