Installing mounts for solar panels on roof

Wisconsin Solar Incentives: Tax Credits & Rebates Guide (2022)

By Jacob L.

There has never been a better time to buy solar panels for your home. With rising energy prices forcing you to look for ways to cut costs, solar energy systems offer a great way for you to save lots of money. In fact, after the initial investment needed to install your new solar energy system, you could save thousands of dollars per year for more than two decades.

Plus, now is an excellent time to buy solar panel systems in Wisconsin because there are so many tax credits and rebates available to lower the costs associated with your purchase. Keep reading to learn all about how your purchase and installation of solar panels in Wisconsin can be made more financially accessible.

Why Go Solar in Wisconsin?

While Wisconsin isn’t known for its production of solar power, this may change in the near future. Solar is a great energy source that has been expanding and improving over the past decade in Wisconsin, partially because the state has incentivized the use of industrial, commercial, and residential solar power. Because solar policies in Wisconsin have proven very helpful to those in the market for solar panels, it’s very likely that the Wisconsin solar market will continue to grow for years to come.

There are many reasons to buy solar panels for residents of any state, but Wisconsin is an especially great state in which to purchase and install a solar energy system on your property. Wisconsin receives nearly 188 sunny days per year, which is just below the national average of 205 days. But because improved solar panel technology has increased the energy-producing capabilities of solar panels in less sunny environments, homeowners in Wisconsin are well-positioned to reap the benefits of installing solar energy systems on their properties. Plus, installing solar panels will reduce your reliance on fossil fuels, reduce your carbon footprint, and ultimately help mitigate the onset of climate change.

According to Zillow, solar panels can increase your home’s value. In fact, the average home experiences a 4.1% increase in its value after the addition of a solar power system. This means that, with an average home value of $254,680 in Wisconsin, the average value increase from solar panels will be close to $10,442. The additional value could be higher if you live in more expensive areas, such as Madison or Milwaukee.

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Wisconsin Solar Cost

Solar panel installation in Wisconsin ranges from an average cost of $14,025 to $18,975. On a cost-per-watt basis, solar panel installation in Wisconsin can be between $2.80 and $3.80. Solar panels have fallen in price in Wisconsin by more than 80% over the past decade. Although these costs are already quite low, they appear even lower when compared to the rising cost of other sources of energy like oil, gas, and coal. As these other sources of energy rise, the relative cost of solar power will decline.

How Much Can You Save on Solar in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin residents can save lots of money on their electricity bills when they purchase solar panels. When solar panels produce electricity for your home, they can decrease your bills by reducing the amount of energy that you pull from the grid. With an average cost of electricity in Wisconsin of $0.16/kilowatt-hour (kWh), homeowners can save $44,600 over a 20-year period by installing a 5kW solar system. These energy savings are aided by the fact solar panels can last more than 25 years before needing to be replaced.

The Best Solar Incentives, Tax Credits, & Rebates in Wisconsin

There are several public and private incentives in Wisconsin that help you save on your purchase of solar panels in Wisconsin:

Incentive Summary End Date
Federal Solar Tax Credit (ITC) Residents of Wisconsin can take advantage of the Federal Solar Tax Credit and get a discount of 26% applied to their tax return. In Wisconsin, residents enjoy an average ITC of $4,732. December 31st, 2022
Wisconsin Solar Sales Tax Exemption If you live in Wisconsin, you can get a sales tax exemption when purchasing solar power energy systems. This amounts to a 5% tax exemption, which saves you an average of $910 per purchase. None
Wisconsin Solar Property Tax Exemption In Wisconsin, residents and property owners will not have to pay additional property taxes for the added value to their homes created when they install solar energy systems. None
Net Metering Net metering enables homeowners that produce extra energy to use it as a credit on their next electric bill. All energy providers are required to offer this option to homeowners. None
Focus on Energy Homeowners in Wisconsin can access rebates of up to $500 for qualified solar installations. Rural customers can receive an additional $500 per solar project. None
USDA REAP GRANT REAP assists agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce their energy costs and consumption by providing loan financing and grant funding to purchase and install renewable energy systems. Eligible participants in the REAP program are agricultural producers, with at least 50 percent of their gross income coming from agricultural operations and small businesses in eligible rural areas. None
Milwaukee Shines Solar Program Through this program, the city of Milwaukee provides low-APR solar loans of up to $20,000 to homeowners in the city. None
Greenpenny This virtual bank offers solar loans to homeowners installing new renewable energy systems in Wisconsin. These loans are highly accessible and come with low-interest rates.

