• EnLight Energy

    600 Congress Ave, Austin, Texas 78701

    Experience: Since 2016

    Areas Covered: AZ, AR, CA, CT, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MA, MI, MS, MO, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, ОК, PA, SC, TX, UT, VA, WV

    SolarReviews: 3.36

    Local Expert, Experienced Installer, Trusted Solar Provider

    EnLight Energy is a bright spot in the solar industry. Despite some areas for improvement, their commitment to renewable energy, customer satisfaction, and high-quality solar installation make them a strong choice for homeowners looking to switch to solar energy. With continued dedication to their mission and improvements in customer service, EnLight Energy has the potential to shine even brighter in the future.
    EnLight Energy is a bright spot in the solar industry. Despite some areas for improvement, their commitment to renewable energy, customer satisfaction, and high-quality solar installation make them a strong choice for homeowners looking to switch to solar energy. With continued dedication to their mission and improvements in customer service, EnLight Energy has the potential to shine even brighter in the future.
  • EnergyLink

    200 E Southampton Dr #102, Columbia, MO 65203

    Experience: Since 2010

    Areas Covered: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IA, IL, KS, KY, NV, NY, NC, MI, MO, OH, ОК, LA, PR, SC, TN, TX, WA

    SolarReviews: No information

    Local Expert, NABCEP Certified, Trusted Solar Provider

    EnergyLink is a promising solar installer in Missouri, offering comprehensive services and a wide range of equipment options. While there are areas where the company could improve its transparency, their commitment to customer satisfaction and positive customer feedback make them a strong contender in the solar installation industry.
    EnergyLink is a promising solar installer in Missouri, offering comprehensive services and a wide range of equipment options. While there are areas where the company could improve its transparency, their commitment to customer satisfaction and positive customer feedback make them a strong contender in the solar installation industry.
  • Certasun

    1582 Barclay Blvd, Buffalo Grove, IL 60089

    Experience: Since 2018

    Areas Covered: IL

    SolarReviews: 4.76

    Local Expert, Experienced Installer, Trusted Solar Provider

    Based on our research and assessment, we would recommend Certasun to anyone considering a solar installation in Northern Illinois or Southern Wisconsin. The company’s commitment to quality, customer satisfaction, and sustainable energy solutions make it a standout choice in the solar industry.
    Based on our research and assessment, we would recommend Certasun to anyone considering a solar installation in Northern Illinois or Southern Wisconsin. The company’s commitment to quality, customer satisfaction, and sustainable energy solutions make it a standout choice in the solar industry.

REVIEWED BY

Solar Energy Consultant

We rate solar installers from 1 to 5 stars to help you pick the best one. High stars mean they're really good at what they do and treat their customers right. Low stars? Not so much. We give credit to companies that have been around for a while, know what they are doing, have a high standard of workmanship and equipment, don’t hire subcontractors to keep the bar of solar installation quality high and have good local reviews from real customers (yes, we check if the reviews are actually real or fake). Companies we choose as top-rated know and can help with federal and local solar incentives to help you save, have good financing plans, and guarantee their work. We're here to point you to the solar companies that truly rock, making going solar easy and worthwhile for you.

Read how we rate installers

How Do We Rate Solar Companies?

TL;DR: We rate solar installers from 1 to 5 stars to help you pick the best one. High stars mean they’re really good at what they do and treat their customers right. Low stars? Not so much. We give credit to companies that have been around for a while, know what they are doing, have a high standard of workmanship and equipment, don’t hire subcontractors to keep the bar of solar installation quality high and have good local reviews from real customers (yes, we check if the reviews are actually real or fake). Companies we choose as top-rated know and can help with federal and local solar incentives to help you save, have good financing plans, and guarantee their work. We’re here to point you to the solar companies that truly rock, making going solar easy and worthwhile for you.

Check our detailed review process here.

Is It Worth Going Solar in Illinois?

Yes, it can be worth going solar in Illinois. The state has been increasing its solar power capacity, with over 2,170,000 kilowatts of operating solar capacity installed as of February 2024.

