How Much Do Solar Panels Save? - IL

As a homeowner in Illinois, you may have questions about the costs and savings of solar energy. Here we guide you through your financial options. On this page, you can expect to discover:

The good news is solar power is more affordable than ever for the average working family.

How Much May Solar Panels Save Me? Use Our Solar Savings Calculator

The difference in cost versus savings is eye-opening.

Calculate how much a solar photovoltaic (PV) system at your property could save you with our solar savings calculator.
StraightUp Savings
Your Average Monthly Electric Bill
  (over a year's time)


Your Utility


Provide stable electric rates for 25+ years
Offer a low-risk, tax-free return on investment
Home improvement that can pay for itself
Improve home resale value

Incentives & Financing for Solar in Illinois

Discover incentives to help make solar more affordable for you.

What Solar Financing Option is Right For You?

With the cost of solar panels and solar energy technology steadily decreasing over the years, going solar has never been more affordable—but not everyone can pay upfront for a home energy system. Fortunately, there are several solar financing options available to homeowners such as solar loans, solar leases, and power purchase agreements.

Here are the most common solar financing options! 

Solar Loan

A solar loan allows you to purchase a home solar system and pay it off over time. The types of solar loans include:

Clean Energy Credit Union Solar Loans

The Clean Energy Credit Union (CECU) offers financing products that help transition the country to 100% renewable energy. They have designed a loan specifically for solar at competitive rates.

When going solar through CECU you will apply for two loans. The first loan is an 18-month loan that covers the value of the solar array covered by the
federal Investment Tax Credit. Once you have your tax credit, you can pay off the entirety of the loan. The second loan is a long-term loan that covers the remaining cost of the array that has competitive interest rates for 12, 15 and 20 year loans

Home Equity Funds

You can get a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC) from your preferred bank. These are home improvement loans that allow you to borrow against your home’s equity. If approved, a home equity loan gives you a lump sum that you repay in equal installments over a set period of time, while a home equity line of credit gives you revolving credit that you can borrow against (up to your limit) and reuse as you pay it back (like a credit card).

StraightUp Solar treats home equity loans like cash without any extra charges on our end, as we do not have to provide the financing product. You may encounter additional fees and loan processing payments from your bank though, so factor that into your decision-making process.

Solar Lease

StraightUp Solar can only offer leases in Illinois in partnership with Sunpower. Leases work similarly to leasing a car—you don’t own the solar panel system, but you make monthly payments to SunPower. With a solar lease in Illinois, you pay a fee each month for 20 years, which will be outlined in your lease contract. You can choose whether the monthly payment escalates or not year over year, which will change the terms of the lease (0% or 2%). If you choose not to escalate your monthly payment, your energy bill payments are guaranteed energy bill savings of 10%. If you choose to escalate your payment by 2% you are guaranteed savings of 20% under your current bills. The monthly payment for a lease will be less than your utility bill but will vary depending on location and system size. At the end of your contract, you can choose to renew your contract, purchase the solar panels, or have them removed.

What's the Cost for a Solar Panel System?

Our Project Developers customize pricing for each solar array construction based on three elements: 

  • Modules, inverters, batteries, and other system components you may prefer
  • Layout of the array, and whether it is a ground-mounted or roof-mounted system
  • The electrical alterations needed for the home to integrate solar

The good news is the cost of going solar has come down 80% in the last decade, and it is affordable for the average working family. 

Projects typically require little money down with financing, or range from $20,000-$60,000 before incentives.

We can quickly provide you sample pricing with just a small amount of information about your home and electric bill.

Get a Free Quote

Comparing your Solar Financing Options

Here are some final notes on the different solar financing options available:

Tax incentives – With a solar loan, unlike with solar leasing, you own the solar panel system outright and you may be able to take advantage of tax incentives.

Maintenance and repairs – With a loan, you own the solar panel system and you will have to pay for maintenance and repairs yourself. With a lease, SunPower (StraightUp Solar’s leasing partner in Illinois) will be responsible for the maintenance and monitoring of the system and costs won’t fall on you.

Long-term savings – When you purchase a solar energy system through a solar loan, the system will eventually be paid off. After that point, you are generating free electricity for your home without having to make monthly payments, giving you greater long-term savings than systems covered by solar leases.

Selling your home – If you want to sell your home, solar leases can be passed onto the home’s next owner.

Go Solar with StraightUp Solar

It’s important to research all available solar financing options and get quotes to compare interest rates and fees. Taking out a solar loan can give you the best savings in the long term and you can take advantage of solar incentives and rebates, but if you don’t qualify for a solar loan or the terms are too high for your budget, a solar lease might be your best option and the savings start immediately. What you choose to value the most is, of course, up to you!

As always, the solar experts at StraightUp Solar can answer any questions you may have and provide you with all of the information you need to make an educated decision about going solar. Contact us today to get started!

StraightUp Solar went the extra mile to create a solution that was just perfect for me: maximum energy production, aesthetically pleasing, web-accessible – all at an affordable price.
- J. Gee, Maryland Heights