• Chicago, IL, Goes Solar with SunPower®

    The Windy City learns to harness the power of the sun

The state of solar in Chicago

Contrary to popular belief, cities with harsh winters like Chicago can still be excellent solar power producers. In fact, real estate brokerage firm Redfin named Chicago the second-best Midwestern city in terms for having a solar system raise the value of your home.*

  • *. Finn, Alanna. “10 Midwestern Cities Where Solar Power Has a Big Payoff.” 1 May 2017.

How much solar energy does Chicago produce?

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), as of 2019, 301 solar companies power 54,608 homes in the state of Illinois, comprising 0.27 percent of the state's total electricity usage.* That may sound like a low number, but it's more than double what Illinois produced the previous year. Environment America's Top Shining Cities project ranks Chicago 25th for Total Solar PV Installed:

Total Solar PV Installed: 24.42 MW National Rank: 25

  • *. Finn, Alanna. “10 Midwestern Cities Where Solar Power Has a Big Payoff.” 1 May 2017.

What are the advantages of going solar in Chicago?

Chicago Flag

If you invest in solar panels in Chicago, you may be able to save on your heating bill when winter comes. Throughout the 190 days of sun that Illinois sees in the warmer months, you can feed excess energy produced by your solar panels back to the grid for a one-to-one retail credit—a credit you can use during the bitterly cold days of December through February. As a result, switching to solar power could offset your annual energy costs by over 33%.

In addition, adding solar panels to your roof could boost your home's resale value. According to online real estate marketplace company Zillow, 80% of buyers value energy-efficient features, and homes with solar power bring in a 4.1% higher sales price on average.*

  • *. Mikhitarian, Sarah. “Homes With Solar Panels Sell for 4.1% More.” April, 2019.

How much does solar cost in Chicago?

Over the past five years, the price of solar power in Illinois has fallen 45%.* That said, the cost of solar system installation varies, even in the same city, due to a range of factors, including the:

  • Household’s energy needs

  • Quality of the solar system

  • Angle and type of the roof

  • Percentage of roof that’s shaded

  • Local weather

To help you understand the price of going solar in your area, we've analyzed SunPower price quotes, as well as quotes gathered by third-party sources,* for thousands of homeowners across the country.

In the Chicago area, we found that the cost of owning a 5 KW solar system ranges from $12,950 to $26,650, or in other words, from $2.59 to $5.33 per watt. And that's before considering the benefits of any available tax credits or incentives.

In addition to the 26% federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) available to qualified customers* through 2022 and the Section 25D residential solar energy credit, Chicagoans who use solar power may be able to sell Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) through the state's Adjustable Block Program (ABP) for every megawatt of solar power they produce.

Furthermore, the state of Illinois offers net metering for homeowners,* meaning that ComEd, the utility provider for most Chicago homes, will buy back excess electricity you produce when connected to their grid. Net metering benefits homeowners who do not use a lot of power during the day. Net metering offers customers the benefit of receiving credits for excess electricity produced by their solar panels, which can offset their electric bill.

  • *. SEIA, “Solar by State” map, Illinois Solar Quick Facts.
  • *. Local Installers, Wood Mackenzie, Solar Reviews, Energy Sage, National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
  • *. Tax credits subject to change. SunPower does not warrant, guarantee or otherwise advise its partners or customers about specific tax outcomes. Consult your tax advisor regarding the solar tax credit and how it applies to your specific circumstances. Please visit the dsireusa.org website for detailed solar policy information.
  • *. The availability of net metering varies by location and is subject to change. Your SunPower Dealer can help you determine if you qualify. You can also visit the dsireusa.org website for detailed solar policy information.

What's the best way to go solar in Chicago?

Whether you're a homeowner, business owner, or home builder, SunPower can help you become more eco-friendly and save money in the process.

Of course, the best solar system for you will depend upon your available roof space, specific energy needs, and budget. As a homeowner, for example, you likely want to preserve your house's curb appeal. High-efficiency solar panels are a fantastic option for maximizing energy production with as few panels as possible.

If you're new to solar energy, don't worry—we'll work with you to help you find the perfect solution. At SunPower, we provide the most efficient solar panels available* and take the guesswork out of going solar by offering free consultations. During the consultation, we'll answer your questions, create a custom system design and savings estimate, provide a price quote, and discuss available incentives and tax credits.

Get started now by requesting your consultation. We'll follow-up with a quick call to schedule a time.

You can also call us directly at (800) 786-7693.

  • *. Based on datasheet review of websites of top 20 manufacturers per IHS, as of June 2020

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