Average Cost of Solar Panels in Illinois

Average Cost of Solar Panels in Illinois

Illinois enjoys relatively low energy costs. However, energy costs are rising as the years go on. On average, you can expect your electricity bill to increase by as much as 3% per year for the foreseeable future. Due to rising energy costs, people are looking for more cost-effective ways to power their homes.

In addition, they want greener and cleaner energy sources, and solar energy is an excellent investment to make economically and environmentally. Eventually, solar panels pay for themselves.

That being said, you probably want to know how much solar panels in Illinois will cost. There is good news here in terms of solar panel installation costs. Over the last five years, the prices have decreased by as much as 20%, which makes solar panel investments a more attractive proposition.

However, the more critical factor is how long these solar panels take to pay for themselves; this is the so-called payback or break-even period.

To determine how long it will take to break even on your investment, we need additional information on how much electricity you use every month and its costs. We also need to know how much peak sunlight you get in Illinois. Once we have these numbers, we can then plug them into our final equation.

Average Cost of Solar Panels in Illinois

First, let’s talk about how much solar panels cost in Illinois on average. In Illinois, you can expect to pay around $2.57 per watt of solar panels installed. This is below the national average, which is $3 per watt of solar panel installed.

Bulk pricing usually applies to solar panel installations, so the larger the system is, the more cost-effective it will be. For example, a 10kW system will cost more than a 4kW system. However, if we look at the cost per individual watt, the larger system is, the more cost-effective. So, what does the average cost of solar panels in Illinois currently look like?

  • 4kW – $2.80 per watt – $11,200
  • 5kW – $2.68 per watt – $13,400
  • 6kW – $2.57 per watt – $15,420
  • 7kW – $2.54 per watt – $17,780
  • 8kW – $2.57 per watt – $20,560
  • 9kW – $2.49 per watt – $22,410
  • 10kW – $2.46 per watt – $24,600

Solar Rebates and Incentives in Illinois

Illinois has solar incentives in place for investors. First, a program allows low-income households to get funding for solar panels. Then, there is a property tax exemption, so the added value of the solar panels to your home does not apply to property taxes.

Other than this, Illinois does not offer any incentives or rebates. However, a federal incentive is available to all Americans, known as the Federal Solar Rebate Program. This is also known as the Investment Tax Credit or the ITC that allows you to get a 26% rebate on all solar panel purchases. This means you only pay 74% of the upfront cost of your solar panels.

However, this only lasts until the end of 2022. Then, until the end of 2023, this rebate will only be 22%. Then, from 2024 onwards, there are no plans to renew this rebate at a federal level. Therefore, to get the best deals on your solar panels, buying them before the end of 2022 is essential.

Either way, what do solar panel costs in Illinois look like, accounting for this federal rebate?

  • 4kW – $8,288
  • 5kW – $9,916
  • 6kW – $11,410.80
  • 7kW – $13,157.20
  • 8kW – $15,214.40
  • 9kW – $16,583.40
  • 10kW – $18,204

The Solar Panel Payback Period for Illinois

Now you have an idea of solar panel prices in Illinois. That said, the initial cost is not the most crucial factor. Instead, we want to know how long it will take for those solar panels to pay for themselves.

To do this, we need to know how much electricity you use and how much it costs. We also need to know how much electricity solar panels in Illinois can produce.

Average Energy Usage and Costs in Illinois

One notable aspect is that Illinois residents use less electricity than most of the country, with an average of 767-kilowatt hours per month. This comes in at 35th in the nation, well below the national monthly average of 903-kilowatt hours.

Residents of Illinois pay $11.38 per kWh used, which is over 4% less than the rest of the nation of 11.88 cents per kWh.

Illinoisans, on average, pay $87 for their monthly electricity use, or $1,044 per year. This is 44th in the nation. They spend an average of 18.69% less than the rest of the country. The national average electric bill per month is $107.

Peak Sunlight in Illinois – How Much Energy do Solar Panels Produce?

We also need to know how much electricity solar panels will produce. The average installation size is 5kW, so this is what we will use for our example. Moreover, the standard amount of peak sunlight used to calculate solar panel output is 4 hours.

An average 5kW system can produce 20-kilowatt hours of electricity per day with that amount of sunlight. This equates to 600-kilowatt hours of electricity produced per month. However, Illinois sees around 4.5 hours of peak sunlight per day.

This means that a five-kilowatt system in Illinois will produce 22.5 kilowatt-hours of electricity per day, which is 675-kilowatt hours of electricity produced per month.

The Payback Period

We have all of the necessary numbers to perform our calculations. Remember, we are calculating how long it will take for solar panels in Illinois to pay for themselves. There are four important figures that you need to know for this equation.

  • A 5kW solar system in Illinois will cost $9,916.
  • That 5kW solar system can produce 675-kilowatt hours per month.
  • Residents of Illinois use an average of 767-kilowatt hours of electricity per month.
  • Illinoisans pay an average of $1,044 per month for their electricity.

So, 675-kilowatt hours produced is 88% of the 767-kilowatt hours used per month. Therefore, a 5kW system will allow you to save 88% of your annual energy bill. This means that a 5kW solar system will allow you to save $918.77 per year, and it will take 10.79 years for a 5kW solar system to pay for itself in Illinois.

However, to fully meet your energy usage needs, you will need a 6kW solar system which will cost $11,410.80. This will save 100% of your yearly energy bill.

The payback period for this size of solar panel would be 10.92 years. So although it will take longer to break even than a 5-kilowatt system, it will be more cost-effective over the long run.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that solar panels are an excellent investment to make in Illinois. They will help you save money in the long run, and it’s good for the environment.

Hi there! I'm Ally, I can help you find out if solar makes sense for your home in 30 seconds!

See if your home qualifies and how much you could save with current programs available...

Hi there! I'm Ally, I can help you find out if solar makes sense for your home in 30 seconds!

See if your home qualifies and how much you could save with current programs available...