Going solar in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, an average home needs a 6kW solar system in order cover most of their electricity needs. Given the average residential price-per-watt of $4.02 in Wisconsin, a 6kW system can cost around $24,120 depending on applicable rebates and other factors.

Select your county by clicking on the map and see the potential generated solar power and panel pricing. See how it compares with the US state average.

Average out-of-pocket cost for a 5 kW system The upfront amount spent to buy and install solar.
Wisconsin: $20,100US Average: $19,594
Average Payback Period The number of years until you break even on the solar investment.
Wisconsin: 16 yearsUS Average: 13 years
Average Net 20-year savings The total amount of money saved over 20 years minus the out-of-pocket cost.
Wisconsin: $4,511US Average: $10,133

Solar Potential in Wisconsin

Estimated system size and solar electricity production per median viable roof in
Wisconsin.

Roof size 679sq. ft.
Capacity 9.5kW DC
Electricity 10.5kkWh AC per yr.

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Compare solar panels by system size in Wisconsin

Get the most value out of your roof by comparing the different benefits a given system size has.

System Size 2kW
Roof Size Min. space required
143 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $411 a year
Est. Price
$8,040
Savings from a 2kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 2,783 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $34
  • Full payback in 20 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 2.12 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 97 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 5,250 mi less a year
System Size 3kW
Roof Size Min. space required
215 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $617 a year
Est. Price
$12,060
Savings from a 3kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 4,174 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $51
  • Full payback in 20 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 3.18 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 146 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 7,874 mi less a year
System Size 4kW
Roof Size Min. space required
286 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $822 a year
Est. Price
$16,080
Savings from a 4kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 5,566 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $69
  • Full payback in 20 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 4.24 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 195 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 10,499 mi less a year
System Size 5kW
Roof Size Min. space required
358 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $1,028 a year
Est. Price
$20,100
Savings from a 5kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 6,957 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $86
  • Full payback in 20 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 5.3 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 244 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 13,124 mi less a year
System Size 6kW
Roof Size Min. space required
429 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $1,233 a year
Est. Price
$24,120
Savings from a 6kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 8,348 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $103
  • Full payback in 20 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 6.36 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 292 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 15,749 mi less a year

Wisconsin solar incentives, tax credit, and rebates

Wisconsin has 15 rebates and tax credits that you may be eligable for. Visit the official links for more details to see if you apply.

Solar incentives in WI

City of Milwaukee - Milwaukee Shines Solar Financing

Value:Up to $20

The Milwaukee city government operates a local financing program for residents installing solar photovoltaic or thermal systems and equipment. Qualifying projects include PV arrays rated for up to 6 kW and solar water heaters using less than eight panels. The maximum available loan is $20,000 at an interest rate slightly over prime. Loans can fund the purchase price of the system, installation costs, regulatory fees, and any structural or roofing work necessary before panel installation. Once the equipment is installed, loans can be repaid over up to fifteen years. Additional information is available from the city website.

Renewable Energy Competitive Incentive Program

Value:Up to $500,000

Through Wisconsin's Focus on Energy program, nonprofits and public-sector agencies may receive grants to fund large-scale renewable energy investments. The current grant amount is variable per kilowatt hour for power generation or per kBTU for thermal systems. There are two requests for proposals (RFPs) opened annually. Organizations must include the technical specifications for their planned equipment, estimated energy/cost savings, and a suggested funding amount based on rate schedule guidelines. Additional information is available from the Focus on Energy website.

Design Assistance Program

Value:Up to $0.15

Through Wisconsin's Focus on Energy program, architects, building engineers, contractors, and property owners may be incentivized for meeting green construction standards. Qualifying projects include walls, lighting, windows/doors, insulation/weatherization, HVAC, water heating, and new renewable energy equipment. Awards are paid on a per-property basis; any home, business, or industrial facility may qualify. The current rebate amount is based on energy efficiency at a rate per kilowatt hour saved. Builders will receive a rebate during construction; property owners will receive their smaller rebate after construction is complete.

Renewable Rewards Program

Value:Up to $1,000

Wisconsin homeowners may be eligible for rebates on new solar PV/thermal and geothermal devices. For solar panels, the current rebate stands at $500 per array. Business customers are eligible for similar incentives but will be paid a capacity-based rebate. The maximum possible rebate is currently $1,000 for homes and $50,000 for businesses. Additional information is available from the Focus on Energy website.

