Solar Electric (PV) Systems

Save when you install a solar electric system

Solar electric systems, also known as photovoltaic (PV) systems, use sunlight to generate electricity. To capture sunlight, solar panels or modules, are strategically placed on roofs or ground mounted to maximize exposure to the sun. Systems are silent, very reliable, and require little ongoing maintenance.

And yes--Wisconsin really does get enough sun, even in winter, to produce energy and reduce electricity bills for your home or business.

Plus, you can save up to $2,000 (residential) and $4,000 (business) when you install a solar electric system. Residential customers can earn up to $2,000 more for their solar electric systems, if you live in an eligible ZIP code. See if you would be eligible today.

How do I participate?

  1. Check to see if your utility participates in Focus on Energy. Review program terms and conditions and check the status of available Renewable incentives.

  2. Find a Focus on Energy Trade Ally. Complete the installation of your system.

  3. Submit an Incentive Application after your system has been placed in operation.

     

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Incentives

Incentives effective January 1, 2019

Solar Electric (PV) Systems
System Type Install Position Incentive
Residential property, 1-3 units (owner-occupied or rental) Within 45° of due South 12% of installed cost, up to $2,000
Residential property, 1-3 units (owner-occupied or rental) Between 45-90° of due South 12% of installed cost, up to $1,500
Residential property, 1-3 units in eligible rural ZIP codes Within 45° of due South 12% of installed cost, up to $4,000
Residential property, 1-3 units in eligible rural ZIP codes Between 45-90° of due South 12% of installed cost, up to $3,000
Non-residential property, includes anything outside of a 1-3 unit home Within 45° of due South 12% of installed cost, up to $4,000
Non-residential property, includes anything outside of a 1-3 unit home Between 45-90° of due South 12% of installed cost, up to $3,000

*Maximum incentive amounts are based on system cost averages from the previous 12 months and may be updated every six months.

Check the status of the current program year funding available before installing your system.  You can also learn more about the Solar PV programs here:

Equipment Eligibility

Solar Electric System Incentive

Earn up to $2,000 (residential) and $4,000 (business) in incentives for installing a qualifying solar electric system. To qualify for an incentive you must:

  • Install the solar electric system in an existing residential or non-residential property.

Solar Electric System Equipment & Property Requirements

  • Select qualified models from the Solar Electric Qualified Equipment List, which can be found in the supporting documents section below.
  • System capacity must be 0.5 kWDC or greater.
  • System must be installed within 90 degrees of due south. Systems installed between 45 and 90 degrees of due south are
    subject to a reduced incentive cap.
  • Must be installed with a panel tilt between 10-50 degrees.
  • Must have less than 10 percent obstacle shading based on analysis of an industry-accepted tool.
  • See application for complete details.
  • Residential customers in eligible ZIP codes may receive up to $2,000 in additional funding for solar installations. Incentive not to exceed 12% of installed cost.
  • Both modules (panels) and inverter must be installed to receive an incentive.
  • See FAQs for complete terms and requirements

Supporting Documents and Information

Terms and Conditions

General Program Requirements

  • System must be installed within 90 degrees of due South.
  • System must be installed with a panel tilt between 10-50 degrees.
  • System must be installed with 10 percent or less obstacle shading, per an industry accepted tool.
  • Eligible models (panels) must be selected from the qualified product list found at gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov/equipment/pv_modules.php
  • Eligible inverters must be selected from the qualified product list found at gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov/equipment/inverters.php
  • Both Modules (panels) and inverter must be installed at the same time to receive an incentive.
  • The system installed must provide electricity for the site indicated on the application.
  • Solar electric system should be sized to meet local utility tie-in tariff guidelines.
  • System must be utility grid-connected.
     

