Solar Panels in Wisconsin: Cost, Savings, and Rebates

Solar panels against a blue sky with a picture of the flag State of Wisconsin

Solar Panels in Wisconsin: Cost, Savings, and Rebates

Key Points

  • Wisconsin had over 1.2GW of solar energy in 2023, enough to power over 200,000 homes.
  • Installing a 6kW solar panel system in Wisconsin could save homeowners as much as $15,000 or more.
  • Homeowners in Wisconsin can expect to spend around $15,600 before incentives for a 6kW solar panel system.
  • Wisconsinites could save money on installation costs by opting for smaller solar panel arrays, as Wisconsinites typically use less electricity than average.
  • Sunlight and location play a role in determining the price of solar panels in Wisconsin.
  • Wisconsin has over 80 solar installers to choose from, including reputable companies like Watts Up Engineering LLC and All Energy Solar.
  • Homeowners in Wisconsin can save thousands on utilities over 25 years with solar panels.
  • Wisconsin offers various rebates, credits, and incentives for solar panel installations, making them more affordable.

In 2023, Wisconsin had over 1.2GW of solar energy, enough to power over 200,000 homes. The Badger State is steadily increasing its renewable infrastructure, which is good news for homeowners. Those who install a 6kW system could save as much as 15,000 or more with solar panels in Wisconsin.

You may consider installing an array of your own, but where do you start? In this article, we cover the essentials; from average prices to potential savings, we explain it all. Let’s get into it.

Average Cost of Solar Panels in Wisconsin

Homeowners can find a pretty good deal on solar panels in Wisconsin. At a rate of about $2.60 per watt, equipment ranges just slightly higher than in most states. Wisconsinites purchasing a 6kW system could expect to spend around $15,600 before incentives.

This isn’t too bad, and the value of an array increases when considering the traditional electricity rate in the Badger State. Wisconsinites use some of the least amount of power in the country, just under 700kWh. Even with the high rate of electricity, residents have low utility bills. This means that while offsets may not be exorbitant, systems won’t cost as much.

If this gets you excited about solar panels in Wisconsin, the federal solar tax return can jumpstart your installation. Offering a 30% credit on all purchases made toward an array, homeowners who install a 6kW system could see their initial investment drop from $15,600 to $10,920.

How Much Solar Do Wisconsinites Need?

The example above breaks down the average price of solar panels in Wisconsin as it relates to the typical solar panel system. However, with fewer power requirements than most, homeowners could get away with smaller arrays, saving money on installation costs.

To find the right size system for your household, take your typical daily power usage and divide it by the amount of direct sunlight you receive per day. We’ll use Wisconsin’s standards to show you how this works.

Homeowners in the Badger State use about 23.1kWh a day (or 694kWh a month). When we divide that by Wisconsin’s average peak sun of 4.29 hours, we learn that a solar panel system needs to produce 5.4kW an hour to meet power needs. Slightly smaller than normal, Wisconsinites would only have to spend $14,040 for this size array.

Now that you know how to find the right wattage for your home, you can plan out a more accurate budget. And because sunlight varies depending on location, you can use this Wisconsin sun chart to find the average for your hometown.

Wisconsin Solar Cost Factors

As we saw above, sunlight plays a role in determining the price of solar panels in Wisconsin. Covering a wide range from north to south, homeowners in the Badget State might find more exposure as they move further from the Canadian border. For example, homeowners in Milwaukee could receive about 4.5 hours of direct sunlight, about 15 minutes more than in most places across the state.

To see how peak sun and location can affect solar prices even further, compare Wisconsin to the states surrounding it:

You’ll also find that solar panel type can affect the cost of your home array. Generally, you’ll choose between monocrystalline for efficiency and polycrystalline for affordability. Considering the Badger State’s average sunlight and heavy winters, you’ll want a panel that can provide the most electricity.