Renewable Energy Sales Tax Exemptions

Value:Varies

Wisconsin sales/use tax exemptions apply to biofuel for residential energy production. Qualifying purchases include some agricultural crops, landfill gas, pellets, and wood chips/pellets/sawdust. Components used to store biofuels are not eligible for the exemption. Interested customers should submit a completed form S-211 to their retailer, who will apply for the exemption and offer a discount. Additional information and the necessary paperwork are available from the state Department of Revenue.

Net Metering

Value:Varies

In Wisconsin, all private and local public electrical utilities are required to offer net metering to their interconnected renewable customers up to a maximum quota. Cooperatives may participate in net metering, but they are not required to offer it. Any system up to 300 kW is eligible. Upon entering a net metering contract, the customer's utility will install a bidirectional meter to measure net excess generation (NEG) sent back to the grid. Customers will receive either monthly or annual bill credits for the NEG they export at a fixed, avoided-cost rate. Fees and capacity limits may apply. The Public Service Commission reserves the right to alter any net metering or energy tariff program.

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Value:Varies

Wisconsin first established a renewable portfolio standard in 1999. Initial goals required at least 10% of the state's retail electricity to be generated using renewable technology. New specific goals have never been implemented, but utilities are nonetheless obligated to increase their renewable energy activities at a rate of 6% per year. Carve-out provisions apply to keep most renewable investments within state lines. Compliance is measured using renewable energy credit (REC) and renewable resource credit (RRC) systems pegging one megawatt hour of electricity to a fluctuating dollar value. Utilities may generate credits through the use of their own renewable installations or purchase them through tariff arrangements and power purchase agreements. Each credit expires after four years of use.

Focus on Energy - Business & Marketing Grant

Value:Varies

Focus on Energy grant funding is available for Wisconsin businesses making new renewable energy investments or energy efficiency improvements. The maximum available grant is $10,000 to fund half of project costs. Eligible projects include new solar, wind, or biomass energy systems not involved in academic or corporate research and development. Grants may also support professional training and marketing initiatives. To apply, the business should be located in a participating utility's service area and submit a successful proposal. Additional information is available from the Focus on Energy website.

Energy Innovation Grant Program

Value:Varies

Wisconsin Energy Innovation grants are available to local governments, public schools, and manufacturing businesses making renewable energy investments or energy efficiency improvements. The Public Service Commission keeps an annual grant budget of roughly $5 million to award in proportion. Grants can fund new generation/energy storage equipment, sustainable transportation, and engineering reviews/project studies. Application periods, known as requests for proposals, are opened annually. Additional information is available on the Public Service Commission's website.

Interconnection Standards

Value:Varies

Distributed generation and grid interconnection practices have been standardized in Wisconsin since 2004. Each new solar, wind, or other renewable energy system is sorted into one of four regulatory "categories" based on capacity. Category 1 ends at 20 kW, Category 2 at 200 kW, and Category 3 at one megawatt. The category of a system will determine the UL/IEEE standards it must follow and the rigor of its permitting process, including application fees and review turnaround time. The state requires all system owners, even of Category 1 systems, to hold minimum liability insurance coverage of more than $300,000 per occurrence. Utilities may further require the installation of external disconnect switches, but may not charge additional fees or require additional regulatory reviews beyond what is necessary. Additional information is available from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission.

Public Benefits Fund

Value:Varies

In 1999, the Wisconsin legislature first established a public benefits fund for renewable energy and energy efficiency among low-income residents. The fund's day-to-day business is managed by a public/private partnership between Focus on Energy and the Department of Administration. Current fund initiatives support incentives, loans, and grants to home and business owners. Funding is sourced through both consumer surcharges and mandatory utility "buy-ins." Additional information is available from the Focus on Energy website.

Energy Efficiency and Green Building Standards for State Buildings

Value:Varies

Public buildings in Wisconsin are subject to sustainability and green construction standards set by the state's Department of Administration. Standards apply to new and existing buildings. New buildings must demonstrate energy efficiency of at least 30% above the state's commercial building codes, themselves based on LEED standards. Remodeling projects in existing facilities should procure only those building materials and appliances which have earned ENERGY STAR certification or which meet EPA/ASHRAE standards. Additional information, including compliance reports, is available from the Department of Administration.

