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Table of Contents
- Solar panels in Wisconsin
- Get your free solar savings estimate
- Cost of solar panels in Wisconsin
- Solar incentives and rebates in Wisconsin
- Solar panels setup
- Are you interested in solar?
- Solar energy in Wisconsin may help lower your electric bills
- Energy independence in Wisconsin can help you
- How to buy solar panels in Wisconsin
- Factors to consider before solar installation
- The future of energy is solar in Wisconsin
- Solar energy FAQs
Solar panels in Wisconsin
In terms of solar energy generation, Wisconsin sits in the middle of the pack among U.S. states according to the Solar Energy Information Administration (SEIA). Nonetheless, the state has set an ambitious goal to be carbon free by 2050, and solar will play a major part in that.
Many residents may still ask the question, “Is solar worth it?” Even as Wisconsin slowly picks up steam with its solar investment, there are countless ways you can benefit from installing solar panels in Wisconsin right now. Read on to learn more about solar incentives and the other benefits of going green in the Badger State.
Get your free solar savings estimate
You can significantly lower your energy costs by investing in solar panels. Enter some basic information below and we’ll provide an instant, free estimate of solar cost and savings for your home.
Cost of solar panels in Wisconsin
The total cost of residential solar systems can vary depending on your location, roof condition, energy usage, system size, and other factors. Based on data from FindEnergy,
the average price per watt for solar panel installation in Wisconsin is $4.02. Depending on the system size, the total cost may range from $8,035 for a 2 kilowatt (kW) system to $24,105 for 6 kW before incentives. This cost is higher than the average price per watt in the U.S. of $3.67 as per Berkeley Lab’s Tracking the Sun report. Your cost of solar panels in Wisconsin will vary based on the system components and configuration.
Solar incentives and rebates in Wisconsin
Solar panels come with a high price tag, but Wisconsin solar incentives and tax credits make solar panels more affordable.
- Federal solar tax credit: The Residential Clean Energy Credit offers a 30% solar panel tax credit to reduce the out-of-pocket cost of your green energy investment. The credit applies to systems purchased until 2032, decreasing to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034, and expiring in 2035.
- Solar rebate: Focus on Energy is an organization partnering with utility companies to provide up to a $1,000 in rebates to qualifying customers in eligible ZIP codes.
- Tax exemptions: You do not have to pay sales or additional property taxes in Wisconsin for solar purchases.
- Net metering: Wisconsin’s net metering policy allows homeowners to exchange their excess solar power for credits on electricity bills.
Solar panels setup
Every solar panel installation is unique, but most setups share a few specific components. These include:
- Solar panels: These are an essential part of your solar system to capture sunlight. Solar cells within the panels take the sunlight and convert it into electricity. Solar panels for your roof can be monocrystalline, polycrystalline, or thin-film. Learn more about the best solar panels in 2023 here.
- Inverter: A solar panel inverter converts direct current (DC) power from your system into alternating current (AC) power to run your home’s appliances and outlets.
- Solar battery: This is an optional, but wise investment, as the solar battery stores excess energy for later use or for selling back to the electricity grid.
As you evaluate your equipment needs, it’s also important to consider which financing method will work for you. Options include paying for your system outright or using a loan to buy it. You can also consider solar leasing or community solar arrangements, which we’ll explore further below.
Are you interested in solar?
Wisconsin residents stand to benefit in big ways from installing solar panels, but there’s a lot to consider. If you’re interested but unsure where to start, fill out this form or call our solar experts at the number on your screen to connect with one of our experts today.
Solar energy in Wisconsin may help lower your electric bills
After choosing the best solar panels for your home, you can save thousands on electricity bills. For example, if you install an 8 kW solar system in Wisconsin priced at $4.02 per watt, the total cost after applying the federal solar tax credit is $22,512. Based on Wisconsin’s average monthly electric bill of $111.85 per month, the solar system will take about 17 years to pay for itself. Over 25 years, you could save more than $10,000 on energy bills.
