Incentives for installing solar electricity panels in Wisconsin
Wisconsin has in the past had quite generous subsidies for the installation of solar power systems. Whilst some of these are gone it is still a favorable environment for solar.
Up-front State Grants
The Renewable Energy Incentives program is currently suspended. Focus on Energy is actively reviewing renewable energy technologies to determine which meet the approved set of criteria set out by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission in November 2011. This review process is expected to conclude in the spring of 2012. Please refer to focusonenergy.com or call (800) 762-7077 for further updates. I would not expect the state based up front rebates to come back as the price of solar panels has now dropped so much that they are no longer necessary to give a customer a good return when they buy solar panels.
Federal 30% tax credit
This is the largest single up front assistance that is currently available for people installing solar electricity panels in Wisconsin. IT allows you to deduct 30% of the price you pay for your solar panels off your federal tax liability. You have to wait until tax time to get the benefit of it, but if you are in a position where you have an annual federal tax bill, then it is as good as cash at tax time.
Whilst the federal tax credit is an important source of up front assistance the very good net metering policy in Wisconsin is the biggest source of ongoing assistance for solar power and ensures that Wisconsin residents get a good return over time. Wisconsin's net metering applies to customer-owned electric generation facilities that are rated at 20 kW or less, regardless of energy sources. The utility's electric meter is permitted to run backward when the customer is generating electric power to feed into the utility grid. If the amount of energy supplied to the utility exceeds the amount of energy consumed, the customer will receive a credit on his monthly bill equal to the net excess kilowatt-hours of energy received by the utility. This could take the form of a cheque from the utility company or a lower bill if the credits are less than the consumption. With the average electricity price in Wisconsin sitting around 11 cents this underpins a return from all power that your solar electricity system generates. Click "here" to get quotes from local solar installers.