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|Star Rating||Location Presence||BBB Rating||Link|
|SunPower||50 States||A+||Get Free Quote|
|ADT Solar||23 States||A+||Get Free Quote|
|Sunrun||21 States||A+||Get Free Quote|
|Blue Raven Solar||18 States||A+||Get Free Quote|
|Palmetto Solar||20 States||A+||Get Free Quote|
|Momentum Solar||11 States||A+||Get Free Quote|
|Tesla Solar||50 States||A+||Get Free Quote|
Illinois is one of the fastest-growing solar markets in the country, ranking 15th in overall solar investment at the end of 2022, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. The Prairie State has more than 340 solar-related companies and is on a mission to generate 25% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. Illinois is expected to grow its solar capacity by more than 1,700% over the next five years.
If you’re one of the many Illinois homeowners wanting to make the switch to clean energy and reduce your electricity bills, we’ve done the research for you on which solar companies are available in your state. We looked at more than 20 providers’ websites, read their customer reviews, analyzed their warranties and financing options, compared their pricing by getting online quotes, and conducted mystery shopping to understand what each company has to offer. See which of the best solar companies made our final selection below.
Top Solar Installation Companies
These solar providers rank highest on our list:
- Most Experienced: SunPower
- Best In-House Financing: Blue Raven Solar
- Best Comprehensive Coverage: ADT Solar
- Most Protection: Palmetto Solar
- Most Aesthetic: Tesla
Most Experienced: SunPower
SunPower is considered a pioneer in the solar industry with more than 35 years of experience. The company has been in business since 1985 and has received more than 1,000 patents for solar innovation. Plus, its solar panels are some of the most efficient you can find due to their use of SunPower’s Maxeon cell technology.
Best In-House Financing: Blue Raven Solar
With Blue Raven Solar, you can purchase your solar panel system outright at installation or get a solar loan and make payments. Unlike most solar providers that partner with a lending institution, Blue Raven provides in-house financing if you opt for a loan. The company also provides 18 months of free solar through its BluePower Plus program.
Best Comprehensive Coverage: ADT Solar
Your solar products and installation work are covered with ADT Solar. The company offers a 25-year labor warranty, 25-year energy production guarantee, 25-year panel manufacturer warranty, and 25-year Enphase microinverter warranty. Another great perk to the company is that if another solar company offers comparable products and benefits at a lower price than ADT, it will refund you the difference.
Palmetto Solar: Most Protection
Not only does Palmetto Solar provide a 25-year manufacturer warranty for some panels, but it also helps protect your investment through its Peace of Mind plan. For $12 per month, Palmetto will monitor your system remotely to make sure it’s performing optimally and saving you the most money possible. You’ll also get a discount on services such as panel cleaning and battery maintenance.
Best Aesthetic: Tesla
The Tesla brand is known for its sleek, modern look. For homeowners who want to use clean energy but don’t want large, raised panels on their roofs, the Tesla Solar Roof is made to look like regular shingles. That way, you can get the benefits of solar power without lowering your house’s curb appeal. Tesla’s Powerwall is also one of the most popular solar batteries available.
Solar Installation Cost Factors in Illinois
There are a few ways Illinois residents can save money on going solar. Here are the Illinois solar incentives and rebates to look into:
- The Adjustable Block Program: Also known as Illinois Shines, the Adjustable Block Program lets you earn one solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) for each megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity your system generates for 15 years. This comes out to more than $10,000 in additional savings, on average.
- Property tax break: You won’t need to worry about higher property taxes once you install a solar system. The state of Illinois doesn’t tax you on the value your system adds to your house.
- Federal solar tax credit: Any homeowner who buys a solar system outright at installation qualifies for the federal tax credit, also known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), that reduces your overall system cost by 30%.
- Net-metering: Illinois permits homeowners to take advantage of net-metering, a program in which you can sell any excess energy your system generates back to a local utility company to make money. Commonwealth Edison offers the top utility net-metering program in the state.
Getting Solar Quotes in Illinois
Whether you go online or pick up the phone, getting a solar quote should only take around 10 minutes. If you’re early into your solar research, it may be best to call and speak with a representative so you can ask questions in addition to getting a solar estimate for your property. If you’d rather get a quote online, here’s how:
- Click the “Get a Quote” button that’s usually in the top-right corner of the provider’s homepage or at the bottom of the website.
- You’ll be asked to fill out some routine information. Providers need to know your property size, roof pitch, and the type of solar equipment you’re interested in to give you a quote. They’ll also ask for some basic contact information.
- Once you submit your information, you’ll either get a free quote instantly on the site or via email within a few minutes.
