Wisconsin ranks #35 in America for savings from installing solar panels on your home

Solar power in Wisconsin

Last fact checked on June 27, 2019 by Catherine Lane

While Wisconsin may have less-than-average sun exposure and a weak renewable portfolio standard (RPS), the combination of net metering, the 30% federal solar tax credit, expensive retail energy rates, and state incentives make going solar in Wisconsin a great investment. 

In 2013, the state met its renewable portfolio standard goal of deriving 10% of their energy from renewable sources. Having already met their target, there are no regulations pushing utilities to offer incentives that would expand solar generation. 

Because of this, it’s a good idea to go solar in Wisconsin now while there are incentives still available!


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Solar power in Wisconsin

Wisconsin solar power facts


Average cost of a 5kw solar power system in 2020
Price shown before incentives

6 Years 7 Months

Average payback time


Average lifetime savings
Price shown after repayments of capital


levelized cost of solar energy


If you don't get solar
The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years


Annual power production

Cash flow graph based on cash purchase of a 4.62kW system

This 4.62kW system would offset 100% of your energy usage if your typical monthly bill in Wisconsin is $91, however your situation may vary so try our solar calculator to get a result tailored to you.

Solar companies in Wisconsin that provide pricing through the Solar-Estimate marketplace


Best solar offers currently available in Wisconsin

Solar calculator and quote comparison tool

Compare solar quotes from the top solar companies in Wisconsin

How much do solar panels cost in Wisconsin

$2.70 per watt

Cash purchased solar system
Before 26% solar tax credit

$4.08 per watt

Financed solar system
Before 26% solar tax credit

N/A cents/kWh

Av. 15 year term, 2.5% price escalator

What are the pros and cons of buying solar panels for your home in Wisconsin

The advantage of installing solar panels for your home in Wisconsin is that there is a state-mandated net metering law, which is key to making solar a worthwhile investment. Pair that with high electric rates and the available state incentives and you have the potential for great savings when you go solar in Wisconsin. 

SolarPowerRocks provides a great breakdown of solar incentives and policy for each state within the US.

The disadvantage of installing solar panels for your home in Wisconsin is that there is less overall sunshine in the state per year. This means that a system produces less here than it would in sunnier states, like Arizona. Also, the state’s net metering policy does not have any specific rules, so guidelines vary widely between utilities. You are also not guaranteed to receive the full retail amount for excess generation your system produces. 

Despite this, there are still plenty of ways to save that make going solar an excellent choice in Wisconsin. 

Enter your details to calculate the potential costs and savings you can receive from installing solar panels for your home. 

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Best brands of solar panels

To find the best brands of solar panels you can use America's most trusted solar panel comparison and reviews website, SolarReviews.

However, reviews of solar panels can be a bit meaningless because most consumer owners have not had any issues and so while solar company reviews are very important when choosing solar installers they are of less use when choosing solar panels.

For more information to help you make an informed decision about this topic, I would recommend this article about buying solar panels.


Unlock live pricing on the best solar panel brands!


How much electricity will solar panels produce in Wisconsin

Solar panels produce different amounts of energy in different locations.

Around the Madison area solar panels installed on a south facing 30 degree pitch roof will typically produce:

1,361kWh per year per 1kw of peak DC (direct current) capacity

For more information about how your location, roof direction and roof tilt affects solar power production use the solar panels calculator and enter your zipcode below.


See how much electricity your solar panels could produce

I want to buy a solar panel kit and install it myself

What rebates, solar tax credits, and other solar incentives are available in Wisconsin?

Net metering in Wisconsin

Solar, by its nature, generates the most power during the middle of the day when most people are at work or school and little power is being used in the home. The net metering policy in Wisconsin requires that for every surplus kilowatt hour (kWh) of energy generated by solar, like the excess energy your system creates in the middle of the day, investor-owned and municipal utilities must provide a credit to your bill. 

This net excess credit value varies from utility to utility. Some utilities, like Madison Electric and Gas, provide a credit that is equal to the retail rate of electricity. This is great, especially with the high electric prices in Wisconsin. However, some utilities only provide you with the avoided cost rate, which is much lower than retail rates. 

Check your utility’s website to find out more about its net metering policy. 



Tax exemptions

Wisconsin offers two tax exemptions for solar systems: a sales tax exemption and a property tax exemption. 

Under the biogas, solar and wind property tax exemption, 100% of the assessed value of the solar system is exempt from the homeowner’s property taxes. 

The sales and use tax exemption prevents the addition of sales and use tax to equipment associated with a solar energy system. 



Focus on Energy solar electric system rebate

Focus on Energy is Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable resource program. They serve as a resource for information, financing, and funding for renewable energy and efficiency projects. 

Incentives are available through Focus on Energy that are equal to 12% of the installed costs of a system and do not exceed $2,000. Depending on where you live, you may qualify for a higher rebate that does not exceed $4,000. 

Check Focus on Energy’s website to find out what you may qualify for.

Wisconsin Solar Calculator

Regardless of what you want to know about the economics of installing solar panels for your home or business in Wisconsin we have a solar calculator that can show you exactly the information your require.



What you can find out about installing solar panels in Wisconsin using our full monthly solar calculator

This solar calculator requires you to input your address, utility company, your average monthly power spend - It tells you:

If you want to see all of the above but also see live pricing, the three best solar deals available in your city and get binding quotes from each of these solar companies then use this Wisconsin solar panels calculator. This calculator requires you to also input your name and contact details because most of our 200+ installer partners will only authorize the sharing of their live solar pricing where we have validated that you are a real homeowner with a home in their service area. We respect the privacy of your data and only share your contact details with the solar companies you ask us to get binding quotes from.


Unlock live pricing in your state!


Solar calculator

Going solar in Wisconsin

Check out all of the ways energy providers of Wisconsin can help you be more energy efficient and save money.

The following programs are available:
Incentive Name Eligibility Type
Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit Federal Personal Tax Credit
Wisconsin Focus on Energy Partnership State Rebate Program
Net Metering State Net Metering
Renewable Energy Systems Property Tax Exemption State Property Tax Incentive
Renewable Energy Sales Tax Exemption State Sales Tax Incentive
Dunn Energy Cooperative - Renewable Rebates Program Utility Rebate Program
Polk Burnett Electric Cooperative - Renewable Rebates Program Utility Rebate Program
Madison Electric and Gas - Net Metering Utility Net Metering
Find your local rebates and incentives

Your city may have further incentives to offer. Please keep in mind that the best source of up-to-date information on incentives are the solar installers who specialize in your area.