Solar Roof Installation in Chicago, IL: A Complete Guide

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Rural residence with solar panels on a roof

Solar roofs are becoming an increasingly popular choice for homeowners in Chicago who want to reduce their electricity bills and make their homes more environmentally friendly. A solar roof is a solution that not only generates clean energy but also increases the value of your property.

This article will examine the installation of solar roof tiles in Illinois, from the initial assessment to the final connection. We will help you determine whether solar and roof in Chicago is the right choice for you and prepare for an exciting journey to energy independence.

What Is a Solar Roof?

A solar panel roof is an innovative technology that combines the functions of a roof and a solar power station. Special modules resembling traditional solar shingles or panels are installed on the roof to generate electricity from sunlight. They are suitable for both private homes and commercial buildings, such as offices, shops, and warehouses.

Interested in exploring solar roof tiles in Illinois and other options in the state? Get your solar quote now!

Comparing Different Types of Solar Roofing Materials

There are two main competitors in the solar panel roofing market: traditional solar roof panels and solar shingles in Illinois. Both offer a way to convert sunlight into energy for your home, but they have clear advantages and disadvantages. Let’s figure it out together.

Solar Panels: A Classic Option for an Energy-Efficient Home

Solar energy is becoming increasingly popular in the United States. This is evidenced by 3.2 million homes already equipped with solar panels for roofs. Thanks to them, up to 270 TWh of energy is generated, equivalent to the capacity of several nuclear power plants.

Solar panels in Illinois are familiar panels mounted on the roof over the existing roofing. You have seen them before; if not, just look around at the nearby houses.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Solar Panel Roof

Are you hesitating about whether you should install solar roof panels? It’s a major investment that warrants thoughtful consideration. Here’s a brief overview of the pros and cons to help you make the final decision.


  • Easy installation: Solar panel roofing is installed over existing roofing without requiring complex construction work or roof replacement with solar panels.
  • High efficiency: They convert solar energy into electricity with high efficiency.
  • Wide selection: Available in a wide range of sizes, capacities, and colors, allowing you to choose the optimal option for any needs.


  • Weather dependence: The efficiency of Illinois solar panels depends on the amount of sunlight absorbed by their photovoltaic cells.
  • Space limitation: Solar panels for roofs take up space on the roof, which can be a problem for small houses.

Solar Shingles: Revolution in Roofing Technologies

Innovations in alternative energy are not slowing down. One of the most promising directions today is solar roof shingles, which combine the functions of roofing material and photovoltaic generators.

With its appealing design and functional benefits, solar roof tiles in Illinois are experiencing a surge in popularity. Allied Market Research forecasts a substantial rise in the adoption of solar shingles in the state in the years ahead.

Forecast for the solar shingles market from 2021 to 2031, highlighting the expected growth at a CAGR of 5.5% ($555.2 Million)
Source: Allied Market Research
This is due to several factors, including reduced production costs, increasing eco-awareness, demand for energy-efficient solutions, technological advancements, and expanding product range.

Solar roofs are no different from regular ones, but they generate electricity. They are equipped with solar tiles, in which photovoltaic elements are already integrated. For a standard-sized house, 300-400 pieces will be sufficient.

Approximate Characteristics of Solar Panel Shingles
Width 30.5 cm
Length 218.5 cm
Weight 5.9 kg per square meter
Energy production from 13 to 80 watts
Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Shingle

If you’re uncertain about the value of investing in solar roof tiles in Illinois or concerned about potential damage to your existing roof, understanding the pros and cons of installation can be helpful.


  • Aesthetics: Solar panel shingles are aesthetically more pleasing than traditional solar panels, as they are integrated into the roof design.
  • Efficiency: By covering the entire roof rather than just a portion, solar roof tiles in Illinois produce more energy, making them more efficient.
  • Savings: Generating ample electricity to fulfill household demands can substantially slash electricity utility bills.
  • Durability: Solar power roof shingles are designed for longevity to withstand changing weather conditions, ensuring peace of mind for many years. Manufacturers and suppliers offer warranties that attest to the quality and reliability of their products.


  • Cost: Solar shingles cost more than standard roofing or solar panels for roofs. This is due to the use of high-quality materials, the installation’s complexity, and the product’s exclusivity.
  • Installation complexity: Installing solar roof tiles in Illinois is more complicated than installing traditional panels. Since shingles are installed as roofing material rather than simply laid on the roof, they require more precision and qualification.
  • Efficiency: The shingle may be less economical, as it is only sometimes capable of generating as much energy as solar panels in Illinois.
  • Difficulty hiring contractors: Although solar roof tiles in Illinois are becoming increasingly popular, finding qualified professionals to install them can be challenging. The technology is relatively new, and not all roofers have experience working with it.

