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

  • Urbana Solar Installation Cost: $12,058
  • 25-Year Savings: $11,040
  • Payback Period: 13.1 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 Urbana

Find out how much it might cost to switch to solar power in Urbana.

While the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in Urbana generally cost about $3. The average Urbana 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.

These figures are only estimates, and how much solar costs for you will look different based on factors unique to your home and what company you choose to go with. For many homeowners, the upfront investment in solar is worth paying. On average you could be looking at about $14,000 in savings on utility bills over 20 years.

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

Solar savings over time in Urbana

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-11,134
3 years $-9,287
5 years $-7,439
7 years $-5,591
9 years $-3,743
11 years $-1,895
13 years $-47
15 years $1,801
17 years $3,649
19 years $5,496
21 years $7,344
23 years $9,192
25 years $11,040

Top Solar Installers in Urbana

Although you can install solar panels by yourself, it takes extra labor and know-how. That's one of the reasons most homeowners choose to go with a solar panel installer. A solar company can also help save you money over time by providing warranties, repairs and system component replacements.

Working with a vetted solar installer can make going solar easier. Here are our recommendations:

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 Urbana

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Urbana

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

Solar Equipment

Solar system size, which is measured in kilowatts, is one of the largest factors that affects the overall cost of installing solar panels. For that reason, it's crucial to accurately gauge the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your average energy use. The brand of solar panels and equipment you want is another factor that will substantially affect costs. Solar panels that are more efficient, like monocrystalline panels, tend to cost more. Moreover, solar equipment is more than 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's in your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for a solar system out of pocket can be difficult. Solar loans are provided by most installers in Urbana, which can bring down, or in some cases completely eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more affordable. When considering your overall cost, you should also calculate the interest you'll pay if you decide on a solar loan. Also, paying a higher down payment can reduce the total interest paid over time.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar installer you choose to handle your switch to solar energy can play a role in your total costs. There are about 3 solar installation companies operating throughout Urbana, and each can charge varying amounts for labor and equipment. Additionally, some companies in Urbana know more about local solar incentives and can help you learn about additional rebates or tax exemptions. However, they may charge more for walking you through the whole process. 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 $10,031 13.6 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $13,680 13.3 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $17,482 13.1 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $21,437 12.8 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $25,545 12.5 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $29,806 12.3 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $34,220 12.0 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $38,787 11.8 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The solar company you go with will influence not only your overall costs, but also the kinds of solar panel brands, warranties, and other equipment you have access to. When choosing a solar company, there are some important things you should keep in mind, such as:

  • Reputation: Well-established companies likely have a high reputation. This is important because it ensures that it will not only see your solar project through, but will also provide adequate aftercare and customer service, such as part repairs and replacements.
  • 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 you can expect about your solar system's energy production.
  • Installation Process: Make sure you're on the same page with the installer with regard to how the installation process will go and what you need to do before your solar system is installed, such as updating your electrical system or roof.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Not all solar companies offer the same brands of solar panels, so the brand and type of panel you want can play a big role in the company you go with.

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 Urbana, IL Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a hard question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on a variety of factors. Generally 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 extra solar equipment or higher quality panels, or if you have above-average energy needs. On the other hand, you can spend less if you choose a smaller solar panel system or cheaper solar panels.

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

The initial cost is a crucial 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 be more important than the cost. Other factors that are important to think about are the quality and durability of your solar panels.

Can solar panels completely eradicate my electricity bills?

Solar panels can potentially eliminate your electricity bills depending on your location and how much sunlight your home gets. Even if it doesn't get rid of them completely, you can save a lot of money on your bills, about $731.85 per year.

What solar power system size is right for 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 generally 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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