Energy Savings: Solar panels can reduce energy bills by 15-40%, depending on the size of the system and the amount of sunlight received. The state of Illinois has more than 250+ sunny days per year, providing ample opportunity for solar energy generation. Moreover, Illinois has a statewide net metering policy, which means you can get bill credits for excess energy your system produces. This allows you to offset future electricity bills when the solar system is not producing enough electricity to meet the demand.

Financial Benefits: The financial benefits of going solar in Illinois are substantial. Homeowners who installed solar panels through the Illinois Solar for All program have saved an average of more than $1000 annually on electric bills. The state also offers a variety of solar incentives, including rebates, grants, tax credits, and performance-based incentives. These incentives can significantly reduce the upfront cost of installing a solar system, making it a more affordable option. For instance, you may qualify for the Solar Investment Tax Credit, which can reduce the cost of your system by up to 30%. Furthermore, solar power can increase property values.

Why Switch from Utility to Solar? The rising utility rates in Illinois serve as a compelling reason for homeowners to consider the switch to solar energy. With its financial, environmental, and property value benefits, solar power stands out as a smart choice for those looking to mitigate the impact of utility rate increases. Moreover, the transition to solar energy offers homeowners a way to lock in their energy rates, shielding them from future increases.

*However, the worthiness of going solar can depend on individual circumstances such as the location of your home, the amount of sunlight it receives, and your current electricity usage and costs.

How much does solar save homeowners in Illinois?

Solar Savings: The average homeowner in Illinois who installed solar panels through the Illinois Solar for All program has saved an average of more than $1000 annually on electric bills. However, individual savings can vary depending on factors such as the size of the solar system, the amount of sunlight your location receives, and your household’s energy consumption.

Payback Period: The payback period is the time it takes for the savings from your solar system to equal the cost of the system itself. In Illinois, the average payback period for a solar system is just over five years. This means that, on average, homeowners in Illinois can expect their solar systems to pay for themselves in a little over five years.

Comparison with Traditional Electric Bills: Before installing solar panels, most Illinois residents pay for electricity from the grid. The cost of this can vary depending on the rate set by the utility company and the amount of electricity used. After installing solar panels, homeowners can generate their own electricity, reducing or even eliminating their need to buy electricity from the grid. This can lead to substantial savings on electric bills.

Bills After Solar Installation: After installing solar panels, homeowners in Illinois will still receive an electric bill each month. However, the amount due on these bills will be much lower because the solar system can generate a significant portion of the electricity the home needs. In some cases, if the solar system generates more electricity than the home uses, the excess can be sold back to the grid, resulting in a credit on the homeowner’s electric bill.

What is the average cost of going solar in Illinois?

The average cost of installing a solar panel system in Illinois can vary depending on the size of the system. As of April 2024, here are some average costs:

  • For a 5 kW system, the average cost is $15,649 before incentives. After applying the federal investment tax credit (ITC), which can reduce the cost by 30%, the price drops to around $10,955.
  • For a 6 kW system, the average cost is $18,779 before incentives. After the ITC, the price drops to around $13,145.
  • For a 10 kW system, the average cost is $31,299 before incentives. After the ITC, the price drops to around $21,909.

These costs include the price of the solar panels, inverter, racking system, and installation. It’s important to note that these are average costs and the actual cost can vary depending on various factors such as the specific equipment used, the installation company, and the specific location of the property.

*Also, these costs do not include any state-specific incentives or rebates that might be available in Illinois, which could further reduce the cost.

Illinois Solar Incentives

Illinois offers several incentives and rebates for homeowners who are considering installing solar panels. Here’s an overview:

Federal Incentives: The Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), also known as the Green Energy Tax Credit, provides a 30% tax credit to eligible individuals and businesses in Illinois who install solar energy systems. This credit allows taxpayers to deduct 30% of the cost of their solar installation from their federal taxes.

State Incentives:

  • Illinois’ SREC incentive: the Adjustable Block Program: Under the Adjustable Block Program, also known as Illinois Shines, you can earn one solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) for each megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity your solar system produces over 15 years. For the average residential system, this comes out to more than $10,000 in additional savings.
  • Illinois Net Metering: Thanks to Illinois’ net metering policy, your utility will buy back any excess electricity your solar system produces. Net metering ensures that you benefit from the full value of your solar panels.
  • ComEd Commercial Solar Rebates: ComEd, one of IL’s largest utility companies, provides rebates for commercial and industrial (C&I) customers to help decrease the out-of-pocket costs of installing solar.
  • Property Tax Breaks: The Special Assessment for Solar Energy Systems means that you will be taxed as if the panels were not even there.

