Guide to Going Solar » How Much Does Solar Cost?

How Much Does Solar Cost?

Typically $15,000 to $50,000 before incentives, assuming you buy your system without financing.

The cost of installing solar panels on a home varies based on the number of panels, system design, and equipment choices. As a result, the cost of each project is different. This guide explains how to determine the cost of going solar and will help you understand your options for paying for solar.

Certasun Solar Installers and Electricians

Typical Solar Installation Cost

The typical cost of installing solar panels is $15,000 to $50,000 before incentives. Luckily, the incentives available to homeowners in the Chicago area can cover 60% or more of the total cost of your solar system. This means that after incentives, your cost will likely be around $6,000 to $20,000.

The cost of your solar installation includes everything involved in the project: design, site assessment, labor, equipment, permitting, filing applications with your HOA, and claiming state incentives on your behalf. Our team completes all this work in-house and with no hidden fees.

My wife and I are very happy with the entire process, the cost effectiveness, and the end results. Certasun and SunPower are both highly recommended. This is a no-brainer.

MARLIN N., AURORA, ILLINOIS

Determining Solar Installation Cost

The biggest driver of a solar system’s cost is the number of panels. We’ll determine the number of panels you’ll want to install and the cost of your system by considering your electricity needs, the characteristics of your roof, and a few other factors.

Factor 1: Your Electricity Use

It’s a common misconception that the size of the house determines the solar installation cost. While there is some correlation, electricity use is a much better predictor.

Despite having the same square footage, the two homes here will have very different solar installation costs based on their vastly different electricity usages.

Factor 2: Shade

The amount of sun on your roof is also a significant factor in determining how many panels you’ll need.

Despite having the same electricity usage, these homes will have different solar panel costs to produce the same amount of electricity. It’s not always simple to determine if your roof is good for solar, and usually requires detailed analysis by one of our consultants during your solar consultation.

SunPower Solar Panels Woodland Compressed

Factor 3: Your Equipment Choices

As with most other purchases, with solar you can choose the cheapest possible products, good value products, and high-performance products. Since our founding, Certasun has exclusively installed the SunPower Equinox system, which we believe provides the best value-to-performance ratio available (and which has several options within it).

Other Factors

Some other factors that might impact the size or cost of your solar installation include:

  1. Are you planning to electrify major appliances, heating, or cooling in the near future? What about buying an EV? It probably makes sense to build a larger solar system now.
  2. Is the number of people living in your household likely to decrease sometime soon? Perhaps you have kids who will be attending college? It’s probable your electricity consumption will decrease, so you may want a smaller system.
  3. Do you have particular aesthetic desires? You may want an all-black panel, or perhaps a symmetrical panel layout is more important to you than the maximum possible energy production.
  4. Installations on flat roofs or with trenching typically cost a bit more.

Determining Solar Installation Cost

The biggest driver of a solar system’s cost is the number of panels. We’ll determine the number of panels you’ll want to install and the cost of your system by considering your electricity needs, the characteristics of your roof, and a few other factors.

Factor 1: Your Electricity Use

It’s a common misconception that the size of the house determines the solar installation cost. While there is some correlation, electricity use is a much better predictor.

Despite having the same square footage, the two homes here will have very different solar installation costs based on their vastly different electricity usages.

Factor 2: Shade

The amount of sun on your roof is also a significant factor in determining how many panels you’ll need.

Despite having the same electricity usage, these homes will have different solar panel costs to produce the same amount of electricity. It’s not always simple to determine if your roof is good for solar, and usually requires detailed analysis by one of our consultants during your solar consultation.

Factor 3: Your Equipment Choices

As with most other purchases, with solar you can choose the cheapest possible products, good value products, and high-performance products. Since our founding, Certasun has exclusively installed the SunPower Equinox system, which we believe provides the best value-to-performance ratio available (and which has several options within it).

Other Factors

Some other factors that might impact the size or cost of your solar installation include:

  1. Are you planning to electrify major appliances, heating, or cooling in the near future? What about buying an EV? It probably makes sense to build a larger solar system now.
  2. Is the number of people living in your household likely to decrease sometime soon? Perhaps you have kids who will be attending college? It’s probable your electricity consumption will decrease, so you may want a smaller system.
  3. Do you have particular aesthetic desires? You may want an all-black panel, or perhaps a symmetrical panel layout is more important to you than the maximum possible energy production.
  4. Installations on flat roofs or with trenching typically cost a bit more.

I can not recommend Certasun enough. I met with 5 different solar installers and they were by far the most professional sales staff I met. They worked with me to reduce my installation cost by giving alternate solutions within their premium Sunpower solar panel lineup that rivaled the proposals of the other lesser premium & efficient panels…The sales team also gave me information honestly even when other installers were overpromising and upselling the system sizes. They made the process very easy and definitely bent over backward.

JEFF G., DES PLAINES, ILLINOIS

Paying for Solar

When you go solar with us, you may choose to pay for your system up front, or you may prefer to make payments over time. You can even go solar with $0 down. We offer loans that can help you spread the cost of owning your system over time. You can also lease your system.  We offer financing through our equipment supplier, SunPower, or through EnerBank.

Even if choose to buy your system outright, we don’t ask you to pay for the entire system at once. We’ll ask you for a modest down payment to start the process, one-half of the remainder when we’ve received all the permits we need to build your system, and the balance only after your system is fully operational.

Certasun Solar Installation

“Certasun representatives answered all my questions about cost, rebates, warranties and time lines for installation. I am very satisfied with the professionalism of all three phases, sales/purchase, process coordination leading up to installation, and the installation itself.”

DAN N., ELGIN, ILLINOIS

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