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Wisconsin

Wisconsin was a pioneer of good solar policymaking, with the state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) first requiring electric utilities to implement net metering in 1982. This policy covers all forms of “distributed generation,” including solar, wind, and combined heat and power (CHP) systems. By state law, every investor-owned and public utility in Wisconsin is required to offer some form of net metering “tariff” (rate plan) for solar to its customers. Each Wisconsin utility has a different policy.

The PCS only requires utilities to offer retail rate credits up to a solar customer’s monthly usage. After that, the utility can decide whether to offer energy credits that roll over to the next month or purchase the excess kWh for overproduction (aka “monthly true-up”). Wolf River Electric can help you find out what credits your utility company offers.

Federal Investment Tax Credit – 30%

The Residential Clean Energy Credit equals 30% of the costs of new, qualified clean energy property for your home installed anytime from 2022 through 2032. The credit percentage rate phases down to 26 percent for property placed in service in 2033 and 22 percent for property placed in service in 2034. You may be able to take the credit if you made energy-saving improvements to your home located in the United States.

The credit is nonrefundable, so the credit amount you receive can’t exceed the amount you owe in tax. You can carry forward any excess unused credit, though, and apply it to reduce the tax you owe in future years. Do not include interest paid, including loan origination fees.

The credit has no annual or lifetime dollar limit except for credit limits for fuel cell property. You can claim the annual credit every year that you install eligible property until the credit begins to phase out in 2033.

Credit limits for fuel cell property

Fuel cell property is limited to $500 for each half kilowatt of capacity. If more than one person lives in the home, the combined credit for all residents can’t exceed $1,667 for each half-kilowatt of fuel cell capacity.

The image shows a series of three circular progress bars connected by arrows, illustrating a percentage decrease over three time periods. The first circle represents the percentage for the years 2022-2023 at 30%. The second circle represents the percentage in 2023 at 26%. The third circle represents the percentage in 2024 at 22%.
State Incentives*

This state program provides rebates to Wisconsin residents who install solar systems. The rebates are performance-based, rewarding systems that produce energy efficiently. Additionally, some utilities in Wisconsin offer extra rebates for solar installations, further reducing the cost of going solar. Check with your local utility provider for specific programs and eligibility requirements.

This policy allows solar panel owners to send excess electricity back to the grid in exchange for credits on their utility bills. These credits can offset future electricity costs, providing a financial return on the energy generated by the solar panels.

This statewide program provides a cash rebate of $500 for installing solar panels, with an additional $500 available for homeowners in certain rural areas.

Wisconsin exempts all qualifying solar equipment from the state’s 5% sales tax, resulting in significant savings on the initial purchase​.

Homeowners who install solar panels are exempt from paying additional property taxes on the increased home value that results from the installation. This helps keep the ongoing costs of owning a solar system lower​.

Specific to Milwaukee, this program offers low-interest loans up to $20,000 to help finance solar installations. This makes it easier for residents to cover the upfront costs of switching to solar.

These incentives, combined with Wisconsin’s average annual sunlight, make the state a promising place to invest in solar energy, offering significant cost savings and environmental benefits.

Financing Options

Financing options for solar energy in Wisconsin are diverse, allowing homeowners and businesses to choose the best fit for their financial situation. From financing to solar loans, green energy loans, home equity loans, and manufacturer financing, there are many ways to make solar energy affordable and accessible. Explore these options and consult with a solar installer to determine the best financing strategy for your needs.

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*Ask your representative about which incentive you’re eligible to receive. Please consult a tax advisor on your ability to claim these nonrefundable tax credits.