 

None
Clean Energy Credit Union Customers can access solar financing and loans up to $90,000 if they are Wisconsin residents. Many of the loans come with below-average interest rates. None
RENEW Wisconsin If a nonprofit installs a solar system smaller than 75 kilowatts, it can be awarded up to 50% of the solar panels required or up to 75 panels (approximately a $15,000 value). For systems larger than 75 kilowatts, nonprofits can be awarded up to 50% of the solar panels required or up to 150 panels (approximately a $30,000 value). None
Property Assessment Clean Energy (PACE) Program Commercial and industrial property owners in Wisconsin can access low-cost, long-term loans for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation improvements. None

 Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a 26% federal tax credit available for purchased home solar systems installed by the end of 2022. In Wisconsin, with an average system price of $18,200, residents enjoy an average ITC of $4,732. This credit will be applied to any federal income taxes that you owe during the year in which your solar energy system is installed.

Wisconsin Solar Sales Tax Exemption

The Wisconsin solar sales tax exemption provides residents of Wisconsin with an exemption of the sales tax on the purchase of solar energy systems. This amounts to a 5% tax exemption that averages around $910.

Wisconsin Solar Property Tax Exemption

The Wisconsin solar property tax exemption excludes the added value of a solar installation in Wisconsin from your home’s value for tax purposes. This is a great policy if you are worried about rising property taxes in your area.

Wisconsin Net Metering

Net metering is a policy that enables your solar panels to be connected to the public-utility power grid. When surplus power is created by your panels, it will be transferred to the grid. You can offset the cost of power drawn from the electricity grid as a result of net metering. The minimum amount of compensation that you’ll receive is the avoided-cost rate, which is below the retail rate. While the policy specifics of net metering programs will vary among providers, this remains massively beneficial for solar owners.

Milwaukee Shines Solar Program

Through this program, the city of Milwaukee provides low-APR solar loans of up to $20,000 to homeowners in the city.

Focus on Energy

Focus on Energy is a state-wide energy program that provides homeowners in Wisconsin with rebates of up to $500 for qualified solar installations. Rural customers can receive an additional $500 per solar project.

Greenpenny

Greenpenny is a virtual bank that offers solar loans to homeowners installing new renewable energy systems in Wisconsin. These loans are highly accessible and come with low-interest rates.

Clean Energy Credit Union

Like Greenpenny, Clean Energy Credit Union offers solar financing and loans up to $90,000 to Wisconsin residents. Many of the loans come with below-average interest rates.

Commercial Wisconsin Solar Incentives

Solar Incentives for Nonprofits and Businesses in Wisconsin

Nonprofits in Wisconsin have access to RENEW Wisconsin’s solar panel financial assistance program with the assistance of Couillard Solar Foundation. If a nonprofit installs a solar system smaller than 75 kilowatts, it can be awarded up to 50% of the solar panels required or up to 75 panels (approximately a $15,000 value). For systems larger than 75 kilowatts, nonprofits can be awarded up to 50% of the solar panels required or up to 150 panels (approximately a $30,000 value).

USDA REAP Grant

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has created a program designed to increase investments in clean energy called the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP assists agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce their energy costs and consumption by providing loan financing and grant funding to purchase and install renewable energy systems. Eligible participants in the REAP program are agricultural producers, with at least 50 percent of their gross income coming from agricultural operations and small businesses in eligible rural areas.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program

This program provides property owners with low-cost, long-term loans for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation improvements. PACE is available in Wisconsin to commercial and industrial properties in participating communities.