- Arizona Solar Companies
- California Solar Companies
- Colorado Solar Companies
- Connecticut Solar Companies
- Florida Solar Companies
- Georgia Solar Companies
- Illinois Solar Companies
- Maryland Solar Companies
- Massachusetts Solar Companies
- New Jersey Solar Companies
- New York Solar Companies
- North Carolina Solar Companies
- Pennsylvania Solar Companies
- South Carolina Solar Companies
- Texas Solar Companies
- Utah Solar Companies
What to Ask Solar Providers
We recommend asking solar panel companies these questions before deciding on a provider:
- How long have you worked in solar?
- How many systems have you installed? May I see photos?
- Are you NABCEP-certified, licensed, bonded, and insured?
- What is your business license number?
- Can you share a few customer references?
- Have you worked with my local utility company?
- Does your team do all the work, or do you use subcontractors? How do you quality-check the work your subcontractors perform?
- Who do I contact if I have a question or issue? What are turnaround times like to resolve issues?
In addition to questions about the installer, we suggest asking these questions about equipment:
- What are the benefits and drawbacks of this equipment?
- Is this what you have/would put on your home or business?
- What warranty protection is offered for each piece of equipment?
- What do customers complain about with this equipment?
Most solar energy companies offer similar services to help guide homeowners through the process and make the most of their systems. Common solar services include the following:
- Consultation: All companies should offer an up-front consultation to discuss your home’s energy needs and whether your property is a good fit for solar. This can often be done virtually or in person. While virtual consultations are more convenient, be aware that the representative won’t be able to provide as specific or potentially accurate information as they would if they saw your property in person.
- Design: Providers have in-house design teams that design the best array layout for your roof. You’ll approve this design before installation moves forward.
- Installation: Not all companies use an in-house installation team. Some use third-party companies. Some only install panels, while others also install batteries, electric vehicle chargers, and other equipment.
- Maintenance and cleaning: Many warranties include some sort of maintenance plan through your provider for a period of time. Check to see if a company provides any maintenance or cleaning services after installation.
- System monitoring: If a company has a mobile app, it’s likely it includes some degree of system monitoring. If not, or if you don’t want to monitor your system yourself, see if a provider offers system monitoring to track your panels’ performance.
- Additional services: Some companies partner with third parties to handle services that help your installation run smoothly. Roof repair and pest control, for example, are common additional services since solar installation isn’t wise on a damaged or infested roof.
All providers on our list are reputable solar companies with high-quality products and services. If superior energy efficiency is your top priority, we recommend SunPower and Blue Raven. Both providers sell SunPower’s high-efficiency panels, so you should see big energy savings with either.
If cost is the next thing to research on your list, see our solar panel cost guide for a more detailed breakdown of what your solar investment could look like.
What Solar Installation Looks Like
Most solar installations follow this or a similar process after your system’s design is approved:
- Site evaluation: An installer will visit your home to confirm the planned design and estimate the scope of work. This person or their team will also inspect your roof, attic, and electrical setup.
- Permit approval: Most states require a permit to install solar panels. Your solar provider should handle the paperwork with your local municipality.
- Installation: Installation typically takes one to three days. You don’t need to be home for it, but we recommend it so you can ask questions along the way.
- Cleanup: Installers should remove any debris and leave your property in good condition.
- City inspection: Your provider should coordinate with your city to have an inspector come out to check that your system is up to code.
- Utility connection: Lastly, your system must be connected to your local utility system if you’re connecting it to the grid. You’ll apply for connection through your utility company (some providers do this for you), which will also want to inspect your system to make sure it’s in accordance with its utility guidelines. After getting permission to operate, your system can be turned on.
Solar Companies FAQ
Is solar a good investment in Illinois?
Illinois sees plenty of sun, so solar energy production won’t be a problem for residents. Illinois homeowners also use around 730 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month, so if you’re one of those residents that uses more than 500 kWh monthly, you’ll definitely see a return on investment.
What is the best solar company brand?
Illinois has several reputable solar companies. We recommend looking into SunPower, Blue Raven Solar, and ADT Solar for top solar panel performance and customer service.
What is the average cost of solar in Illinois?
The average cost of solar in Illinois is around $23,000, which is less than the national average.
What is the Illinois Shines program?
Also known as the Adjustable Block Program, Illinois Shines lets you earn one solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) for each megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity your system generates for 15 years. This comes out to more than $10,000 in additional savings on average.
How We Chose the Top Solar Companies
We researched and analyzed dozens of solar panels and solar installation companies. We then formulated a rating system based on each solar installer or manufacturer’s services and products. We weighed several significant factors, including the quality and type of solar panels offered, the customer support network, warranty lengths and limitations, and additional benefits such as mobile apps for monitoring and customer service.
Speaking directly to representatives, we determined how each solar company personalizes its solar panel installation for each home. We also analyzed each company’s warranty options to ensure their product and performance guarantees match or exceed industry standards.
We evaluated each provider based on their rating and history with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to determine reputation. In addition, we analyzed the 100 most recent Google Reviews for each provider across various locations and branches.
Read more: Our Methodology