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The state of solar in Champaign

Champaign enjoys around 194 days of sunshine per year,* and an estimated 71% of the city's rooftops are solar viable.* As Illinois continues its statewide push for clean energy, the area has experienced impressive solar growth. While some solar incentives, such as the adjustable block program known as Illinois Shines, are awaiting new funding, it’s still a great time to go solar in Champaign.

How much solar energy does Champaign produce?

The Solar Urbana-Champaign program alone features 242 solar installations producing 2.094 MW of electricity.

Champaign is also home to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which features numerous solar PV systems and two solar farms, the largest of which is 12.32 MW. Cumulatively, the campus produces over 7,000 MWh of clean energy per year.*

In January of 2019, Champaign County approved plans to build the largest solar farm in the state less than 20 miles from Champaign City. Construction on the 150 MW solar plant is expected to begin in 2021 and wrap up in about 18 months.*

What are the advantages of going solar in Champaign?

Converting your home or business to solar energy has wide-reaching advantages. You’ll not only be contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and Illinois' goal of obtaining at least 25% of its energy from clean sources like solar by 2025, but you may see significant electricity cost savings, as well.

Hot summers and cold winters result in above-average energy usage in Champaign. While you can shop for better electricity rates among local utility companies, converting to solar energy could allow you to save an average of $23,000 over the first 20 years of system use. Many homeowners break even on their installation costs within 7 to 8 years.*

How much does solar cost in Champaign?

champaign sunpower solar

The cost of a home solar system can vary, even in the same city, due to a range of factors. These include:

  • Angle of the roof

  • Viable roof square footage

  • Home energy needs

  • Changes in weather

  • Quality of solar panels

To help you understand the price of going solar in your area, we’ve analyzed SunPower price quotes, as well as quotes gathered from third-party sources for thousands of homeowners across the country.* In Illinois, we found that the cost of owning a 5 kW solar system ranges from $15,600 to $23,150, or in other words, from $3.12 to $4.63 per watt. And that’s before considering the benefits of any available tax credits or incentives.

You may be able to take advantage of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which allows you to claim 26% of your installation costs on your federal taxes.* Illinois also offers a net metering policy, which allows you to transfer any excess electricity you produce to the grid for a credit on your utility bill. If you use electricity from the grid at night or during times of low production, this credit can reduce or eliminate the cost of that electricity.*

What’s the best way to go solar in Champaign?

The return on investment you'll see from your solar system hinges on proper installation and system design. Different solar systems vary in quality, appearance, and durability. It's crucial to work with an experienced solar installer to determine the right setup for your home.

The best system size and type of panels will depend on your budget, viable roof space, and unique energy needs. For example, if you want to generate extra power to store onsite or earn credit for via net metering, you might opt to invest in a larger system upfront and cover all your available roof space with high-efficiency panels.

If you have a lower budget or prefer to maintain the aesthetic of your home, high-efficiency solar panels can also help you maximize energy production with fewer panels. Your solar provider can help you make an informed decision with a custom system design, cost and savings estimate, and overview of any available incentives.

To get started, request a free consultation, and we’ll follow up with a quick call to schedule a time. You can also call us directly at (800) 786-7693.

Looking for commercial solar in Champaign?

SunPower is the #1 Commercial Solar Provider in the U.S. since 2017.* Schedule a commercial solar consultation today.

  • *. Best Places, Climate in Champaign, IL, May 2021.
  • *. Google, Project Sunroof data explorer (November 2018)
  • *. University of Illinois Board of Trustees. Solar Power on Campus. FY 2020.
  • *. The Times Gazette. Champaign County Board OKs 1,600-acre solar farm southeast of Sidney. January 2019.
  • *. EnergySage, Solar Panels in Champaign, IL, May 2021.
  • *. Local Solar Installers 2020/2021, Solar Reviews 2021, Energy Sage 2021, Wood Mackenzie 2020, National Renewable Energy Laboratory 2020
  • *. Tax credits and incentives are subject to change. Visit dsireusa.org for detailed solar policy information.
  • *. The availability of net metering varies by location and is subject to change. Visit dsireusa.org for detailed solar policy information.
  • *. Wood MacKenzie, US PV Leaderboard (March 2021). SunPower ranked #1 in cumulative commercial volume 2017-2020.
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