Solar Panels in Michigan: Cost, Savings, and Rebates

Solar panels in Michigan

Solar Panels in Michigan: Cost, Savings, and Rebates

In 2021, Assembly Solar came online, providing 333.8MW of solar energy to over 54,000 Michigan residents. The system accounts for nearly a third of the Great Lakes State’s capacity. With massive projects like these, homeowners might start to consider solar panels in Michigan.

However, without much information, creating a budget for an array can prove challenging. In this article, we cover everything you need to know. From typical costs to possible savings, we’ve got all the details below.

Average Cost of Solar Panels in Michigan

The average cost of solar panels in Michigan falls somewhere in the middle, at about $2.66/W. For a 6kW system, homeowners in the Great Lakes State can expect to spend about $15,960 before incentives.

However, it’s the traditional electricity rate that really makes the value of solar energy. In Michigan, residents have relatively efficient homes. However, because the cost of power ranks in the top 10 in the country, they end up paying nearly $120 a month. This makes switching to solar panels in Michigan worth the investment.

Homeowners in the Great Lakes State can save on installation costs with the federal solar tax return. This program offers 30% back on the cost of equipment, labor, and sales tax. Those applying their installation can see the price of a 6kW system drop from $15,960 to $11,172.

Solar panels
Michigan homeowners can expect to spend about $15,960 for a 6kW system before incentives.

How Much Solar Do Michiganders Need?

The above example breaks down the average cost of solar panels in Michigan, but it might not represent the amount of wattage your household needs in particular. To accurately determine the right size solar array, you’ll have to take your home’s daily power usage and divide it by the average amount of sunlight your area gets. Let’s use the standard numbers in Michigan to show how this works.

Homeowners in the Great Lakes State use about 22.5kWh a day, which is pretty low compared to other states. With an average peak sun (the time when the sun is at its most direct) of 4.0 hours, a solar panel system would have to produce about 5.6kW an hour. A system of this size would cost about 14,896, about $1000 less than the national average.

Knowing how to determine the right amount of wattage will help you accurately budget for a solar panel system. Because average sunlight differs depending on location, you can find out how much your nearest city receives using this Michigan sun chart.

Michigan Solar Cost Factors

As we briefly talked about above, the price of solar panels in Michigan can vary depending on sunlight and geographic location. For example, Mackinaw City receives as much as 4.9 peak sun hours, almost an entire hour more than average. For other examples of how location can affect the price of solar, compare Michigan to its neighbor states.

Michiganders should also consider the type of solar panels they install. The main difference between monocrystalline and polycrystalline is efficiency versus affordability. Those living on the southern side of the state might need monocrystalline to maximize energy production. However, residents living in Mackinaw City could save money with polycrystalline while still covering their electricity requirements.

Finally, choosing the right installer for solar panels in Michigan could make or break the functionality of a system. While you might save money with an affordable company, they could be sacrificing critical aspects such as equipment quality, workmanship coverage, and even contractor transparency. With over 80 installation companies in the Great Lakes State, you’ll want to take your time reviewing each one before making a decision.

Best Michigan Solar Installers

When reviewing industry-leading installers for solar panels in Michigan, EnergySage provides a great pre-screen. Trusted by the US Department of Energy and the SEIA, this company separates installers based on quality. Before choosing an installation company, be sure to check for:

  • Years of industry experience
  • Contractor transparency
  • Top-tier equipment
  • Comprehensive warranties
  • Proper certifications

One of the highest-rated installation companies in Michigan is Strawberry Solar. With 13 years in the industry, the Detroit-based installer works closely with local residents. They work with the best equipment and have partnerships with Tesla, Panasonic, and LG Solar. Their work is backed by a NABCEP certification as well as a 25-year installation warranty.

Homeowners on the other side of the state might consider Helios Solar, whose headquarters is located in Kalamazoo. The company uses an in-house team of technicians to serve the Western side of the state. While the company is much smaller, they still offer quality equipment and have similar certifications. However, their workmanship warranty doesn’t quite meet that of Strawberry Solar, so you’ll want to keep that in mind.

solar in alaska
EnergySage is a great resource to help pre-screen solar installers in Michigan.

Can Solar Energy Save Michiganders Money?

Although the Great Lakes State has notoriously cloudy weather, Michiganders can still find noticeable savings. Using the utility offset from their electricity bill, they can cover the cost of their system and ultimately earn money back from power not paid for. Let’s break down what that looks like in Michigan.

Residents in the Great Lakes State spend about $1430.16 a year on power ($119.18 a month). If Michiganders used that offset to pay for a 6kW system, they could cover the cost in about 11.2 years. This is about a year longer than in some states, but still soon enough to make the overall returns worth it.

After paying off the array, homeowners can start to discover net returns. Considering the average life span of solar panels in Michigan of 20-25 years, residents can earn back $12,585 to $19,736. That’s a substantial amount back into the pockets of Michiganders while also improving carbon footprints.

Solar Panels in Michigan: Rebates, Credits, and Incentives

While the Great Lakes State has decent rates on equipment and adequate sunlight, support for solar panels in Michigan hardly exists. Still, renewable energy incentives exist in the state if you know where to look.

To start off, homeowners making the switch to solar can save 30% using the federal solar tax return. This benefit could provide a price reduction on a 6kW system of nearly $5,000. Additionally, the state is in a position to improve its renewable standards. For total coverage of all the benefits for solar panels in Michigan, check out our detailed list.

Solar Panels in Michigan: Further Reading

While state-level support is dwindling, homeowners can still save big with solar panels in Michigan. With decent rates on equipment, it’s never been more affordable to make the switch. To learn about how the Great Lakes State supports other emerging tech, read these articles below.

Solar Panels in Massachusetts: Cost, Savings, and Rebates – Here’s how Michigan’s solar rates compare to one of the more expensive states in the country.

Top 10 Internet Providers in Michigan – Want to stay connected? These internet providers in Michigan want to keep you covered.

Owning an EV in Michigan: Charging Cost, Incentives, and More – The Great Lakes State offers some of the strongest incentives for electric vehicles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is solar worth it in Michigan?

In Michigan, the cost of solar panels ranges somewhere in the middle. However, with high electricity rates and adequate sunlight, making the switch can result in thousands saved on utilities. Homeowners with an array could see net returns of as much as $20,000 or more.

How much does solar cost in Michigan?

In Michigan, homeowners can expect to pay about $2.66 per watt. This equals about $15,960 for a 6kW solar panel system.

How long does it take for solar panels to pay back in Michigan?

With an average annual electric bill of $1,430.16, residents of Michigan could pay off a 6kW system in 11.2 years.

Can you get a federal tax credit for solar panels in Michigan?

Homeowners in Michigan can take advantage of the federal solar tax credit, which saves 30% of installation costs in the form of a return on federal income tax. Those installing a 6kW system could cut the cost by nearly $5,000.

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