Green home solar energy

Solar Panels in Champaign IL: 2023 Guide

In 2023, increasing numbers of homeowners in Champaign are turning their backs on fossil-fuel-derived grid energy, and are switching to solar as their primary power source. Solar Panels in Champaign IL

Solar panels aren’t just great because of the environmental benefit of getting power with zero emissions – they can also significantly increase the value of your home, and save you tens of thousands of dollars over their lifetime.

In this article, we’ll look into why exactly so many homes in Champaign are installing solar panels, covering some of the major benefits of solar so you know exactly why solar panels are the smart choice in 2023. Solar Panels in Champaign IL

Solar Panels in Champaign IL

Why Are So Many Homes Switching To Solar In Champaign?

The benefits of solar panels are too many to cover in just one blog post, but below are some of the top reasons why so many homes are installing solar panels in Champaign:

  1. Solar Panels Free You From Ameren’s Price Hikes

In 2022, homes across all of America – and the rest of the Western world – saw their electricity prices rise sharply as a result of the energy crisis caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Few places saw the level of price hikes seen in Illinois, however, with some Ameren customers seeing their electricity rates effectively double, compared to previous years.

  • In 2022, Ameren Illinois pushed through a $61 million delivery rate increase, on top of punitive supply cost increases that took a hefty chunk out of their customers’ paychecks 
  • In June of last year, Ameren increased the price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to 10.6 cents – a 120% increase on the summer period of the previous year
  • Last October, they increased the price once again to 11.2 cents per kWh – an 85% increase on the same period of the previous year
  • In January 2023, Ameren’s “price to compare” rose to 11.8 center per kWh – a 116% increase on the same period of last year
  • According to the Citizens Utility Board, these increases will amount to an annual increase of $626 for the average customer
  • The Energy Information Agency (EIA) predicts that prices will go up even further this year, to 15.3 cents per kWh

With solar panels, you can make yourself immune to the high cost of these price hikes, and could even eliminate your utility bill entirely. Solar Panels in Champaign IL

  1. Solar Panels Can Save You Tens Of Thousands Of Dollars

Solar panels can save you money every year, and they have long service lives. The SunPower solar panels that we use at Green Home Makeover have a life expectancy of 40 years, or more.

All in all, the savings you accrue can add up to tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your system. The exact amount that you save is dependent on factors such as how much power you use, whether you buy or lease and whether or not your system fully covers your needs. 

  • In 2022, the average home in Illinois with solar panels saved $1,391, compared to what they otherwise would have paid in utilities
  • The average payback period of solar panels (the time it takes to see net savings as a result of the investment) is around 8.9 years
  • Over their service life, the total amount of net savings could exceed $40,000

Solar Panels Can Save You Tens Of Thousands Of Dollars

  1. Solar Panels Can Increase Your Home Value By 17%

So far, there have been two large-scale studies on how solar panels affect home sales – the first, published in 2010, was by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the second, published in 2013, was conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. 

  • The NREL study found that for every $1 in annual savings on utility bills, there was a $20 increase in home value as a result of installing solar panels
  • The study also found that the average home increased in value by 17%, and that homes with solar panels sold 20% faster
  • The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study lasted for 10 years, and found that homes increased in value by an average of $15,000 after installing solar panels
  • They found that the increase was dependent of factors such as system size, with an average increase of $4,020 to $5,911 per kW of solar panels that were installed
  • If these figures are correct, this means that the average home would see an increase of between $24,120 and $35,466 as a result of installing a 6 kW system
  • The average increase far exceeds the average cost of installing a solar system

  1. The Cost Of Solar Panels Is Lower Than Ever!

The average annual cost of solar panels has dropped by around 60% since 2011, according to a study by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

Back in 2011, the average 6 kW system would have set you back somewhere in the region of $50,000, but today that same sized system costs between $16,677 and $22,562 – even before incentives are factored in.

If you want to spend less on your solar panels though, it’s best not to wait around in hope that the cost will decrease further.

A major reason for the previously seen drop in prices has been due to manufacturing processes becoming more streamlined and efficient – and now there’s little room for improvement.

In addition to this, the high inflation of the last year has led to increases in the cost of labor and materials, so prices are once again starting to go up. Solar Panels in Champaign IL

  1. Solar Incentives Can Halve The Cost Of Solar Panels

In 2023 in Illinois, the solar incentives that are available can more than halve the overall cost of your solar panels – as well as ensuring that you get the full annual savings from your system.

  • The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit can reduce the cost of purchasing solar panels by 30%, for eligible taxpayers
  • Illinois Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) are calculated by the size of your system and are payable as a lump sum that can be worth 25% of the cost of your panels
  • Solar Net Metering allows you to generate utility credits for the excess energy that you feed into the grid, which can be offset against the electricity you use later

You Can Get Free Solar Panels In Illinois

  1. You Can Get Free Solar Panels In Illinois

In 2023, it’s actually possible to get free solar panels in Illinois. There are two ways to do this:

  • The Illinois Solar For All scheme, which provides free solar panels, or shares in community solar projects, to income-eligible applicants
  • A solar lease, where you pay a fixed monthly fee to rent solar panels, which can allow you to save 35-40% versus what you would otherwise pay in utilities

For more information on Illinois Solar For All and solar leases, check out our blog article “Can You Get Free Solar Panels Illinois 2023?”. Solar Panels in Champaign IL

Solar Is The Smart Choice In Champaign
Solar Panels in Champaign IL

The benefits of solar panels are myriad, and if you want to increase the value of your home and save yourself thousands of dollars, they’re the smart choice.

Green Home Makeover is a solar consultancy with over 8 years of industry experience, managing solar projects for homes all across Illinois.

If you’d like to know more about how we can help you switch to solar, get in touch today, for a free, no-obligation consultation and quote. Solar Panels in Champaign IL