Wisconsin Solar Rebates and Incentives

Wisconsin Rebates and Incentives Summary

Wisconsin

Wisconsin has relatively little sunlight. The state gets between 4 kilowatt hours of sunlight per square meter and 4.5 kWh per square meter per day, according to NREL. The state’s proximity to the Great Lakes and the dominant weather patterns, including persistent snow coverage in the winter and thunderstorms in the summer, are among the factors that reduce the amount of sunlight. Additionally, nearly half of the state is forested.

Wisconsin generates electricity through coal (60%), nuclear power (20%), and renewable sources (9%).  The state’s electricity rates are below the national average, while its energy use is above the national average.  The state’s per capita solar production ranks at 23rd in the nation.

While the state offers residents and businesses some incentives to convert to solar and renewable power, it offers more incentives to help people improve energy efficiency and increase insulation in their homes and businesses. Among the solar incentives offered in the state are a rebate program, various tax incentives, a loan-program, net metering and more.

To develop more locally-sourced power production, Wisconsin passed a renewable portfolio standard in 2006, requiring 10 percent of overall electric production in the state to be sourced from renewable resources. Under the law, utilities must purchase at least as much renewable energy as they bought in 2010, and must increase the amount purchased each year until 2015, when they reach 10 percent, and then they are not allowed to fall under that level of renewable power purchased.  Thanks largely to investment in wind technology, Wisconsin utilities met this goal in 2013, and are forecasted to exceed it through 2020.

 

Wisconsin Solar Power Financial Incentives

Financial Incentives


Federal Appliance Standards

US

Regulatory Policy

Appliance/Equipment Efficiency Standards

06/30/2006

05/21/2015

Building Energy Code

WI

Regulatory Policy

Building Energy Code

07/28/2006

07/07/2015

Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS)

US

Financial Incentive

Corporate Depreciation

03/15/2002

12/23/2014

Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

US

Financial Incentive

Corporate Tax Credit

03/15/2002

05/13/2015

Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC)

US

Financial Incentive

Corporate Tax Credit

03/11/2002

04/13/2015

Energy-Efficient New Homes Tax Credit for Home Builders

US

Financial Incentive

Corporate Tax Credit

01/10/2006

12/20/2014

Woody Biomass Harvesting and Processing Tax Credit (Corporate)

WI

Financial Incentive

Corporate Tax Credit

05/13/2010

07/07/2015

Energy-Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction

US

Financial Incentive

Corporate Tax Deduction

01/10/2006

12/22/2014

Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Corporate)

US

Financial Incentive

Corporate Tax Exemption

03/05/2002

04/24/2015

Energy Efficiency Standard for Focus on Energy

WI

Regulatory Policy

Energy Efficiency Resource Standard

03/09/2011

02/04/2015

Energy Goals and Standards for Federal Government

US

Regulatory Policy

Energy Standards for Public Buildings

06/19/2006

06/21/2015

Energy Efficiency and Green Building Standards for State Buildings

WI

Regulatory Policy

Energy Standards for Public Buildings

08/01/2006

07/07/2015

USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants

US

Financial Incentive

Grant Program

04/09/2003

08/08/2015

Tribal Energy Program Grant

US

Financial Incentive

Grant Program

05/01/2003

07/31/2015

Renewable Energy Competitive Incentive Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Grant Program

01/01/2000

02/06/2015

Alliant Energy (Wisconsin Power and Light) - Farm Wiring Grant Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Grant Program

06/05/2006

07/23/2015

Xcel Energy - Farm Rewiring Grants

WI

Financial Incentive

Grant Program

05/23/2007

07/07/2015

USDA - High Energy Cost Grant Program

US

Financial Incentive

Grant Program

09/27/2010

11/20/2014

USDA - Repowering Assistance Biorefinery Program

US

Financial Incentive

Grant Program

10/08/2012

02/06/2015

USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance (EA/REDA) Program

US

Financial Incentive

Grant Program

02/18/2015

02/19/2015

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

US

Financial Incentive

Grant Program

03/16/2015

03/16/2015

Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

US

Financial Incentive

Grant Program

03/31/2015

03/31/2015

Green Power Purchasing Goal for Federal Government

US

Regulatory Policy

Green Power Purchasing

02/19/2004

03/20/2015

Green Power Purchasing

WI

Regulatory Policy

Green Power Purchasing

03/28/2006

03/30/2015

Interconnection Standards

WI

Regulatory Policy

Interconnection

06/19/2003

07/20/2015

Interconnection Standards for Small Generators

US

Regulatory Policy

Interconnection

10/30/2007

03/16/2015

Energy-Efficient Mortgages

US

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

03/21/2002

06/24/2015

Madison Gas & Electric - Commercial Energy Efficiency Loan Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

05/22/2006

07/13/2015

Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs)

US

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

05/02/2006

04/16/2015

USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Loan Guarantees

US

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

04/09/2003

12/09/2014

Xcel Energy - Farm Rewiring Loan Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