These incentives can significantly reduce the upfront cost of installing a solar system, making it a more affordable option. Please consult with a local solar installation company for a detailed quote based on your specific circumstances.

*These incentives make solar energy a more affordable and attractive option for homeowners in Illinois. However, it’s important to note that most incentive programs are only authorized for a certain period of time or until funding runs out.

Net Metering Policies in IL

Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. In Illinois, net metering is available to any retail customer that owns or operates a solar, wind, or other eligible renewable energy generating facility with a rated capacity of not more than 2,000 kilowatts2.

Here’s how you can benefit from net metering in Illinois:

  1. Lower Utility Bills: Net metering can significantly lower your utility bills. When your solar system generates more electricity than you use, the excess is sent back to the grid. Your utility company will then credit you for this excess electricity, reducing your future electricity bills.
  2. Increased Stability in Expenses: By generating your own electricity, you can shield yourself from future utility rate increases, providing more stability in your monthly expenses.
  3. No Need for Backup Storage: With net metering, you’re still connected to the electric grid, so there’s no need for expensive backup storage systems. When your solar system isn’t producing enough electricity (like at night), you can draw power from the grid.
  4. Reducing Transmission and Distribution Costs: Net metered systems provide electricity generation at or near the point of consumption, which can reduce transmission and distribution costs as well as line losses.
  5. Offsetting Expensive Power Generation: Net metered systems can also offset expensive power generation by producing electricity during periods of high demand when power is most costly.

In a given month, if you produce more electricity than you use, those excess net metering credits will rollover to the next month and can help offset future electricity usage. Any remaining credits will expire once per year, either in April or October, depending on which option you select.

Are There Any Community Solar Programs in Illinois?

Yes, there are several community solar programs available in Illinois. Community solar allows eligible participants, also called subscribers, to benefit from solar energy without installing panels on their own properties1. Here are some of the programs:

  1. Illinois Solar for All (ISFA): This program provides access to the benefits of solar energy to income-eligible households, as well as qualified non-profits and public facilities. The incentives that Approved Vendors receive come from selling Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), which enables the Approved Vendor to pass along savings to the program participant.
  2. Illinois Shines: This program provides financial incentives for community solar projects.

To take advantage of these programs, you can follow these steps:

  1. Check if you’re income-eligible for the Community Solar program.
  2. Look for a Community Solar subscription in your utility territory1.
  3. Contact the Approved Vendor.
  4. Enter your zip code to see a list of open community solar projects near you.
  5. Click on “Project Details” to learn more about individual projects.
  6. When you’re ready to select a project, click “Get Started”.
  7. Fill out the necessary subscription information, including your name, address, and utility account number.
  8. Finalize your subscription with your developer.

After the project has launched, you’ll receive a separate bill for your community energy credits. Please note that the specifics of these programs can vary, so it’s important to check the current policies in your area.

Source

*To take advantage of these programs, you can reach out to the respective organizations or visit their websites for more information. You can also contact a local solar installer who can guide you through the process and help you understand which programs you might be eligible for.

Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing the right solar installer is crucial to ensure the success of your solar project. Here are some steps to help you pick the best solar installer in Illinois:

  1. Check the Installer’s Credentials and Accreditations: In Illinois, a solar installation company either needs to have a Distributed Generation Certification through the Illinois Commerce Commission or be working with a subcontractor who has this certification. Additional credentials that may reinforce the quality of the installer are ISEA Membership and NABCEP certification.
  2. Look at Customer Reviews and Ratings: Check out rankings for the top-rated solar installers in Illinois based on shopper preferences. Compare customer ratings, company tiers, and genuine customer feedback.
  3. Ask for the Turnaround Time: The time it takes to install your solar system can vary depending on the installer. Make sure to ask about the expected timeline.
  4. Look for Customized Solutions: Every home is unique, and so are its solar needs. Ensure the installer offers customized solutions that cater to your specific requirements.
  5. Decide Whether You Want a National or Local Solar Installation Company: National companies often have more resources, while local companies have detailed knowledge of local incentives and regulations.
  6. Get Multiple Quotes: It’s always a good idea to get quotes from at least three different solar companies. This will give you a better understanding of the cost and services offered.