How to Choose the Right Solar Roofing?

The choice between solar panels and solar power shingles depends primarily on your needs and budget. If aesthetics and durability are important to you, and your budget allows, then solar roof tiles in Illinois are the better choice.

If you want to save on installation and achieve maximum efficiency, then solar and roof in Chicago is an option. From a design perspective, solar panel tiles suit houses with traditional designs, while panels complement modern architectural solutions.

Ultimately, consulting with a solar energy specialist will help you determine the optimal solution for your specific situation.

Looking for the best offer of solar roof tiles in Illinois? Fill out the form and get your solar quote in no time!

Understanding the Benefits of Solar Roof Systems

Solar and roof in Chicago is a foolproof path to a better future. So, learning about the advantages of its installation is already half the battle.

Cost Savings

Solar rooftop systems can significantly save you money in two ways.

  1. By generating your own electricity, you greatly reduce your dependence on utility providers, saving on bills.
  2. Thanks to the green tariff and selling surplus electricity your system generates back to the grid, you receive additional income.

Promoting Environmental Sustainability

Solar light is a renewable energy source that does not deplete or harm the environment. It is also advantageous, considering that Chicago receives an average of 2,520 hours per year, more than in many other cities in the USA.

A graph plotting the average monthly sun hours in Chicago, IL
Moreover, generating clean energy will reduce carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as reduce the consumption of fossil fuels.

Increase in Energy Independence

With your own solar roof, you stop relying on a centralized electricity supply and have a backup power source. Spontaneous outages and interruptions in operation will no longer catch you off guard. Illinois solar panels will store energy in batteries in case of emergencies.

Increase in Property Value

If you think about using solar panels for roofs, it can come with additional benefits, like increasing the house’s value. The National Association of Realtors confirms that such real estate sells faster and for a price that is 56% higher than similar “non-solar” houses.

Buyers are willing to pay extra for a house with Illinois solar panels because they understand that this investment will pay off in full later on.

Factors to Consider Before Installing a Solar Roof

Before investing in a solar roof, it must be assessed by qualified installers from solar roof companies. They can analyze the suitability of the roof and recommend the best system for your needs. However, there are things you can investigate on your own.

  • Roof Size

Solar and roof in Chicago requires sufficient space to accommodate all the panels. Typically, the minimum recommended area is 20 square meters. The economic benefit of energy generation determines this. But this is an average figure, so if you own a very small house, a smaller area covered by a solar panel roof may be sufficient.

  • Roof Pitch

The ideal roof pitch for solar roof panels is 30-40 degrees. However, if installed at an angle from 15 to 60 degrees, energy will still be generated, but in smaller quantities, which is not cost-effective.

It is worth noting that this applies more to solar panels. Solar-powered shingles work at any pitch.

  • Shading

Shade is the enemy of solar energy. Solar light is blocked if your roof is shaded by trees, buildings, or other objects, preventing the panels from operating at full capacity. This leads to significant financial losses, which can amount to 10-20% of energy.

  • Roof Condition

The roof is an integral part of any solar power system, serving as the foundation for installing solar panels for roofs. Its condition significantly affects the operational characteristics and longevity of the entire system.

Before installing a solar power system, you must thoroughly inspect the roof to identify and repair any damage. Damaged areas need to be repaired or replaced using quality materials resistant to weather conditions before installing the panels.

  • Local Regulations

Each state has rules that govern the installation process, and this also applies to installing solar panels in Illinois. For example, a building permit is required to install a solar system on the roof in Chicago. In addition, it is worth researching and complying with the rules of the Chicago Municipal Code, Solar Zoning Policy, etc. The best solution would be to consult with a qualified contractor who understands these issues.

Ensuring the Safety and Maintenance of Solar Roof Systems

Solar rooftop systems offer a clean and economical way of generating electricity, but ensuring their safety and proper maintenance is crucial.

Safety Concerns

You can easily address this issue by hiring a professional team of contractors. Always turn to certified experts on solar and roof in Chicago, IL, because they:

  • Are familiar with safety protocols and ensure the installation complies with local building codes.
  • Securely fasten walkways on the roof and attachment points, protecting the structure from falls during maintenance or cleaning.
  • Minimize electrical hazards by skillfully connecting electrical joints, wires, and system components.

While there are millions of guides and tutorials for installing solar panels by hand, the same cannot be said for solar roof tiles in Illinois. We only recommend taking the installation process into your own hands if you have the appropriate prior experience.

Maximizing System Performance Support

Regular maintenance of solar rooftop systems (panels and solar roofing shingles) is essential. Neglecting it will result in reduced system efficiency, the risk of premature failure, and costly repairs. What does maintenance include?

