Solar Panels for Home in Chicago, IL
Your trusted energy advisor
Throughout Chicago, Kapital Electric has been the go-to solar installer for the city, as well as the state of Illinois. Offering the best financing in the business designed specifically for residential solar projects, our goal is to help customers make a cost-effective, seamless transition toward greener, more environmentally friendly energy alternatives. When you look at the the federal solar tax credits (30% thru 2019), combined with the sale of Renewable Energy Credits, Kapital Electric systems provide an average ROI of 7 to 9 years for your residential projects. Because of ITC, Illinois residents who go solar will save a great deal of money in the long run, and while the tax credit remains at 30% until the end of next year, now is the perfect time to make the switch! Contact us for more information about our residential solar services.
At Kapital Electric, it is our mission to be your one-stop shop for all things solar: We don’t only just install your systems, we also design, permit, and commission. As your trusted advisor in the Chicago area, we make sure your energy needs are met with a fair, sound solution. We aim to exceed your expectations—and get it done right the first time. Learn more about our residential systems below.
How the residential solar systems work
Simply put, photovoltaic (PV) solar panels consist of a series of cells that collect the sun’s energy. The photons dislodge the electrons, which create electricity. The inverter will transform the sun’s energy from DC to AC so it works with your home system, and whatever power is unused gets fed to the grid. Curious how to get a PV solar system? Our installation process goes something like this:
- Solar Evaluation: First, our experienced Chicago consultants will run a free solar evaluation checking to see if your house is a good candidate for our solar services making sure there are no serious shading issues and checking the condition and age of your roof, then we are going to want to know what your priorities are; Do you prefer American made or is price more important, are you looking to offset your entire electric bill or just the cost to charge an electric car or pool equipment. Lastly our consultants are going to want to see an electric bill to see what size system is needed to accomplish your goal. Our systems are custom designed to not only your needs and budget but also to what your priorities are. Then we evaluate your electric bill, each bill shows us your history over the past year and we also want to see how much you pay for electricity since everyone pays different rates these days with third party suppliers, from there we put together a very detailed and accurate report based on your usage and what you’re paying for electricity. We then provide you with a satellite view of your roof and draw in where we recommend installing the solar panels for their optimal production which gives our clients a visual idea of what the system is going to look like on their roof.
- Customized Solar Plan: If your home is a good candidate for solar, our Energy Design team now go to work to design a system not only your needs and budget but also to what your priorities are. Then we evaluate your electric bill, each bill shows us your history over the past year and we also want to see how much you pay for electricity since everyone pays different rates these days with third party suppliers, from there we put together a very detailed and accurate report based on your usage and what you’re paying for electricity. We then provide you with a satellite view of your roof and draw in where we recommend installing the solar panels for their optimal production which gives our clients a visual idea of what the system is going to look like on their roof. Once the report is created we then email to you, it will list all the available incentives, the ROI, the percentage rate of return along with your monthly payment if you decide you want to finance the system through one of our banking facilities.
- Solar Installation: Our team will keep you informed throughout the entire process, once the permit is issued our team will schedule the installation which typically takes 3-5 days for most residential projects. Upon completion we will commission the system and train you on all the aspects of your new solar energy system. We then will continue to monitor the system from our office so that you continue to receive the optimal production.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Isn’t solar expensive?
Not at all! Now is the best time to go solar with the 30% federal credits. Combined with state credits and rebates, the out-of-pocket costs go down by over 50%. For more specific information, please contact our energy consultants. Actually, cheaper than buying electricity through the utility companies, for example: a family average monthly electric bill is a $100 a month and you install a PV solar system large enough to eliminate your electric bill, if financed the monthly bill for many will be close to that $100 a month. Use the same money you once used to pay the utility company and pay off the system, once the system is paid off then it’s free electricity for life. Year after year when the utility companies raise their rates to pay for their employees annual raises you don’t care because that $100 a month payment on the solar system will remain the same until it’s paid off.
- What about snow/cold/hail?
As our goal at Kapital Energy is to provide top-quality solar services, all the equipment we use can withstand extreme weather. Since the PV solar panels produce energy, some heat is generated, which will melt all the snow. Solar panels actually produce more energy in cooler climates, heat creates resistance slowing down the production of electricity. Combined with our 25-year warranty, this is an excellent year-round payoff.
- What about if it’s cloudy?
Our energy consultants will analyze your consumption and come up with a system that meets your needs for the years. Even on overcast days, your solar panels will soak up the sun’s power. Germany leads the world in terms of panel installations, but they have the same amount of usable sunlight as Alaska.
- What if the power goes out?
Since you’re connected to your energy company, your power will be cut as well so that utility workers can fix the outage and avoid your system back-feeding into the grid.
- Where is energy stored?
The utility company grid is an energy storage system; all energy you produce but don’t use goes to the utility company, crediting your account through what is called “net metering.” As long as you’re connected to the grid and there’s power, you will have it, too, even if you use more energy than your panels can produce.
- What’s net metering?
It’s a billing mechanism that credits owners (who could be you!) of solar systems for energy sent to the grid. Here in Illinois, the current law is 1 for 1: Every kilowatt sent back means your energy company owes you a kilowatt. They don’t buy energy from you; they simply issue you credit. The first 5% of solar producers here in Illinois will never lose out on the 1 for 1 net metering deal, even when the law changes. After that, electric companies will purchase the excess power from you at a wholesale rate and sell it back to you at the current retail rate. As of 2018, Illinois has still not reached the 5% mark, making it the perfect time to switch!
- What incentives exist for residential renewable energy systems here in Illinois?
The 30% ITC Federal tax credit and in Illinois the sale of your SREC’s. More information can be found at www.seia.org.
- What are SREC’s or Solar Renewable Energy Credits?
Every PV solar system receives SREC’s which are like commodities that you can sell, the size of the system determines how many credits each system receives. The IPA (Illinois power association) will purchase 15 years’ worth of future credits and for systems under 10kw they will send you a check for the whole amount once the system is completed, systems over 10kw will be paid quarterly over a 5 year period. This can be as much as 30% of the cost of the system.
- What kind of incentives are there for business and farms?
They also receive the 30% Federal tax credit and the sale of SREC’s but also the accelerated depreciation that is allowed for businesses: MACRS depreciation helps businesses to recover some of their costs over the lifetime of their property. By deducting the depreciable basis over 5 years, tax liability is reduced and the rate of return for solar investments is accelerated. This has helped function as a driver for the solar industry and other energy industries. With the help of other energy tax incentives, this has helped launch a truly unmatched growth in annual solar installations.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2015 states that equipment in service during 2018 will qualify for 40% bonus depreciation. And next year, it will be 30%. More information can be found at www.seia.org. For information for farmers and REAP grants through the USDA, please visit www.rd.usda.gov. More information in general can be found on www.energy.gov or www.dsireusa.org.
- How much maintenance is involved?
Almost none—dust and dirt will be washed away by the wind and rain. You will probably have to clean your gutters more than your solar panels.
- What solar companies do you work with?
We use, support, and work with different manufacturer’s for panels, inverters, and racking, including the following:
For more information about any of our solar services in Chicago, please feel free to contact our experienced Illinois solar installers. Call us at (855) 527-4825 today!