Finally, you want to take serious time to choose your solar installer. While you may try to save money on labor, some companies try to offer better rates by cutting equipment quality or warranty coverage. With over 80 installers in Wisconsin, you have plenty of options to choose from.

Newly build houses with solar panels attached on the roof against a sunny sky Close up of a new building with black solar panels. Zonnepanelen, Zonne energie, Translation: Solar panel, , Sun Energy.
Homeowners can save over $15,000 on utilities with solar panels in Wisconsin.

©fokke baarssen/Shutterstock.com

Best Solar Installers in Wisconsin

When we refer installers for solar panels in Wisconsin, we like to use EnergySage’s pre-screening list. The company has endorsements from the SEIA nd the Department of Energy, making it highly reputable. While comparing solar installers, we look for:

  • Industry experience
  • Equipment quality
  • Warranty coverage
  • Contractor transparency
  • Certifications and licenses.

Here are two of our top choices for Wisconsin.

With over 20 years of solar experience, Watts Up Engineering LLC is one of the best local installers in the Badger State. With headquarters in Waukesha, the company’s in-house team uses top equipment including IronRidge and Q CELLS, ensuring your array performs at max efficiency. While its labor warranty only covers the first 5 years, Watts Up offers 30 years of panel coverage, some of the best in the industry.

However, if you’d like to save money without sacrificing quality, All Energy Solar is a great regional option. The installers originate from St. Paul, Minnesota, and have an office in Madison, so you know they have experience with Wisconsin policies. It uses top-of-the-line panels from Enphase and offers a 10-year workmanship warranty. And with a NABCEP certification, you know that All Energy is the best of the best. 

Can Solar Energy Save Wisconsinites Money?

With decent rates on equipment and high electricity rates, homeowners can seriously consider solar panels in Wisconsin. Even with average sunlight and low power needs, Wisconsinites can save thousands on utilities over 25 years. Let’s take a look at how much you could see in returns. 

First, you’ll have to pay off your system. Suppose we use the average annual utility bill in Wisconsin to cover the cost of an installation. At about $1,255.08 a year, homeowners could pay off a 6kW system in about 12.4 years. While this is longer than usual, it’s worth considering that some Wisconsinites may not need that much wattage to cover their power needs.

After paying off a solar array, residents start to see net returns on their utilities. Solar panels in Wisconsin have a lifespan of about 20-25 years, meaning you could save around $9,539 to $15,312. And with federal and state incentives, those numbers can rise even further.

Solar Panels in Wisconsin: Rebates, Credits, and Incentives

Wisconsin may seem like a sleeper state for solar panels, but it actually has pretty solid programs for home solar. Homeowners have access to regulations such as equipment rebates, net metering, and tax exemptions. When used alongside the federal solar tax credit, which can save homeowners over $4,500 on an installation, solar panels become incredibly affordable.

To learn more about the available solar incentives in Wisconsin, check out our detailed guide.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is solar worth it in Wisconsin?

With decent equipment prices and hight electricity rates, solar panels in Wisconsin are worth considering. Even with average sunlight, some homeowners could save as much as $15,000 on utility bills over 25 years.

How much does solar cost in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, homeowners can expect to spend about $2.60 per watt for solar energy. This equals around $15,600 for a 6kW system. Prices can fluctuate depending on a number of factors, including wattage

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

With an average annual power bill of about $1,255.08, homeowners in Wisconsin could pay off a 6kW system in around 12.3 years. While this is slightly longer than in most states, some residents could reduce the time with a smaller system.

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

Homeowners in Wisconsin can utilize the federal solar tax credit to earn 30% back on all installation costs. Those purchasing a 6kW system could save over $4,500 on their investment.

How does net metering work in Wisconsin?

Wisconsinites who connect their solar panel system to the grid can receive a credit for their excess solar energy. The credit is worth the retail rate per kWh and rolls each month. If the credit ranges more than $25 the rest is paid to the customer in the form of a check.

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