The following table breaks down the 8 kW solar system example. The initial investment cost includes the federal solar tax credit but does not take into account savings from net metering or other incentives.
|Initial Investment||Payback period||Savings per year after payback period||25-year savings|
Also worth noting is the fact that solar panels represent an investment in your home. Solar panels can increase the value of your home, allowing you to earn a big return if you sell yor home or have more equity you can tap while you live in your home.
Energy independence in Wisconsin can help you
A major benefit of solar power is energy independence, meaning you aren’t dependent on the traditional electricity grid to power your home. Powering your home with solar means you are less vulnerable to price hikes during periods of high demand, saving you money.
If energy independence is important to you, consider adding a solar battery to your system. Solar batteries store excess energy generated for later use and can help you maintain power to essentials during a blackout. Having a battery can prove quite handy during a Wisconsin winter storm.
Wisconsin’s net metering program can further reduce your electricity cost by allowing you to sell excess energy back to your utility for energy bill credits.
How to buy solar panels in Wisconsin
Buying solar in Wisconsin is a major investment, and it’s important to research the pros and cons for solar companies and financing.
|Cash purchase||Higher return on investment, shorter payback period, ownership, eligible for tax incentives, save on energy bills||High initial costs|
|Solar loan||Lower upfront costs, eligible for tax incentives, save on energy bills||Interest fees, interest rate impacted by credit score|
|Solar lease||Little to no upfront cost, fixed monthly rates, no maintenance||Lower long-term savings, no ownership, ineligible for tax credits|
|Power purchase agreement||Little to no upfront cost, only pay for kWh of energy used, no maintenance||Long-term contract, subject to rate increases or early termination fees, no ownership, ineligible for tax credits|
Factors to consider before solar installation
In addition to financing, it’s important to consider a few other factors that can help you make the most of your investment.
- Roof angle: South-facing roofs with 15–40 degree slopes are optimal for solar panels.
- Direct sunlight: Solar panels are most efficient with at least four hours of direct sunlight per day. Consider removing anything casting shade on your roof.
- HOA or community rules: Homeowners Associations cannot prohibit solar panels in Wisconsin. Check with your HOA or other organization for any guidelines.
Call the number on your screen if you are ready to start your solar journey today.
The future of energy is solar in Wisconsin
Wisconsin’s first solar policy dates back to 1982 when it passed the Solar Rights Laws. The law guarantees the right for residents to use solar energy. That same year, the state passed its net metering program, which incentivized solar energy.
However, Wisconsin has been relatively slow to adopt solar energy in large numbers. The state ranks in the middle for solar energy generation and receives 1.71% of all electricity from solar power.
Nonetheless, solar energy industry growth is on the rise in Wisconsin. Several large retailers, such as Ikea and Target, have adopted solar energy, and the number of residential installations has increased with efforts to meet carbon-free goals.
No matter the pace of change in the Badger State, residents stand to benefit from solar panels in Wisconsin right now. This renewable energy source helps residents reduce their carbon footprint and increase their energy independence, leading to greater savings and environmental impact in the long run.
Solar energy FAQs
How many people use solar energy in Wisconsin?
There is currently 1,205 MW of solar installed in Wisconsin, which is enough to power 194,005 homes. The state is projected to increase solar capacity by 4,435 MW over five years.
How does solar power help the environment?
Traditional electricity generation emits harmful greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide into the air, which pollute the air and water, contributing to climate change. As a green energy source, solar power does not produce harmful emissions after the panels are manufactured, making it a clean energy alternative.
Should I buy or lease solar panels?
Buying solar panels creates the most significant long-term savings and may increase the value of your home. The upfront costs of buying or financing a solar loan are not for every budget. Leasing solar panels is an option for people who rent their homes or want lower upfront costs. In a solar lease, you are not the owner and are not eligible for incentives.
What percent of Wisconsin energy production is solar?
Solar power produced 1.71% of all electricity generation in 2021. The state’s primary renewable source is hydropower, providing over 4% of total generation.