What Should You Pay For Solar In Illinois?

Find Out For Your Home Based On Recent Installations In Your ZIP

Solar power in Illinois

Last fact checked on January 24, 2020 by Catherine Lane

Solar power is an excellent investment for your home in Illinois due to state-mandated net metering, the federal tax credit, and the state’s adjustable block program for the purchasing of renewable energy credits

Not only will you reduce your carbon emissions when you switch to solar, you also greatly reduce how much you spend on power. A system in Illinois can pay for itself in as little as 10 years!


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Solar power in Illinois

Illinois solar power facts


Average cost of a 5kw solar power system in 2020
Price shown before incentives

3 Years 4 Months

Average payback time


Average lifetime savings
Price shown after repayments of capital


levelized cost of solar energy


If you don't get solar
The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years


Annual power production

Cash flow graph based on cash purchase of a 9.27kW system

This 9.27kW system would offset 100% of your energy usage if your typical monthly bill in Illinois is $150, however your situation may vary so try our solar calculator to get a result tailored to you.

Solar companies in Illinois that provide pricing through the Solar-Estimate marketplace


Best solar offers currently available in Illinois

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Compare solar quotes from the top solar companies in Illinois

How much do solar panels cost in Illinois

$2.78 per watt

Cash purchased solar system
Before 26% solar tax credit

$3.08 per watt

Financed solar system
Before 26% solar tax credit

N/A cents/kWh

Av. 15 year term, 2.5% price escalator

What are the pros and cons of buying solar panels for your home in Illinois

The advantages of installing solar panels in Illinois are the net metering law, the federal tax credit, and the ability to sell your renewable energy credits through the adjustable block program. 

SolarPowerRocks provides a great breakdown of solar incentives and policy for each state within the US.

The disadvantage of installing solar panels in Illinois is that there are no statewide solar rebate programs or investor-owned utility residential rebate programs. Also, Illinois receives less sun than other states, which means a system in Illinois will produce less energy than a system in a sunnier state, like Arizona. 

However, there is still potential for great savings in Illinois. Enter your details to calculate the potential cost and savings you can get from installing solar panels for your home. 

Best brands of solar panels

To find the best brands of solar panels you can use America's most trusted solar panel comparison and reviews website, SolarReviews.

However, reviews of solar panels can be a bit meaningless because most consumer owners have not had any issues and so while solar company reviews are very important when choosing solar installers they are of less use when choosing solar panels.

For more information to help you make an informed decision about this topic, I would recommend this article about buying solar panels.


Unlock live pricing on the best solar panel brands!


How much electricity will solar panels produce in Illinois

Solar panels produce different amounts of energy in different locations.

Around the Chicago area solar panels installed on a south facing 30 degree pitch roof will typically produce:

1,150kWh per year per 1kw of peak DC (direct current) capacity

For more information about how your location, roof direction and roof tilt affects solar power production use the solar panels calculator and enter your zipcode below.


See how much electricity your solar panels could produce

I want to buy a solar panel kit and install it myself

What rebates, solar tax credits and other solar incentives are available in Illinois?

Adjustable Block Program

In 2016, Illinois passed the Future Energy Jobs Act, mandating utilities to derive 25% of their energy from renewable sources by 2025. In order for utilities to meet this goal, they must obtain renewable energy credits (RECs). A renewable energy credit represents the positive environmental attributes of producing 1 megawatt (MW) of electricity from a renewable source. 

The adjustable block program was created as a way for utilities to obtain RECs from their customers who have renewable energy systems. 

Solar system owners can take advantage of the adjustable block program by entering into a 15-year contract with their utility. Through this contract, the utility will pay the customer for each REC produced by the system each year. The amount that each REC is worth varies, depending on where you are located and when you apply to the program. The sooner you apply, the higher price per REC you may qualify for. 

The program is currently in “Block 1”, meaning, depending on where you live, you can receive either $85.10 per REC or $72.97 per REC. 



Net metering in Illinois

In Illinois, net metering is available for all home and business owners. The state’s net metering policy requires utilities to offer credits to customers in exchange for excess energy their solar system produces and exports to the grid. The credits earned are then carried over to offset the costs of future bills. 

However, the credits you earn do expire at the end of your annual billing period. Any excess credits at the end of the annual cycle will not carry over to the next year and no compensation will be provided for the credits. 



Special assessment for solar energy systems

If you install a residential solar system, you can apply for a special assessment of your property. You can register your property with the chief county assessment officer who will then assess your property in two ways: 

  • Assess the value of the property if it had a conventional energy system; and 
  • Assess the value of the property with the solar system.

You will then pay your taxes based on whichever property assessment is lower.  

Illinois Solar Calculator

Regardless of what you want to know about the economics of installing solar panels for your home or business in Illinois we have a solar calculator that can show you exactly the information your require.



What you can find out about installing solar panels in Illinois using our full monthly solar calculator

This solar calculator requires you to input your address, utility company, your average monthly power spend - It tells you:

If you want to see all of the above but also see live pricing, the three best solar deals available in your city and get binding quotes from each of these solar companies then use this Illinois solar panels calculator. This calculator requires you to also input your name and contact details because most of our 200+ installer partners will only authorize the sharing of their live solar pricing where we have validated that you are a real homeowner with a home in their service area. We respect the privacy of your data and only share your contact details with the solar companies you ask us to get binding quotes from.


Unlock live pricing in your state!


Solar calculator

Going solar in Illinois

Check out all of the ways energy providers of Illinois can help you be more energy efficient and save money.

The following programs are available:
Incentive Name Eligibility Type
Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit Federal Personal Tax Credit
Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) State Solar Renewable Energy Credit Program
Special Assessment for Solar Energy Systems State Property Tax Incentive
Net Metering State Net Metering
Adjustable Block Program - Group A Utility Rebate Program
Adjustable Block Program - Group B Utility Rebate Program
Find your local rebates and incentives

Your city may have further incentives to offer. Please keep in mind that the best source of up-to-date information on incentives are the solar installers who specialize in your area.