Remember, the best solar installer for you will depend on your individual needs and circumstances. It’s important to do your research and choose a company that offers high-quality service and has a strong track record in the industry.

Check our detailed guide on how to choose a good solar company.

  1. Suggested System Size: The kilowatts (kW) of power the solar installation can generate under full sun. It should match your energy needs.
  2. Cost Per Watt: This helps compare pricing across different system sizes and offers.
  3. Incentives: Details of any federal, state, or local incentives that apply to your installation.
  4. Energy Production Estimates: How much electricity the system is expected to produce annually.
  5. Projected Electricity Rate Increases: This affects the long-term savings you can expect.
  6. Solar Panel Brand and Model: Quality and efficiency of the panels can impact performance.
  7. Panel Degradation Rate: How much the panels’ energy output is expected to decrease over time.
  8. Financing: Options available for paying for the system, including loans and leases.
  9. Warranties: What guarantees the company provides for their products and installation.

*Make sure to get quotes from multiple installers to compare and choose the best option for your specific needs.

Yes, installing solar panels can increase the value of your home in Illinois. Here’s how:

  • Solar Premium: Homes with solar panel systems can increase in value by adding a Photovoltaic (PV) premium to the home or property price. This is because solar panels can lead to significant energy savings over time, which is an attractive feature for potential buyers.
  • Property Tax Exemption: Illinois law allows solar panels to add a solar premium to your home without being subject to property taxes. This means that even though your home’s value increases, your property tax does not.
  • Return on Investment: Solar panels can be a good investment. The cost of the system can often be recouped through energy savings and the increased home value when you sell the property. Plus, with various federal and state incentives available, the initial cost of the system can be significantly reduced.
  • Market Trends: The adoption of solar energy is still ramping up in Illinois, so prospective homeowners may not be willing to pay a premium for a house with solar panels. However, as solar becomes more mainstream and people become more aware of its benefits, this trend could change.

Solar Lease or Power Purchase Agreement (PPA): With a solar lease or PPA, you can go solar and save on your monthly electricity costs for as little as $0 down. The solar company handles the equipment and installation, and in return, you pay a low, fixed rate for the power your panels produce.

BrightSave™ Monthly: This is a solar leasing option where you could go solar for as little as $0 down and reduce your utility bill by 50% or more. The solar company handles maintenance and monitoring during the life of your agreement.

BrightSave™ Prepaid: This is a solar lease where you make a one-time upfront payment, locking in 20 years of electricity – and 20 years of savings. No monthly bill. No hidden costs. Just pure solar savings.

BrightBuy™: With a one-time, upfront payment, you’ll be able to own your own system and your savings1. You’ll also be able to cash in on Illinois solar rebates like the federal tax credits, net metering, and extra value added to your home.

Cash Upfront: You can also choose to pay for your solar system upfront. This option can often lead to the highest long-term savings and return on investment.

*Please note that the specifics of these financing options can vary, so it’s important to check with a solar installation company for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Always choose a local solar company over a big national corporation. Small local companies that operate in a distinct local area are better than multi-state and national solar companies and large corporations. It’s the small local companies who get the best reviews on our website, and it’s the national multistate companies who get very poor reviews.

They can provide a personalized service with a more community-focused approach, and in-depth knowledge of local regulations, incentives, and climate conditions.

There are often quicker response times for service and maintenance. Solar is a local service business, it is extremely difficult to run a solar company and offer good customer service to many locations from a central office.

Top-Rated Installers

Out top picks among hundreds of reviewed companies across the country.

