Wisconsin Solar Rebates, Incentives, and Tax Credits

Cheese, cheese, cheese; Believe it or not Wisconsin has over 126 cheese factories and produces about 2 billion pounds of the stuff every year. We are also happy to report that they have put a similar amount of effort into building solid Wisconsin solar rebate, incentive, and financing programs.

PACE Financing
Wisconsin permits political subdivisions (cities, villages, towns, and counties) to offer Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loan programs. PACE programs allow you to repay a loan for a home solar power system through a special assessment attached to your property taxes, which remains attached to the property rather than to you the property owner.

On March 11, 2010, The Milwaukee Shines Solar PACE Loan Program was signed into law making the City of Milwaukee one of the first municipalities in the country to implement a PACE program.

The program overview is as follows:

  • Loans from $5,000 – $20,000 for qualifying solar equipment on owner-occupied Milwaukee homes.
  • Loan terms may range from 5 – 15 years depending on the size of the loan (e.g., loans of $7,000 or less have a term of 5 years).
  • The interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan at Prime plus 2%, leading to a total interest rate of 5.25% (subject to change).
  • System size is limited to 0.5 – 3 kW.

More info here

 

Production Incentives

 

Madison Gas & Electric – Clean Power Partner Solar Buyback Program

The details for this program are as follows:

  • Electricity produced from 1 to 10 kilowatt (kW-DC) PV systems will be purchased by MGE at a rate of $0.25/kilowatt-hour (kWh).
  • The program is limited to Green Power Tomorrow participants
  • Customers will purchase electricity from the utility at the normal retail rate plus a $0.01/kWh green power premium.  What that means is that if your electricity rates are $0.12/kWh you will receive a net payment of $0.13/kWh
  • Customers enter 10-year contract but may leave program with 30 days’ written notice
  • The overall enrollment for this program is capped at 1,000 kW

River Falls Municipal Utilities – Distributed Solar Tariff

River Falls Municipal Utilities (RFMU) offers an electricity purchase rate to its customers that generate electricity using home solar power systems.

The details are:

  • RFMU will purchase electricity from you at $0.30/kWh, for systems up to 4 kW up to an overall program cap of 10 kW DC.
  • This is not a net-metering arrangement. You will continue to pay the normal retail rate for electricity.
  • All of the energy generated by the customer’s PV system is metered separately and exported directly to the grid.
  • The $0.30/kWh incentive is applied to all of the energy the system produces for a period of 10 years
  • You, the customer, receive payments as monthly credits to your electricity bill
  • You are responsible for the cost of installing a second generation meter at the and in addition will be charged a metering fee of $1.00/month

More information here

Example

LocationMilwaukee, WI
UtilityWisconsin Electric
Av. Monthly Electricity Bill$100
System Size5.0 kW
% Reduction in Electricity Bill75
Cost / Watt (installed)$7.00
Cost Breakdown
Total Cost$35,000
Rebates
State Rebate$8,750
Federal Tax Incentive$7,875
NET COST$18,375
Payback period
Cash Flow
New Av. Monthly Electric Bill$26
Monthly Loan Payment (25 year home equity at 7%)$130
Tax Saving (assuming married filing jointly, $140K income)$40*
NEW MONTHLY NET COST$116
OPTION 2 – If you are serviced by Madison Gas & Electric or River Falls Municipal Utility you could participate in their buyback programs
Madison Gas & Electric
Monthly Electricity Usage:963 kWh
Monthly Electricity Production:494 kWh
Payment for Electricity Produced:494 kWh x $0.25 = -$123.5
Cost for Electricity Used:963 kWh x $0.12 = $115.6
Net Payment to You:$8
Monthly Loan Payment (25 year home equity at 7%):$130
Tax Savings:$40
New Monthly Payment:$82
River Falls Municipal Utilities
Monthly Electricity Usage:963 kWh
Monthly Electricity Production:494 kWh
Payment for Electricity Produced:494 kWh x $0.3 = $148.5
Cost for Electricity Used:963 kWh x $0.12 = $115.6
Net Payment to You:$33
Monthly Loan Payment (25 year home equity at 7%):$130
Tax Savings:$40*
New Monthly Payment:$57
 * Tax savings will decrease as the principal is paid down. Please consult your tax preparer.

 

Sound like a good deal? Have a Wisconsin solar expert give you a detailed quote so that you can find out how much you could save by going solar.