In Wisconsin, electricity rates have skyrocketed and are currently exceeding the national average. By the end of 2022, the typical homeowner in Wisconsin was paying almost 16 cents per kilowatt-hour of energy consumed, and this trend is projected to continue.
Despite Wisconsin’s lack of sunshine, many individuals are discovering that installing solar panels is a worthwhile investment to counteract these exorbitant energy expenses. By switching to solar power, the average homeowner in Wisconsin can save more than $1,000 annually, with lifetime savings of more than $21,000 once their solar energy system has paid for itself.
What are some ways to cut costs when enlisting the services of a solar company in Wisconsin?
A solar panel system typically costs $18,200 in Wisconsin, but after the federal tax credit, that price drops to $12,740. This price is predicated on a solar project that will provide around 7 kW of energy, or around 20 solar panels, enough to balance the state’s average household energy demand. Depending on how much electricity your home uses, the actual cost of the solar panel installation will change. The average cost of a solar panel is often determined per watt, and in Wisconsin it is $2.60 on average, which is less expensive than the national average of $2.66 per watt. Despite Wisconsin’s lower cost of solar energy, $18,200 is still a sizeable investment.
- Take advantage of local and federal solar incentives
- Only install as many solar panels as you need
- Put more money down or pay in cash
- Shop around and get several quotes
Take Advantage of Local and Federal Solar Incentives
Although not typically associated with solar power, Wisconsin offers a plethora of incentives to encourage homeowners to install solar panels and contribute to the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) objectives. These incentives are designed to entice homeowners to take advantage of solar power.
Federal Solar Tax Credit
All homeowners in Wisconsin are eligible for the federal solar tax credit, which can be applied as a credit towards their federal income taxes in the year the PV system is installed. The credit amounts to 30% of the total cost of the solar panel system, which averages around $5,460 in Wisconsin.
Net metering is a billing strategy that enables you to lower your energy expenses by transmitting any surplus energy generated by your system to your electricity provider. Although state law mandates that utility companies offer net metering, each company determines its own pricing.
Sales Tax Exemption
To make solar energy more affordable, the state has decided to waive the sales tax on all solar equipment. This move aims to lower the initial costs of going solar. On average, this results in a savings of approximately $910, considering the typical sales tax rate of 5%.
Property Tax Exemption
When you make home improvements, the assessed value of your property increases, which in turn increases your property taxes. However, in Wisconsin, the property tax exemption ensures that your non-educational property taxes do not increase due to the installation of solar panels, despite the increase in home value.
Focus on Energy Program
Residential customers who install solar panels can receive a reimbursement of up to $500 under Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy Program. Nevertheless, not all local utility company consumers can participate in this program.
Only Install As Many Solar Panels As You Need
Despite Wisconsin’s advantageous net metering program, it’s still not advisable to have your solar panel system generate excess energy beyond your household’s consumption. As previously stated, solar panel systems are priced per watt, so it’s best to opt for the smallest system that can adequately power your home to save on costs.
To determine the appropriate solar system size, you must review your utility bills and calculate your average monthly energy usage. In Wisconsin, the typical resident consumes 690 kilowatt-hours of electricity each month. By dividing this figure by 100, you can obtain an approximate estimate of the required system size for your home. As a result, the average homeowner in Wisconsin necessitates a 7 kW system (rounded up from 6.9).
Put More Money Down or Pay In Cash
For the majority of homeowners, it is not practical to buy a whole solar panel system outright with cash or credit. Yet, you will save more energy in the long run if you invest more money up front.
There are many solar financing options available if you cannot afford the full cost of a solar array at once, with a solar loan being the most well-liked. But, if you choose a solar loan, the interest you pay will be an extra cost that you would not have to pay if you paid cash for your panels.
As a result, we advise making the largest down payment feasible for your solar panels and aiming to pay off the loan as quickly as you can. By doing this, you can lower your interest costs and hasten the solar panel’s repayment. But be sure to read the loan terms thoroughly to avoid paying interest on late payments.
Shop Around and Get Several Quotes
Wisconsin, also known as the Badger State, is seeing a rise in its solar market. With over 60 solar companies operating in the state, the competition is fierce. However, this can be beneficial for you as a consumer.
To ensure you get the most value out of your solar panels, it’s important to shop around and obtain multiple quotes from different companies (at least two). A helpful tip is to use the lower quote as leverage when negotiating with a preferred company that may be more expensive. Many solar installers are willing to match prices, so it’s worth a try.