Incentive calculation examples:

  • Example 1: Residential (1 to 3-unit, owner-occupied or rental), installed within 45 degrees of due South, incentive is 12% of installed cost, not to exceed $2,000. 
    • Solar Electric System Cost = $13,000 x .12 = $1,560 incentive
  • Example 2: Residential (1 to 3-unit, owner-occupied or rental), installed between 90 degrees and 45 degrees of due South, incentive is 12% of installed cost, not to exceed $1,500. 
    • Solar Electric System Cost = $13,000 x .12 = $1,500 incentive (maximum incentive)
  • Example 3: Business (any property outside a 1 to 3-unit home), installed within 45 degrees of due South, incentive is 12% of installed cost, not to exceed $4,000 
    • Solar Electric System Cost = $40,000 x .12 = $4,000 (maximum incentive)
  • Example 4: Business (any property outside a 1 to 3-unit home), installed between 90 degrees and 45 degrees of due South, incentive is 12% of installed cost, not to exceed $3,000 
    • Solar Electric System Cost = $40,000 x .12 = $3,000 (maximum incentive)

To be eligible to participate, the following requirements must be met:

  • System must be installed on a site served by a participating electric utility. Verify your utility here.
  • System and components must have a minimum of a five-year warranty.
  • Incentive cannot exceed cost to customer.
  • Systems purchased and installed between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019 are eligible for funding under the 2019 program year only.
  • The only costs eligible for incentives are materials, equipment, and external labor.
  • Funding is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis on an annual basis. Check remaining funding.
  • The program is not responsible for items (i.e. applications, supporting documentation, incentive checks) lost or damaged in the mail.
  • Focus on Energy will only pay one incentive for each technology per site per calendar year. Incentives paid on this application cannot be claimed on another Focus on Energy application. Similarly, incentives can only be paid to one person or entity.
  • All equipment installations are subject to verification inspection by the program to ensure the equipment is properly installed and operating. Participants must allow, if requested, the program or a program representative reasonable access to their home or business to verify the installed equipment.
  • You must be a current customer of a participating electric utility in Wisconsin at the time of equipment purchase and installation. 
  • The system is purchased new. Resale equipment, new parts installed in existing equipment, or equipment that is leased, rebuilt, rented, received from insurance claims, received from a warranty, received from a grant, or won as a prize do not qualify.
  • Equipment is installed by a professional contractor with a valid Wisconsin State professional contractor’s license, appropriate insurance, and permits.
  • Equipment is installed conforming to all applicable building, local, state and federal codes, standards, ordinances and regulations, and manufacturer specifications.
  • The system is installed in a property owned by the applicant, or the applicant has received permission from the property owner to install the equipment. If you do not own the property where this equipment is installed, as a residing tenant you are responsible for obtaining the owner’s permission to install the equipment for which you are applying for an incentive. Your submission of this application indicates that you have obtained this permission.
  • All necessary utility service improvement costs are the responsibility of the customer.
  • All necessary service improvement costs, including transformers and service lines, are the responsibility of the customer.
  • System installations must be in compliance with all state, local and federal codes, standards and requirements, including any and all applicable utility standards.
  • System must be installed in conformity with the manufacturer’s specifications and all applicable codes and standards.
  • System owners and installers must obtain all required permits.
  • If the project site is serviced by a participating Focus on Energy utility and uses a non-residential rate, the project site does not have to be owned by the applicant. The project/system equipment, however, must be owned by the applicant in order to qualify and confirmation of this ownership should be provided. System ownership must revert to the property owner after a specified period of time, not to exceed 25 years.
  • In order to receive a commercial incentive, the system must be connected through a non-residential rate meter.
  • Allow approximately 8-10 weeks for your completed application to be processed. Incomplete applications cannot be processed. Failure to complete the application in full and provide the required supporting documentation will either delay the payment process or result in your application being denied. Receipt of an application does not guarantee payment of an incentive.
  • Focus on Energy will only pay one incentive for each piece of equipment. Incentives paid on this application cannot be claimed on another Focus on Energy application. Similarly, incentives can only be paid to one person or entity (i.e., either the resident or landlord, not both).