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Wisconsin began laying the groundwork for solar power and other renewable energy generation decades ago. However, within the past few years the state has started to adopt solar energy measures at higher rates.
According to 2021 data from the Solar Energy Industries Association, Wisconsin ranks 27th in the nation for solar energy generation, and just 0.45% of the state’s electricity comes from solar. And while it may have seen slow growth in the past, solar generation in Wisconsin is expected to grow exponentially over the next five years.
Keep reading to learn more about residential solar power in Wisconsin and how SaveOnEnergy can help connect you with a solar installer in your area.
Wisconsin solar panel cost
The cost of solar panels in Wisconsin depends on several factors, such as the size, components, and configuration of your system, as well as local permits and regulations. The average residential solar system has a price tag of between $3 and $5 per watt. The average 5-kW system costs between $15,000 and $25,000.
This number is your expected cost, excluding credits or rebates, which means your actual out-of-pocket costs should be lower. And thanks to credit, rebates, and energy savings, most consumers reach the break-even point on their solar system between six and nine years after install.
Why choose Wisconsin solar power?
Are you curious about whether solar power is right for your home? Here are a few great reasons to install a home solar system in Wisconsin:
Lower energy costs
Installing solar panels on your home can significantly reduce your energy costs. For each hour that the sun is shining, your solar panels can power your home rather than you having to pay for electricity on the grid. As a result, you’ll see your monthly bill go down.
Not only do solar panels lower your energy costs, but they can also increase the value of your home, helping increase your return on investment. A solar system can increase your home’s resale value by $15,000.
Establish energy independence
Installing solar panels on your home can help you achieve energy independence. First, this can reduce your costs since you aren’t vulnerable to large price hikes when energy demand is high, such as in the middle of summer or during the coldest days of the winter months. Energy independence also means you don’t have to worry about power outages because your solar panels and stored energy can power your home.
Solar panels aren’t just beneficial to your wallet — they also benefit the planet. Solar energy and other forms of green energy are more environmentally friendly than traditional electricity generation. Switch to solar energy to reduce your home’s carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.
Wisconsin solar panel incentives or rebates
Undoubtedly, solar panels are a significant investment. However, federal, state, and local governments have implemented policies to help reduce homeowner costs and incentivize installing solar on your home.
First, the federal government offers a solar tax credit for homeowners who install solar panels and other renewable energy infrastructure on their homes. The tax credit is 26% through 2022 and 22% in 2023. The tax credit is set to expire in 2024.
Wisconsin also offers a Focus on Energy rebate, which grants $500 to reduce the permitting and interconnection costs with solar panel installation. Additionally, the state offers a sales tax incentive and property tax incentive to ensure that installing solar panels doesn’t increase your tax burden.
Finally, Wisconsin allows for net metering, which means homeowners can trade their extra solar energy in exchange for credits on their utility bills.
Should I buy or lease my solar panels?
In the long run, consumers save a lot more money when they buy their panels.
Remember, solar panels can increase the value of your home by as much as $15,000, but that’s not the case for lease panels. Additionally, you may not be eligible for rebates and tax credits when you lease your panels. And, when you lease your panels, you’ll always have a monthly payment. If you buy or finance your solar panels, you will eventually pay them off fully.
Of course, there are some benefits to leasing. Leasing solar panels can open up access to solar panels for homes and families who want to avoid the upfront cost of buying, or for families who rent their homes. There are also shared solar programs, which allow families to access solar power without having to pay to install their own panels.
The history of solar power in Wisconsin
Wisconsin adopted its first solar policy in 1982 when it passed its first solar rights law. The law prevents local governments from adopting unreasonable limits on solar and wind systems. That same year, Wisconsin implemented its net metering program, allowing customers to essentially sell electricity back to the grid.
Wisconsin took more steps in the late 1990s to increase solar use in the state. The state introduced one of the first renewable portfolio standards programs in the nation, requiring utilities to supply 10% of their electricity sales from renewable energy by 2015. The state also adopted its Focus on Energy program, which provides a tax rebate for installing renewable energy infrastructure on your home.
Fast forward to 2021, and Wisconsin now ranks within the top 30 states for solar energy generation. Plus, utility solar generation has increased significantly in the past few years, and several large retailers in the state have gone solar.
Important solar installation factors to consider
Installing solar panels on your home comes with plenty of benefits, but there are a few factors to consider before making this decision, such as:
- Solar panels work most efficiently on south-facing roofs with a slope of between 15 and 40 degrees. It’s also important to consider if there are trees blocking your roof and the age of your roof.
- Consider how sunny your state is. While solar panels might be suitable for some locations, other parts of the state get significantly less sunshine.
- Some homeowners associations and neighborhood associations may have restrictions around solar panel use or require approval before you install them.
Solar power FAQs
How much would solar cost in Wisconsin?
Solar panels cost between $15,000 and $25,000 to install.Your exact cost will depend on the size of your system, its configuration, and local permitting fees in your area.
Is solar power a good investment in Wisconsin?
Solar panels can be an excellent investment since they save you money and increase your home’s value. However, they aren’t right for every situation. It’s important to consider your location, the weather patterns in your area, and your energy usage habits.
How much could I save by investing in solar?
You could save hundreds of dollars in electricity each year by investing in solar panels for your residence. Review your past energy bills to see the potential for how much you could save monthly in energy costs. Plus, the value of your home may increase by as much as $15,000.
Where can I find a good solar panel installer in Wisconsin?
SaveOnEnergy makes it easy to connect with trusted solar installers in your area. To get started, fill out the form on the screen and we’ll take care of the rest.
How does solar power help the environment?
Unlike traditional energy generation, solar power doesn’t emit carbon dioxide into the environment. So, installing solar will reduce your home’s carbon footprint and the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere.