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Solar panels in Michigan
Michigan has invested heavily in solar power — a total of $1.4 billion — to grow its renewable energy industry and encourage solar adoption across the state. The rising popularity of Michigan’s solar sector has led to enough installed solar energy to power over 173,000 homes.
Purchasing solar panels involves a considerable upfront cost. However, they can help you save money in the long run and reduce your dependence on the power grid. By switching to solar power, you can also contribute to a healthier planet.
If you’re unsure whether Michigan solar panels are right for you, take some time to explore the information on this page. You’ll learn about average solar panel cost, available incentives, and solar installers to help you make an informed choice.
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Cost of solar panels in Michigan
According to Find Energy, the average residential solar system in Michigan costs $4.06 per watt, with a total price tag of $24,360 for the typical 6-kilowatt (kW) system. Tax credits and other financial incentives may help reduce the total net cost of your panels.
As you shop, remember that several factors can have a significant effect on the total cost of your solar system. The cost of solar panels in Michigan fluctuates based on the size and configuration of your system, the components included, and any labor and permitting costs. For example, installing a solar battery will significantly increase your overall cost.
The average Michigan resident pays $121 monthly for electricity as of March 2023. If you purchase the average-priced solar system in Michigan and it covers 100% of your consumption, you could recoup your installation costs after about 11.7 years. Considering each household has unique energy consumption patterns and needs, here is a range of system sizes and costs at the state’s average price per watt.
|System size||Total cost|
Solar incentives and rebates in Michigan
One big positive of buying a home solar system is receiving solar rebates and Michigan solar incentives. Many available incentives don’t apply to leased systems. Incentives such as the federal tax credits and state net metering policies can make buying your solar system an attainable goal for many homeowners.
|Residential Clean Energy Credit||Formerly known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), this 30% federal tax credit is applicable for solar panel systems installed through 2032. With this credit, you can claim 30% of the total cost of solar on your federal income taxes. The solar panels must be installed on a primary or secondary residence to qualify. There is no maximum limit.|
|Net metering||Michigan’s net metering program allows you to earn bill credits throughout the life of your panels as they generate energy. If your system generates more energy than you need during the month, you can send the extra electricity back to the grid in exchange for a bill credit on your account.|
|Alternative Energy Property Tax Exemption||Solar system owners in Michigan do not have to pay additional taxes for increased property value from installing solar panels.|
|LIEEF program||The Low-Income and Energy Efficiency Fund (LIEEF) is run cooperatively by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) and Michigan’s three largest utilities. This statewide fund aims to assist low-income residents and promote energy efficiency and conservation.|
Solar panel setup
The price you pay for home solar panels includes the costs of several different components necessary for the function of a solar system. The most common parts of a solar panel array include:
- Solar panels: Solar panels capture sunlight through solar cells to use as energy in your home. There are three panel choices: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, or thin-film panels. Solar panels also come in a variety of sizes and styles. The best solar panels of 2023 might require a higher upfront investment but will save you money in the long run based on quality and efficiency. Your solar installer can help you pick the right panels for your needs.
- Inverter: Solar panels capture direct current (DC) energy from the sun. Alternating current (AC) power is needed to electrify most things in your home. The solar panel inverter changes the flow of power from DC to create AC to be used in your home.
- Batteries: Excess energy captured by your solar panels can be stored in batteries if you choose to add this optional component to your system. If you have a battery, you can rely on solar power for your home when the sun isn’t shining.
Are you interested in solar?
Do you want to find out how much you can save with solar panels? Choose Energy can connect you with a solar installer to help you understand the cost of solar and savings for your home. Simply fill out the solar estimator or call the number on your screen to get started.
Solar energy in Michigan may help lower your electric bills
When you install solar panels on your home, you can save money in multiple ways. Tax credits and net metering help offset installation costs over a longer period of time. Solar panels also help you save money on your monthly energy bill.
Here’s an example of the savings you could experience over time. If you buy a residential solar panel system for $24,360, the federal tax credit will help you recoup 30% of your costs on your tax return — in this case, around $7,300. Depending on your solar production, you may be able to significantly lower your electricity bill. With solar, you could experience savings of up to $1,450 each year.
When you purchase solar panels, you can:
- Increase your home’s resale value
- Experience long-term energy savings
- Decrease your reliance on the energy grid
Energy independence in Michigan
Solar panels can increase your energy independence. Michigan allows residents to disconnect from the traditional electricity grid. You will not be subject to seasonal energy market variations and bill increases. A solar battery is a necessary component to be fully disconnected from the grid.