Key Takeaways: The Best Wisconsin Solar Incentives

Wisconsin is a great state to invest in residential, commercial, or industrial solar energy systems. With financial assistance from the federal government, the state government, and additional local tax incentives, Wisconsin residents have a wealth of support to draw from when purchasing solar panels. The time is right to get into the solar game, with utility prices soaring and the cost of solar energy dropping fast. If you are interested in purchasing, there are many great companies that will help get you set up.

Wisconsin Solar FAQ

Is solar worth it in Wisconsin?

Yes, you should certainly consider buying a solar energy system in Wisconsin. Solar will save you loads of money on your utility bills and help reduce your production of emissions and your carbon footprint. As well, a number of federal, state, and local financial incentives are available to make the purchase of solar panels accessible to anyone.

How much will my electricity bill go down with solar in Wisconsin?

With an average cost of electricity in Wisconsin of $0.16/kilowatt-hour (kWh), homeowners can save $44,600 over a 20-year period by installing a 5kW solar system. These savings are helped by the fact solar panels can last more than 25 years before needing to be replaced.

How much does it cost for solar panels in Wisconsin?

The average cost of a solar panel installation in Wisconsin ranges from $14,025 to $18,975. On a cost-per-watt basis, solar panel installation in Wisconsin falls between $2.80 and $3.80. Solar panels have fallen in price in Wisconsin by more than 80% over the past decade.

Can you get solar panels for free in Wisconsin?

While you won’t be able to get solar panels for free in Wisconsin, there are lots of federal, state, and local financial incentives that will significantly lower the costs associated with purchasing a new solar energy system.

What solar rebates are available in Wisconsin?

There are many federal, state, and local financial incentives for purchasers of solar energy systems in Wisconsin. These include the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), the Wisconsin Sales Tax Exemption, the Wisconsin Property Tax Exemption, and a number of private or non-government incentive programs.

How many homes in Wisconsin have solar panels?

There is enough solar installed in Wisconsin to power more than 100,000 homes, and solar accounts for 0.75% of the state’s electricity production.

Do solar panels increase property taxes in Wisconsin?

No, the Wisconsin Solar Property Tax exemption excludes the added value of a solar installation in Wisconsin from your home’s value for tax purposes. This means you will not have to pay additional property taxes as a result of your solar panel purchase.

How much can you write off for solar panels on taxes in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin taxpayers are allowed to write off lots of costs associated with the purchase of new solar energy systems. For more information about incentive programs, check out this database of state incentives.

House Method’s Solar Companies Rating Methodology

At House Method, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. That’s why we took the time to create an objective rating system and score each solar energy company/service according to our methodology.

Our research team dug deep into the fine print of contracts, combed through more than one hundred customer reviews, and thoroughly investigated all of each solar energy company’s services, costs, and products. We’ve done the homework for you by researching nearly all of the solar energy companies on the market so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your home.

We developed a formula to objectively determine the best solar energy companies and give each a score out of 100 based on the following criteria:

  • Plan Options (30): Do they provide a variety of plan options? We looked at the number of plans each solar energy company offered and the flexibility of adjusting the plan.
  • Services offered (20): How many services are offered in each plan? We looked at whether the company manufactures its own solar panels, whether it contracts out installation, and what additional products each company offers.
  • Trust (10): What do customers say after their solar panels are installed? Does this company offer a guarantee? We considered how satisfied customers are post-service if the company does what it says it will, BBB accreditation, and service guarantees.
  • Prices (10): How reasonable are the costs of the plan or service in comparison to the industry average? We compared the costs of each company to competitors that offer the same solar energy services.
  • Unique perks (10): Does the company offer discounts or special services such as financial incentives, rebates, or a useful mobile app? We looked for extras each company offers that set them apart from the competition.
  • Customer Service (10): How is the customer experience when contacting the company? We considered the speed of response, weekend/holiday availability, and ease of communication through phone calls, email, and online chat functions.
  • Nationwide availability (10): How many states does the company offer its services? Companies that operate nationally and in all zip codes are favored over those with limited availability.

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