  • Solar Optimum

    1833 S Victory Blvd, Glendale, CA 91201

    Experience: Since 2008

    Areas Covered: CA

    SolarReviews: No information

    Local Expert, Experienced Installer, NABCEP Certified

    Based on our research and the overwhelmingly positive customer reviews, we would highly recommend Solar Optimum for anyone considering a solar installation in California. The company’s commitment to quality, customer satisfaction, and environmental sustainability sets it apart in the solar industry.
    Based on our research and the overwhelmingly positive customer reviews, we would highly recommend Solar Optimum for anyone considering a solar installation in California. The company’s commitment to quality, customer satisfaction, and environmental sustainability sets it apart in the solar industry.
  • Prime Home Solutions

    2017 Opportunity Dr UNIT 7, Roseville, CA 95678

    Experience: Since 2016

    Areas Covered: CA

    SolarReviews: 4.53

    Local Expert, Experienced Installer, Trusted Solar Provider

    Based on our research and the overwhelmingly positive customer reviews, we would recommend Prime Home Solutions for your solar needs. Their commitment to customer satisfaction, comprehensive services, and competitive pricing make them a standout choice in the solar industry. Remember, it’s always important to do your own research and consider multiple sources of information before making a decision. Happy solar shopping!
    Based on our research and the overwhelmingly positive customer reviews, we would recommend Prime Home Solutions for your solar needs. Their commitment to customer satisfaction, comprehensive services, and competitive pricing make them a standout choice in the solar industry. Remember, it’s always important to do your own research and consider multiple sources of information before making a decision. Happy solar shopping!
  • Energy Concepts Enterprises Inc

    1835 N Fine Ave Suite 106, Fresno, CA 93727

    Experience: Since 1992

    Areas Covered: CA

    SolarReviews: 4.53

    Local Expert, Experienced Installer, NABCEP Certified, Trusted Solar Provider

    "Based on our assessment and the positive customer reviews, we would highly recommend Energy Concepts Enterprises Inc to anyone considering a solar installation. Their long-standing presence in the industry, wide range of services, high-quality equipment, and excellent customer reviews make them a standout choice. However, as with any significant investment, we advise potential customers to do their own research and get multiple quotes before making a decision."
    "Based on our assessment and the positive customer reviews, we would highly recommend Energy Concepts Enterprises Inc to anyone considering a solar installation. Their long-standing presence in the industry, wide range of services, high-quality equipment, and excellent customer reviews make them a standout choice. However, as with any significant investment, we advise potential customers to do their own research and get multiple quotes before making a decision."
  • Sun Valley Solar Solutions

    3225 N Colorado St, Chandler, AZ 85225

    Experience: Since 2006

    Areas Covered: AZ

    SolarReviews: 4.7

    Best Choice, Local Expert, Experienced Installer

    Based on the available information, Sun Valley Solar Solutions is a reputable company with strong customer reviews and a focus on quality service. Their local presence, experienced team, and impressive awards make them a viable choice for solar installations in Arizona. However, prospective customers should inquire about specific warranty details and explore financing options. As with any solar provider, thorough research and comparisons are essential to make an informed decision.
    Based on the available information, Sun Valley Solar Solutions is a reputable company with strong customer reviews and a focus on quality service. Their local presence, experienced team, and impressive awards make them a viable choice for solar installations in Arizona. However, prospective customers should inquire about specific warranty details and explore financing options. As with any solar provider, thorough research and comparisons are essential to make an informed decision.
  • Stellar Solar

    265 Via Del Monte, Oceanside, CA 92058

    Experience: Since 1998

    Areas Covered: CA

    SolarReviews: 4.84

    Local Expert, Experienced Installer, Trusted Solar Provider

    Based on our research and the reviews from customers, we would recommend Stellar Solar for those considering a switch to solar energy. The company’s long-standing presence in the industry, high customer ratings, and commitment to customer service make it a strong contender in the solar market. However, potential customers should be aware of the reported issues and ensure they have clear communication and expectations with the company from the start. Stellar Solar shines bright in the solar industry, but like any company, it has room for improvement. As the solar industry continues to evolve, we hope to see Stellar Solar address these issues and continue to provide high-quality solar solutions for its customers.
    Based on our research and the reviews from customers, we would recommend Stellar Solar for those considering a switch to solar energy. The company’s long-standing presence in the industry, high customer ratings, and commitment to customer service make it a strong contender in the solar market. However, potential customers should be aware of the reported issues and ensure they have clear communication and expectations with the company from the start. Stellar Solar shines bright in the solar industry, but like any company, it has room for improvement. As the solar industry continues to evolve, we hope to see Stellar Solar address these issues and continue to provide high-quality solar solutions for its customers.
  • Solar Topps