07/16/2007

07/13/2015

U.S. Department of Energy - Loan Guarantee Program

US

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

09/12/2008

11/20/2014

Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs)

US

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

10/23/2008

03/20/2015

City of Milwaukee - Energy Efficiency (Me2) Loan Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

03/02/2011

07/20/2015

Cedarburg Light & Water Utility - Commercial Shared Savings Loan Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

08/28/2006

03/30/2015

City of Milwaukee - Milwaukee Shines Solar Financing

WI

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

07/15/2011

04/01/2015

City of Milwaukee - Energy Efficiency (Me2) Business Financing

WI

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

02/21/2012

07/20/2015

USDA - Biorefinery Assistance Program

US

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

10/04/2012

05/22/2015

Clean Energy Manufacturing Revolving Loan Fund

WI

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

11/07/2014

04/03/2015

FHA PowerSaver Loan Program

US

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

12/04/2014

12/04/2014

Fannie Mae Green Initiative- Loan Program

US

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

05/28/2015

07/13/2015

Net Metering

WI

Regulatory Policy

Net Metering

01/01/2000

05/01/2015

Local Option - Energy-Efficiency Improvement Loans

WI

Financial Incentive

PACE Financing

07/15/2009

06/25/2015

River Falls Municipal Utilities - Renewable Energy Finance Program

WI

Financial Incentive

PACE Financing

03/18/2010

06/25/2015

Madison Gas & Electric - Clean Power Partner Solar Buyback Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Performance-Based Incentive

01/16/2008

07/13/2015

River Falls Municipal Utilities - Distributed Solar Tariff

WI

Financial Incentive

Performance-Based Incentive

06/05/2009

07/08/2015

Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

US

Financial Incentive

Personal Tax Credit

08/10/2005

05/13/2015

Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit

US

Financial Incentive

Personal Tax Credit

01/10/2006

12/22/2014

Woody Biomass Harvesting and Processing Tax Credit (Personal)

WI

Financial Incentive

Personal Tax Credit

05/14/2010

04/01/2015

Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Personal)

US

Financial Incentive

Personal Tax Exemption

03/05/2002

02/16/2015

Biogas, Solar and Wind Energy Equipment Exemption

WI

Financial Incentive

Property Tax Incentive

01/01/2000

03/10/2015

Focus on Energy Program

WI

Regulatory Policy

Public Benefits Fund

08/29/2006

04/03/2015

Renewable Rewards Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

03/19/2002

04/03/2015

Residential Rewards Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

03/09/2006

07/13/2015

Business Incentive Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

03/09/2006

07/20/2015

Cedarburg Light & Water Utility - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

08/25/2006

03/30/2015

Cedarburg Light & Water Utility - Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

08/28/2006

03/30/2015

Marshfield Utilities - Heat Pump Rebate Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

08/28/2006

03/30/2015

Eau Claire Energy Cooperative - Non-Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

03/19/2007

04/06/2015

We Energies - Livestock and Dairy Farm Electrical Re-wiring Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

04/27/2007

03/31/2015

Riverland Energy Cooperative - Commercial and Industrial Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

05/07/2007

06/25/2015

Eau Claire Energy Cooperative - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

01/01/2009

03/30/2015

Riverland Energy Cooperative - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

01/01/2009

07/07/2015

Barron Electric Cooperative - ENERGY STAR Appliance and Energy Efficient Lighting Rebate Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

02/18/2009

03/30/2015

Barron Electric Cooperative - Commercial, Industrial, and Agricultural Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

02/18/2009

03/30/2015

Multifamily Energy Savings Program (Existing Buildings and New Construction)

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

02/15/2010

07/13/2015

River Falls Municipal Utilities - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

06/04/2010

07/07/2015

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (WPS Customers Only)

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

08/24/2010

03/30/2015

Energy Bundle Bonus (WPS Customers Only)

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

08/24/2010

07/20/2015

Residential Rewards - Xcel Energy Customers

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

06/12/2006

05/15/2015

River Falls Municipal Utilities - Business Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

06/04/2010

07/07/2015

River Falls Municipal Utilities - Non-Profit Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

06/04/2010

07/13/2015

Residential Enhanced Rewards Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

04/03/2012

07/13/2015

Large Energy Users Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

04/04/2012

07/13/2015

Chain Stores and Franchises Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

04/04/2012

07/20/2015

New Homes Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

07/06/2012

07/13/2015

Retro-Commissioning Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

04/04/2012

07/07/2015

Small Business Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

03/09/2006

04/01/2015

Design Assistance Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

04/04/2012

07/13/2015

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR - Xcel Energy Customers

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

05/15/2015

05/15/2015

Small Business - Xcel Energy Customers

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

05/15/2015

05/15/2015

Xcel Energy - Appliance Recycling Rebate Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

05/15/2015

05/15/2015

Express Energy Efficiency Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

05/15/2015

07/07/2015

Xcel Energy - Residential Lighting Discount Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

