Solar Power Rebates, Tax Credits and Solar Panel Incentives in Michigan; 2012 Update September 2012 update;
the Consumers Energy’s Experimental Advanced Renewable Energy Program has just opened its eighth and nineth phases. Phase 8 deals with non-residential PV solar and is offering $0.219/kWh of power generated and phase 9 deals with residential solar PV and is offering $0.249/kWh of power generated. The quickest way to get the info for your area is to click here and we can put local solar professionals in touch with you.
Michigan's RPS or Renewable Portfolio Standard
Michigan introduced renewable energy targets in 2008; this was to be for the utilities to generate 10% of power by 2015. At present (May 2012) Michigan is reviewing its RPS; there should be some news on Michigan very soon.
Federal Tax Credit
The single most significant financial incentive for your solar power system in Michigan is the same Federal Tax Credit that applies right across the USA. This gives you a credit on your Federal Tax bill equivalent to 30% of the cost of your solar system For more information on this visit out page The 30% federal tax credit for residential solar power systems. Because this is a tax credit you get the benefit of this when you do your next federal tax return, rather than getting a cheque on the day of installation. Still, it has a real value if you are in a position where you are paying annual federal income tax equivalent to 30% or more of the value of your solar panel system.
Michigan State Rebates
Michigan's rebate program is subject to issues that result in people having to apply to be eligible and only a certain number of approvals are given each year. The Experimental Advanced Renewable Energy Program (EARP) offers residential and non-residential customers a buy-back tariff program for electricity produced by solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Owners of residential systems from 1-20 kW and non-residential systems from 1-150 kW are eligible to participate in the program. Residential customers must receive electric service on tariff rate RS or RT in order to be eligible for the program. The expanded program is capped at 3,000 kW of capacity, with 1,500 kW for residential systems and 1,500 kW for non-residential systems. Contracts will be awarded in phases, with 125 kW available each quarter for residential customers and 250 kW available for non-residential customers every 6 months. For the big three utilities, PGE, SCE and SDGE rebate levels now (April 2012), for residential systems are around the $200-$250 per kilowatt level. The best way to find out about the current state of play in Michigan is to click here and we can put you in touch with local solar professionals.
Michigan has one of the more complex Net Metering systems that I have seen. Net Metering means that your electricity provider will monitor how much power you consume from the grid and how much power you generate and send back to the grid. This can be achieved by the installation of a bio-directional meter that separately records what you buy from the grid and what you push back into the grid. Some Net Metering systems don't require a new meter, some do. Here are some of the specific details;Net metering billing practices are split into two distinct categories. All qualifying customer generators up to 20 kilowatts (kW) are eligible for "true" net metering, while most systems between 20 kW and 150 kW are eligible for "modified" net metering. For systems of 20 kW or less, net excess generation (NEG) during a billing period may be carried forward to the next billing period at the retail rate. After 12 months any net surplus you've accumulated can be held as a credit towards bills indefinitely, or the utility will write you a cheque at the 12-month average price for electricity between 7am and 5pm. The real value of net metering is that the value you get for the power that you feed back into the grid will increase in time as the retail price of power increases.
Michigan State Tax Exemptions and State Tax Credits
Well it looks as though only business's or corporate's are eligible for a property tax exemption, just how that works is a mystery to me and certainly doesn't seem fair.
Michigan Solar Incentives and investment case: Summary May 2012
Michigan has a modest overall package of incentives to help meet its renewable energy targets. At the time of writing this the Michigan legislature and other relevant parties are reviewing most if not all of the current incentives and rebates systems. I think the vibe seems to be we might be able to expect the current system to become a bit more user friendly and less complex overall. The time to get into solar may be very soon indeed, fingers crossed. Even at the current level of rebates and overall incentives it's not too bad for those in Michigan who are looking to go solar.