Going Solar in Wisconsin

Each year, we see more Wisconsin rooftops with solar panels. Going solar is a great way for homeowners to lock in a low predictable energy bill when inflation and other factors may be out of your control. It also supports a cleaner, more energy-independent Wisconsin, creates jobs, and gives a boost to our local economy. Here are some things to keep in mind as you consider adding solar.

How Does It Work?

Photovoltaics (PV) are the solar panels you see on rooftops and in solar fields. When the sun hits these panels, they absorb photons from the sunlight. This creates an electric field across layers and causes electricity to flow. Wisconsin gets plenty of sunlight, even in winter, to generate solar power for most homes.

Is My Home a Good Fit?

Solar panels are designed to work in all climates, including here in Wisconsin, but there are cases where a rooftop may not be suitable. One factor to consider is the age of your roof and if it needs to be replaced soon. Another factor is tree coverage. If trees create excessive shade on your roof throughout the day, your system may not produce as much energy. Check with a FOCUS ON ENERGY® Trade Ally contractor to see whether these are concerns for your solar installation.

The size, shape, and slope of your roof also play a role. South-facing roofs with a slope between 15 and 40 degrees typically perform best for solar. When you are gathering bids, get an evaluation from a solar professional to determine if your home is a good fit for solar.

What Are the Benefits of Going Solar?

Along with greatly reducing or even eliminating your energy costs, solar panels offer a number of exciting benefits. They can add resale value to your home –– homebuyers across the country have been willing to pay a premium of about $15,000 for a home with an average-sized solar array, according to a study from the Berkeley Lab. This same study gives evidence that homes with solar can sell faster, too.

Renewable solar energy is also better for the environment, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and makes a difference for Wisconsin’s economy and clean energy future.

What Is the Process Like?

Here are some helpful hints and steps you can take when planning your solar project.

  • Take steps to save energy. Solar works even better if your home is already energy efficient. Look for ways to save, from LED bulbs to insulation and sealing air leaks.
  • Get an evaluation. Talk with contractors about how the orientation, location, and shading will affect production of the system.
  • Choose a contractor. Consult with an experienced solar contractor to determine the best system for your home’s energy needs. Our Trade Ally contractor list is a good place to start.
  • Save with rebates. You may be able to cover a large portion of your project costs through cash rebates and federal tax credits. Your Trade Ally contractor can help.

For more information on going solar, check out our solar rebates and resources.

Updated 12/17/22

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