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

  • Waterloo Solar Installation Cost: $11,581
  • 25-Year Savings: $13,312
  • Payback Period: 11.6 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 Waterloo

Find out what the average cost of installing solar panels is in Waterloo.

The average cost of a solar system in Waterloo is $3 per watt. The average Waterloo homeowner needs a 6.1-kilowatt system, which would cost about $11,581, or $8,570 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

Keep in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average energy use of Waterloo homeowners. The cost of a solar system for your home may look different depending on factors unique to your situation, like your household energy use and solar contractor. But, after you've paid the initial cost of installation, the ROI for most homeowners is usually fruitful, with a net average savings of about $16,000 over 20 years on utility bills.

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

Solar savings over time in Waterloo

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-10,585
3 years $-8,594
5 years $-6,602
7 years $-4,611
9 years $-2,619
11 years $-628
13 years $1,363
15 years $3,355
17 years $5,346
19 years $7,338
21 years $9,329
23 years $11,320
25 years $13,312

Top Solar Installers in Waterloo

Many homeowners opt for a solar installer since figuring out how to install solar panels yourself can be hard. Also, companies with an outstanding reputation that are more expensive upfront could actually save you money in the long term because of their warranties, repair services and expert design.

Working with a professional solar company can help you make the most of your investment in solar. 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 Waterloo

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Waterloo

There are several factors that can influence your solar system installation cost, such as the size of your system, the equipment you choose, your financing options and the specific company that installs your solar panels.

Solar Equipment

The cost of solar panels varies by thousands of dollars due to some different factors. One of the most significant factors is the system size, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). Solar power systems that have better efficiency or power production require better technology and/or more equipment, both of which can raise costs. For each additional kilowatt you need, your cost can go up by about $2,730. Some solar brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — cost more upfront but also tend to offer higher efficiency. In a city like Waterloo, where sunlight is relatively abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. Also, if you have a small roof or limited space for your panels, higher efficiency options will be more impactful. Additional equipment like electric vehicle chargers and solar batteries will also increase the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

Many homeowners find the average cost of solar in Waterloo to be too expensive, even if the investment pays off over time. Thankfully, almost every solar installer in the area provides financing options. Solar loans drastically decrease upfront costs for most homeowners, but they also lead to paying more over time because of interest. However, the interest on solar loans also increases your overall costs, so it's important to keep that in mind as well. You can always lower the total you pay in interest and possibly even your APR by putting more money down.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar installer you go with to handle your switch to solar energy can have an effect on your total costs. There are about 3 solar installation companies in Waterloo, and each can charge different amounts for labor and equipment. The size of the company sometimes plays the most considerable role in the cost. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower prices because they have greater resources and better pricing. Smaller local companies might be more costly, but they generally have better customer service and more customization options, and the occasional sale or promotion can bring their pricing down to compete with bigger names.

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 $12,712 12.1 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $17,254 11.9 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $21,950 11.6 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $26,799 11.4 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $31,801 11.2 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $36,955 10.9 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $42,262 10.7 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $47,723 10.5 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the kind 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 pick the right ones for you. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help with your decision:

  • Solar Panel Brands: The type of solar panel you need plays a part in which company you should go with, since different companies offer different panels.
  • Reputation: Solar companies that have great reviews from their customers and that have been operating for many years in most cases provide high-quality solar panel installation and expertise.
  • Contract: It's important to read your solar installer's contract fully 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 regarding how the installation process will go and what you need to do before your solar system is installed, such as updating or replacing your electrical system or roof.

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 Waterloo, IL Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a tough question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on a few different 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. You can expect to pay more if you want other solar equipment or higher quality panels, or if you have higher-than-average energy usage. On the flip side, you can spend less if you opt for a smaller solar panel system or cheaper solar panels.

Can you get solar panels for free in Waterloo?

You can't get solar panels for free in Waterloo. However, you may still be able to install them on a lower budget. You can lease solar panels for a low upfront cost or, if you want to own your solar panels, you can finance them with a solar loan.

Is making the switch to solar worth it?

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

How long do solar panels last in Waterloo?

Although 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 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 keep using 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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