  1. Visual inspection: Look for signs of damage, such as cracked solar roof panels, damaged wiring, or corrosion. Report any issues on solar roof tiles in Illinois to a qualified technician.
  2. Regular cleaning: Dust, dirt, and even bird droppings can decrease efficiency. Schedule professional cleaning of solar and roof in Chicago or do it yourself with protective equipment and non-abrasive cleaning agents.
  3. System performance monitoring: Most systems have built-in monitoring tools. Track energy production and identify any significant drops in performance, which may indicate a problem.

Ensure the smooth operation and longevity of your solar rooftop system!

Evaluating the Cost of Solar Roof Installation

New solar panels installed on metal sheet roof of the house
How much does a solar roof cost? Estimating the cost of solar roof installation in Chicago depends on several factors. SEIA says that the cost of a solar system depends on the availability of space, current energy consumption, and utility policies in your region.

Additionally, the size of the system, the type of panels chosen, the complexity of installation due to the roof shape, and additional expenses (such as permits, disconnecting and reconnecting to the grid, and disposal of an old solar roof) also adjust the price. Therefore, it is impossible to accurately determine solar roof cost.

The average solar panel roof cost in Chicago has not yet decreased, thanks in part to government incentives. For example, you can consider the Federal Tax Credit. It reduces the cost by 30% (including expenses for solar equipment and installation). However, the average cost in Illinois at the beginning of 2024 is approximately $3.16 per watt. For a typical home in Chicago with a 5 kW system, this could cost around $14,000.

Options for Solar Roof Financing in Chicago

Although the relatively high price of a solar system may be intimidating, it’s not something to dwell too much on. You should consider:

  • Return on investment: It’s important to know how long it will take for energy savings to recoup the initial investment.
  • Cash flow analysis: Careful planning and forecasting of cash flows will help you understand how solar energy will impact your budget in the future.

Thanks to the variety of innovative financing models, more Americans can switch to solar energy with little or no upfront payment. This makes solar roof tiles in Illinois more accessible to a wider range of people. Let’s delve into financing options.

Solar Lease

You lease solar panels from a solar roofing company installer for a fixed monthly fee. This fee is typically lower than your current electricity bill, allowing you to save money from the start.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Low initial costs
  • Predictable payments
  • Professional maintenance
  • You do not own the panels
  • No tax incentives
  • Long-term savings are lower than if you buy panels yourself

Solar Loan

You take out a bank or credit union loan to purchase a solar system. Then, you pay off the loan monthly, saving money on electricity bills.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • You own a solar panel roof after a full loan repayment
  • Tax incentives
  • Refinancing option
  • High initial costs
  • Responsibility for maintenance
  • You are responsible to repay the loan

Sales and Purchase Agreement

You buy the solar system upfront. This may be the most expensive option, but it entitles you to all tax incentives and incentives.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Lowest long-term costs
  • You fully own the panels
  • Responsibility for maintenance, fulfilling contract terms
  • No predictable monthly payments

With careful planning and choosing the optimal financing model, you will make the transition to solar energy beneficial and accessible. We recommend consulting with several specialized solar roofing companies in Chicago to compare different payment options.

Solar Roofing in Chicago: Where to Start?

As you embark on your journey towards generating clean electricity with solar roof tiles in Illinois, it’s essential to grasp the key points outlined. You might be wondering, “What’s the next step?” Remember, initiating action is often the most challenging yet crucial part of the process.

We recommend you calculate your energy needs to determine the size and quantity of solar panels or solar roof tiles in Illinois you’ll need. To do this, answer a few simple questions, and you’ll receive a solar proposal.

Looking for affordable solar roof tiles in Illinois? Fill out the form and get your solar quote right away!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to install a solar roof?

Installing a solar roof usually takes 1 to 3 days, depending on the complexity and size of the system. If there are delays in obtaining government permits, the project may take longer.

How to get free solar panels from the government

Getting materials for $0 is impossible, but there are Illinois solar incentives and discounts for installing solar roofs. Their size and availability depend on your state.

In Chicago, you have access to:

  • Federal tax credit (provides a 30% credit for the solar system cost if you fill out Form 893).
  • State tax credit for solar energy (offers 25% of the cost of your solar system, up to $2,500, if you submit Form IL-1065 with your state tax return).
  • Illinois solar program from ComEd (the incentive amount depends on your system’s size and the tariff type).
  • Property tax exemption for solar roof tiles in Illinois, etc.

What is the typical lifespan of a solar roof?

Most reputable manufacturers and solar roof companies also provide warranties for approximately 25-30 years. However, the efficiency will gradually decrease over time.