    102 S 28th St, Phoenix, AZ 85034

    Experience: Since 2009

    Areas Covered: AZ, CA

    SolarReviews: 4.41

    Local Expert, Experienced Installer, NABCEP Certified

    Based on our research and the reviews from customers, we would recommend Solar Topps to anyone looking for a reliable, professional, and cost-effective solar solution. The company’s commitment to quality, value, and customer service sets it apart in the industry. However, potential customers should be aware of the reported issues with the inverters and consider this factor when making their decision.
    Based on our research and the reviews from customers, we would recommend Solar Topps to anyone looking for a reliable, professional, and cost-effective solar solution. The company’s commitment to quality, value, and customer service sets it apart in the industry. However, potential customers should be aware of the reported issues with the inverters and consider this factor when making their decision.
  • Arizona Solar Concepts

    2317 W Huntington Dr Tempe, AZ 85282

    PERMANENTLY CLOSED

    Experience: Since 2006

    Areas Covered: AZ

    SolarReviews: No information

    Local Expert, Experienced Installer, NABCEP Certified

    Based on our research, we would recommend Arizona Solar Concepts for their commitment to quality, their experienced staff, and their strong customer service. However, potential customers should be aware of the reported issues with post-installation support. As always, we recommend doing your own research and getting multiple quotes before making a decision.
    Based on our research, we would recommend Arizona Solar Concepts for their commitment to quality, their experienced staff, and their strong customer service. However, potential customers should be aware of the reported issues with post-installation support. As always, we recommend doing your own research and getting multiple quotes before making a decision.
  • Black Platinum Solar

    10651 N Cave Creek RD #C, Phoenix AZ, 85020

    Experience: Since 2007

    Areas Covered: AZ

    SolarReviews: 4.91

    Best Choice, Local Expert, Experienced Installer

    Based on our research and the overwhelmingly positive customer reviews, we would highly recommend Black Platinum Solar for anyone considering a solar installation in Arizona. Their commitment to quality, customer satisfaction, and competitive pricing make them a standout choice in the solar industry.
    Based on our research and the overwhelmingly positive customer reviews, we would highly recommend Black Platinum Solar for anyone considering a solar installation in Arizona. Their commitment to quality, customer satisfaction, and competitive pricing make them a standout choice in the solar industry.

Solar Companies by State

  • Wyoming

    1 installer

  • West Virginia

    2 installers

  • Washington DC

    5 installers

  • Virginia

    8 installers

  • Vermont

    1 installer

  • Utah

    3 installers

  • Texas

    22 installers

  • Tennessee

    1 installer

  • South Carolina

    2 installers

  • Rhode Island

    3 installers

  • Puerto Rico

    1 installer

  • Pennsylvania

    5 installers

  • Oregon

    3 installers

  • Oklahoma

    6 installers

  • Ohio

    6 installers

  • North Carolina

    9 installers

  • New York

    10 installers

  • New Mexico

    5 installers

  • New Jersey

    3 installers

  • New Hampshire

    3 installers

  • Nevada

    6 installers

  • Missouri

    3 installers

  • Mississippi

    1 installer

  • Minnesota

    1 installer

  • Michigan

    2 installers

  • Massachusetts

    4 installers

  • Maryland

    6 installers

  • Maine

    2 installers

  • Louisiana

    2 installers

  • Kentucky

    2 installers

  • Kansas

    4 installers

  • Iowa

    4 installers

  • Indiana

    1 installer

  • Illinois

    3 installers

  • Idaho

    5 installers

  • Georgia

    3 installers

  • Florida

    7 installers

  • Delaware

    3 installers

  • Connecticut

    3 installers

  • Colorado

    8 installers

  • California

    14 installers

  • Arkansas

    6 installers

  • Arizona

    12 installers

  • Alabama

    1 installer

Latest From the blog

No data

No data

0 sqft