Are solar panels worth it in Illinois? No doubt you’ve heard about the new climate bill. Maybe that’s got you wondering about how you can reap the benefits and possibly help save the planet. Or, maybe you’re just curious about all the hubbub surrounding solar energy.
Whatever your reason for considering solar panels, it’s important to do your research to see if they make sense for your family’s energy needs. Let’s take a look at a few reasons solar panels might be worth it if you live in Illinois.
Is Solar Worth It in Illinois?
It sure can be and you’re probably not the only Illinoisan considering solar panels. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the state of Illinois has invested $2.7 billion in solar, resulting in a total 1,559 megawatts of solar installed. That’s enough to power nearly a quarter of a million homes!
With that kind of statewide support, it makes sense to ask, “Are solar panels worth it?” However, to properly answer this question, it’s important to understand the unique needs of your household — ask yourself these questions:
- How much energy does your home currently consume?
- Does your home experience frequent power outages or interruptions in service?
- How many people live in your home?
- How many appliances do you use in your home?
- How big is your home?
But these questions only scratch the surface. If you want to get a comprehensive solar consultation, contact one of our Solar Energy Specialists, who can offer you a free analysis.
Benefits of Solar Panels in Illinois
Illinois can be a great place to go solar. When it comes to powering your home, we believe there’s true power in knowledge. That’s why we’re going to help you cover some of your bases. We’ve got the information you’ll need to help you decide if solar panels are worth it for your household.
We’ll talk about:
- The amount of sunshine in Illinois
- The cost of electricity (and how solar could help)
- The 30% federal tax credit
- Illinois Solar for All program
- Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs)
Here are some of the reasons why we think solar panels are worth it in Illinois:
1. The amount of sunshine in Illinois
The Prairie State has a lot more to offer its residents than lush, grassy plains. The state also touts 198 sunny days on average (1). As you may know, solar panels harness sunlight. So, the more access you have to direct sunlight, the better.
Moreover, we wouldn’t worry too much about the remaining overcast days. Solar panels need access to photons, and they can get these without direct sunlight. That said, if your roof is fully shaded, it might not be a good candidate for solar. Other factors, like the efficiency of your solar panels, will impact just how much solar energy can be captured on days when there isn’t a ton of direct sunlight.
For more information, get a crash course with us on how solar panels work.
2. The cost of electricity (and how solar could help)
Did you know that the U.S. generates most of our electricity from natural gas? This process not only funks up the atmosphere, but it also comes along with a hefty price tag, as the cost of wholesale natural gas steadily climbs(2). And guess who’s footing the bill?
In Illinois, the average residential cost of electricity is about 11.38 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh)(3).This happens to be about 4% less than the national average. While utility costs tend to be on the lower end for Illinois homeowners, these costs still haven’t been able to escape inflation. For instance, residents in Chicago have seen an 87% increase in their electricity bills since 2020(4).
Fortunately, the three major utility companies are required to offer a net metering program in Illinois(5). When you have solar panels, net metering could help you save on your monthly electric bills through credits for transferable energy.* Check with your current utility provider to find out the specifics of this program and how you can benefit.
Check out our blog on why electricity prices are rising.
3. The 30% Federal Tax Credit
Illinois is a great state to go solar, and that’s thanks to solar incentives, like the federal solar tax credit. Also known as the Investment Tax Credit , this federal boost gives qualified homeowners up to a 30% credit on their federal taxes when they install solar panels. If your system is eligible, you may be able to claim a tax credit for 30% of the cost of a solar energy system toward your federal taxes.**
4. Illinois Solar for All program
Are solar panels worth it in Illinois? Consider the Illinois Solar for All (ILSFA) program. For qualified low-income residents, this program provides a list of approved vendors that offer access to solar energy with no upfront costs.
Determine your eligibility by using the ILSFA’s income-eligibility tool. Qualified homeowners must have a total income of 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) or less based on their most recent tax return.
5. Solar Renewable Energy Credits
If you don’t qualify for the Illinois Solar for All program, the state of Illinois has another great incentive for going solar. It’s the Illinois Adjustable Block program, also known as Illinois Shines. Qualified recipients could be eligible for solar renewable energy credits.
Through this program, residents could receive one SREC for every megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity their solar system produces. Illinois Shines offers a set price for the purchase of each SREC through 15-year contracts from qualifying home solar installations.
For a thorough snapshot of which incentives you might qualify for, contact a Solar Energy Specialist today.
Are solar panels worth it in Illinois?
We certainly think so! Solar panels could be worth it in Illinois when you consider the abundance of sunshine, as well as the potential savings on your electric bill and taxes. The state is shining bright with many solar incentives available at the state and local levels, just waiting for you to take advantage of them.
Going Solar with ADT Solar
If you’re wondering what incentives are available to you, it’s best to discuss your particular situation with a Solar Energy Specialist. They’re well-versed in the options for Illinois homeowners and can answer all of your questions during a free solar consultation.
*Savings vary depending on your energy consumption, system cost, home location, and characteristics, and your utility’s policies. Net metering and similar excess or buyback programs vary by location and utility provider and are subject to change. Rates may go up or down and the money you may save, if any, may vary. For more information about rates, contact your power company.
**Consult a tax professional to understand any tax liability or eligibility for any tax credits that may result from the purchase of your solar system. Tax and credits or incentives including those provided by federal, state, or local governments may change or end. This can impact the amount of money you might save. If you have taxable income and own the system, you may qualify for the solar federal investment tax credit. It is your responsibility to determine your eligibility and to apply. Consult a qualified tax professional for assistance and details.