Even if you don’t disconnect from the grid, installing your own solar panels can significantly reduce your exposure to price swings in the energy market. Staying connected to the grid also provides you security in case you experience a period of low solar energy production.
How to buy solar panels in Michigan
Investing in solar panels is a big decision. Choose Energy can help you in your research through our marketplace and extensive library of resources. Review our guides on solar panels, such as the best states for solar or the pros and cons of leasing solar panels.
You should consider several factors before you buy solar panels, including:
- Your roof’s condition. Solar panels tend to gather the most energy on south-facing roofs with optimal slopes of 15 to 40 degrees. It’s also best to place them on a newer roof that is in good condition and doesn’t need to be replaced soon. A shaded roof will produce less electricity.
- HOA rules. Homeowners’ associations (HOAs) may have restrictions for placing solar panels on a home. In this case, you might need approval before installation. In Michigan, HOAs can restrict solar installations, so be sure to research your area’s rules before making your choice and enlist your installer’s help if you are unsure how to navigate them.
Want to learn more about solar energy? Call the number on your screen to speak with a solar energy expert to better understand your options for solar in Michigan.
How should I pay for my solar panels?
Michigan residents have various ways to access solar energy, including leasing, entering a power purchase agreement (PPA), community solar programs, solar loans, and cash purchases. A cash purchase is the best way to gain the most long-term savings. However, upfront purchases are not accessible to everyone. Solar loans allow you to own your system and benefit from incentives while not having to pay for the investment in one fell swoop. Here are some of the pros and cons of common solar financing options:
|Cash purchase||Largest amount of savings over time, solar system ownership, eligible for incentives, electricity bill savings||High upfront cost|
|Solar loan||Solar system ownership, eligible for incentives, electricity bill savings||Monthly payments, interest fees|
|Solar lease||Avoid upfront costs, little to no maintenance, electricity bill savings||No ownership, ineligible for incentives, potential rate increases|
|Power purchase agreement||Avoid upfront costs, little to no maintenance, electricity bill savings||No ownership, ineligible for incentives, potential rate increases|
|Community solar||No upfront costs, power home with clean energy, electricity bill savings||No ownership|
Solar panel companies
Michigan has over 200 solar companies for residents to choose from. When installing solar panels, consider multiple quotes and thoroughly research each company’s products, warranties, and reviews before signing a contract.
The following table highlights several popular solar installers in Michigan to consider while shopping for a company.
|Solar installer||Year founded||Financing options||Warranty terms|
|Palmetto||2010||Cash purchase, solar loan, PPA, or lease||Minimum 12-year product warranty, 25-year performance guarantee|
|Sunnova||2012||Solar lease, loan, or PPA||Up to a 25-year equipment and installation warranty|
|SunPower||1985||Cash purchase, solar loan, or lease||25-year full system warranty|
The future of energy is solar in Michigan
Michigan ranks 25th in the nation for solar energy generation, with 1.02% of the state’s electricity coming from solar power. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), its solar industry is expected to grow during the next five years, with its rank potentially jumping to 20th.
Solar is an attractive renewable energy option because it’s easily scalable to the size you require. Solar panels can be placed on residential roofs or ground-mounted in open spaces. There are also portable solar options.
As solar panel costs have decreased by 54% in the past decade, more homeowners are switching to solar. Michigan was quick to adopt solar power, and its investment in renewable energy has continued to increase. About 216 solar companies operate in Michigan across the full range of solar energy services, such as installation, production, and solar panel repairs.
Solar energy FAQs
What is the life expectancy of solar panels in Michigan?
Most solar panels last between 25 and 30 years. Proper care and maintenance may even extend the life of your solar panels beyond that. When purchasing solar panels, ask your preferred installer about the specifics of your panels’ warranties. Be sure to familiarize yourself with any warranty terms to ensure your panels remain covered.
Are there disadvantages to using solar energy in Michigan?
Michigan is not among the top 10 states for solar energy production, which can be seen as a disadvantage if it results in higher installation costs. You’ll need to research your options before committing to a major investment like solar panels. Once you switch to solar with a trusted installer, you can start making long-term energy savings.
How does solar power help the environment?
Solar power is a form of green energy. Its production does not have harmful effects on the earth’s environment like traditional fossil fuel electricity generation. Thanks to this, switching to solar helps combat climate change and pollution.
What percent of Michigan’s energy production is solar?
Michigan currently gets 1.02% of its electricity from solar power — enough to power 173,136 homes. This number is consistently growing each year as solar becomes more affordable.