Focus on Energy Program

Value:Varies

Wisconsin Focus on Energy (FoE) is a public benefits fund providing a central management infrastructure for energy efficiency and renewable energy incentive and financing programs. Utilities may tap from the fund to support loans, grants, rebates, and educational initiatives. Funding is supported through customer surcharges and mandatory utility "buy-ins." Additional information is available from the FoE website.

City of Madison - Solar and Wind Access and Planning Laws

Value:Varies

Madison offers streamlined permit processes and/or zoning provisions to accommodate new solar and wind energy systems. New streets in subdivisions are required to face as reasonably east-west as possible, with adjacent lots oriented in an ideal position for solar access. Zoning laws further establish setback requirements, height limits, and regulations on shading from trees or other vegetation. Additional information is available from the city website.

City of Madison - Contractor Licensing

Value:Varies

Solar contractors operating in Madison must adhere to local licensing standards and technical guidelines. Anybody involved in the installation, repair, or modification of a solar thermal device should obtain an A-4 license from the state board or a solar thermal certification from NABCEP. Homeowners installing a PV system themselves are not required to obtain a license. Technical guidelines the city has set include panel orientation, fluids, sensors, and surveillance. Guidelines may be updated from time to time to reflect current building codes. Additional information is available from the city website.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • As a general rule, unless there are local limitations, the main limitations to the amount of solar panels you can put on your roof are the available space on your roof, your electricity usage, your providers net metering rules, and the limitations of your house hold electrical system.
  • Based on our research the average price per installed watt is $4.02 in Wisconsin. This means for a 10kW system you can expect to pay $40,200 though pricing can vary significantly between installers based on the projects requirements.
  • Based on a Zillow research study from 2019, home with solar panels sell for roughly 4.1% more.
  • To generate the most power, solar panels in the United States should face true south as this generally results in the solar panels receiving the most light each day throughout the course of the year. That said, given that energy prices are often variable throughout the day, your installer may recommend you rotate your panels slightly so that the panels will receive more light at the end of the day when energy prices can be more expensive. That said, for most consumers the positioning of solar panels is highly dependent on your home's roof.
  • Based on our continuously updated database of solar installers, we have found 38 verified solar install companies in Wisconsin

Solar installers in Wisconsin (38)

Academy Energy Group

Newburgh, IN(812) 518-2150

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Auditing of energy requirements for independent energy generation.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

SunVest Solar

Pewaukee, WI(262) 547-1200

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Micrometer Engineering

Scottsdale, AZ(602) 790-5749

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

Safer Better World

Waunakee, WI(608) 444-3749

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

Endries Solar & Electric

Sheboygan, WI(920) 889-8955

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

Dividend Finance

San Francisco, CA(415) 805-7000

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Eagle Point Solar

Dubuque, IA(563) 582-4044

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Photovoltaic Systems

Amherst, WI(715) 227-0621

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

Palmetto Solar

Charleston, SC(855) 339-1831

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

SunPower Corporation

San Jose, CA(800) 786-7693

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Silver Sun Solar

Deltona, FL(340) 227-7785

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Generac

Waukesha, WI(888) 436-3722

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

ConEdison Solutions

Valhalla CDP, NY(914) 286-7000

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Bright Skies

Pleasant Grove, UT(608) 293-1163

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Reparation of batteries.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

Appleton Solar

Appleton, WI(920) 470-6393

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Harvest Solar

Jackson, MI(888) 907-6527

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Olson Solar Energy

Onalaska, WI(608) 780-2347

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Sunrun

San Francisco, CA(833) 394-3384

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

GRNE Solar

Palatine, IL(312) 859-3417

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Entegrity

Little Rock, AR(800) 700-1414

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Glow Solar

Madison, WI(833) 456-9765

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Ideal Energy

Fairfield, IA(800) 634-4454

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

City Electric Supply

Dallas, TX(866) 634-9853

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Current Electric

Wauwatosa, WI(262) 214-5598

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

North Wind Renewable Energy Cooperative

Amherst, WI(715) 223-0418

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

DT Solar

(888) 984-6786

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
Last Reviewed By: Alex Zdanov
Published: 2022-09-18