05/15/2015

05/15/2015

Xcel Energy - Agriculture, Schools and Government Incentive Program

WI

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

05/15/2015

05/15/2015

Renewable Portfolio Standard

WI

Regulatory Policy

Renewables Portfolio Standard

01/01/2000

05/06/2015

Renewable Energy Sales Tax Exemptions

WI

Financial Incentive

Sales Tax Incentive

01/22/2009

07/13/2015

Solar and Wind Rights

WI

Regulatory Policy

Solar/Wind Access Policy

01/01/2000

07/13/2015

City of Madison - Solar and Wind Access and Planning Laws

WI

Regulatory Policy

Solar/Wind Access Policy

01/01/2000

06/25/2015

City of Madison - Contractor Licensing

WI

Regulatory Policy

Solar/Wind Contractor Licensing

01/01/2000

07/07/2015

Wind Siting Rules and Model Small Wind Ordinance

WI

Regulatory Policy

Solar/Wind Permitting Standards

01/01/2000

07/08/2015


 

Wisconsin Net Metering

Program Type Net Metering
Technologies Photovoltaics, Solar Thermal Heat, Solar Hot Water Heating
Amount Credited at retail rate
Required Documentation

Utility interconnection agreements, Standard Distributed Generation Application Form, and Distributed

Generation Interconnection Agreement

Official Web Site http://psc.wi.gov/renewables/netMetering.htm

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin first established its net metering requirement in 1982. The commission required all regulated utilities in the state to allow customers to net meter with their electric utility.

Under the regulation, utilities must file tariffs with the commission that allow customers with systems up to 20 kW in size to net meter. The rule applies to all Wisconsin utilities that aren’t electric cooperatives. Despite these guidelines, the commission has not adopted administrative rules for net metering, therefore utilities’ requirements for net metering and their reimbursement methodology vary from one to another.  In 2015, a court rejected a utility’s increase of fees and reduction of excess generation rates.

Generally, customers’ net excess generation is credited at the utility’s retail rate particularly for renewable energy systems, according to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE). All distributed-generation systems are eligible under the rule, and systems like combined heat and gas are usually net metered at the utility’s avoided-cost rate. Excess generation in a month period is carried forward to the next month, but if generation credits exceed $25, the utility must send the customer a check.

 

Solar and Wind Energy Equipment Exemption

Program Type Property Tax Incentive
Technologies Photovoltaics, Solar Hot Water, Solar Thermal Heat, Wind
Amount 100 percent
Required Documentation Request for Exemption of Renewable Energy System
Official Web Site http://www.revenue.wi.gov/forms/govexmpt/pr-303.pdf                                                  
Value added by a solar- or wind-powered system is exempt from state property taxes. Under the rule, both photovoltaic and solar thermal systems, like solar hot water or solar concentrators, are eligible. But such systems do not include “equipment or components that would be present as part of a conventional energy system." Passive solar power is not exempted under the rule.

To qualify for the exemption, property owners with wind or solar systems must request the exemption by March 1, from their local assessor, for the year in which the exemption is claimed.

 

Focus On Energy Cash Back Rewards

Program Type Rebate
Technologies Photovoltaics, Solar Hot Water, Solar Thermal Heat
Amount $1.00 per annual kWh produced by a system, up to $50,000 or 25 percent of a PV system’s costs
Required Documentation Pre-approval application, notice of installation form
Official Web Site http://www.focusonenergy.com/Incentives/Residential/

Focus on Energy offers rebates to residents and businesses that install photovoltaics (PV) or other renewable energy technologies on their properties. The program is available to customers of participating utilities in the state. Check Focus on Energy’s website to see which utilities in the state are participating.

Focus on Energy is made possible through a government, private, and public partnership. The partners include the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, the Statewide Energy Efficiency and Renewable Administration (a coalition of utilities), Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation, Energy Center of Wisconsin, and others. As of 2010, the program had about $8.2 million to fund the rebates in 2010.

The residential and business rebate level is capped at $50,000 and 50 kilowatt hours (kWh) for PV and $100,000 for wind. Under the program, the rebate is based on the size of the system installed. PV systems qualify for rebates at $1.00 per projected annual kWh of electric production. Focus on Energy cautions applicants to wait until they receive approval prior to buying or installing a system, or else the system will become ineligible for the rebate. It also recommends conducting a site assessment and talking with at least three installers prior to deciding the system and the installer.

To be eligible for the rebate, applicants must submit a pre-approval application form, which Focus on Energy decides on within 30 days. If a change in a proposed system results in more than 20 percent expected change in generation, the applicant must submit a second application, otherwise the application may be rejected. Upon installing the system, the applicant must submit the notice of installation to Focus on Energy within 60 days to receive the funds. The rebate is payable either to the installer or the system owner. The current pre-approval form is valid until Dec. 31, 2010.

In addition to PV and wind, solar hot water and biomass combustion qualify for funding under the program.

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