Solar Panel Cost in Wisconsin (2022 Local Savings Guide)

Here’s a quick look at the estimated cost of solar in Wisconsin:

  • Average Cost Per Watt: $2.60
  • Cost of Average System: $13,468*
  • Cost of Energy Without Solar: $39,205
  • Payback Period: 11 Years**
  • Lifetime Savings of Going Solar: $21,005

*Average system size is calculated using data from the Energy Information Administration. This price is after tax credit.
**Payback period is calculated assuming the system is purchased in cash.

Ecowatch Author Karsten Neumeister

By Karsten Neumeister, Solar Expert

Updated 9/19/2022

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Cost of Solar Panels in Wisconsin

The average cost of solar panels in Wisconsin is $2.60 per watt, which is below the national average of $2.66 per watt. Using this figure, in Wisconsin, a typical 7-kilowatt solar system would cost $13,468 after claiming the 26% federal solar tax credit.

Keep in mind that these figures are only estimates, and the price of installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems for your home may look quite different based on factors unique to you. We recommend getting at least three quotes and comparing them to find the best installer for your needs and budget.

Solar Panel System Installation Cost in Wisconsin

Depending on the size of your solar energy system and the company you choose, we’ve estimated that a solar panel installation in Wisconsin would cost between $10,400 and $26,000 before applying any tax incentives or solar rebates.

To offset the average Wisconsin energy bill of about $100 per month, you’d need a 7-kW solar panel system, which costs roughly $18,200, or $13,468 after the federal solar tax credit.

We’ve included the average prices for solar panel systems in Wisconsin before and after the tax credit in the table below:

Size of Solar Panel System Wisconsin Solar Panel Cost Cost After Federal Tax Credit
4 kW $10,400 $7,696
5 kW $13,000 $9,620
6 kW $15,600 $11,544
7 kW $18,200 $13,468
8 kW $20,800 $15,392
9 kW $23,400 $17,316
10 kW $26,000 $19,240

Interested to see the best solar companies in Wisconsin? We’ve vetted a number of installers that offer affordable, high-quality systems. Click here to learn more.

See also: Calculate how much you can save by going solar

What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin homeowners can spend anywhere from $7,696 to $19,240 for solar panel systems, with the average sitting at about $13,468 after the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is accounted for. 

The typical range is so wide because the cost depends on a few key factors that can bring your total up or down by thousands. We’ll explain each of the primary cost factors below to help you estimate your price a bit more accurately.

close-up shot of solar panels reflecting the sky

Solar Equipment

The first thing you’ll want to consider is the equipment you’ll be installing, the price of which can be driven by where you live. 

Wisconsin experiences just 188 sunny days per year — far fewer than the 205-day national average. This makes installing solar less appealing because the low sunlight availability means costly high-efficiency panels are typically required to generate enough energy to eliminate energy bills.

Luckily, Wisconsin doesn’t experience much in the way of severe weather events. In areas that do, solar batteries are a popular but expensive add-on product to help maintain power through blackouts. 

Because Wisconsin residents aren’t at much risk of outages, batteries aren’t a necessity, and the overall system cost is lower than in areas that do require solar batteries.

Solar Financing in Wisconsin

The payment method for your solar panels is an important cost factor as well because the different options can raise or lower your price by hundreds or even thousands of dollars. 

The two most popular payment options are cash purchases and solar loans. 

The former requires up-front payment in full, which is out of reach for many homeowners but lets you avoid paying interest that raises your overall system cost. A solar loan makes solar more accessible, but you’ll end up paying quite a bit in interest sometimes thousands of dollars depending on your interest rate.

Solar customers in Wisconsin can take advantage of several financing options that make solar panel systems more affordable. One such program is Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, which helps commercial property owners secure low-APR loans to reduce all-in system costs. 

Unfortunately, the state currently doesn’t have any options specifically for low-income households, although the Focus on Energy Program can reduce system costs by providing rebates for qualifying solar equipment.

dark solar panels on a house roof

Wisconsin Solar Installation Company

As is the case with other home improvement specialists, the solar installation company you choose can affect your system price. 

Some companies have lower labor charges, some upcharge equipment from the manufacturer and others offer equipment discounts to compete with larger companies that buy equipment in bulk.

In most cases, the differences between companies offering the same equipment will be relatively minimal, but differences in the brands provided can lead to significant price variation.

For example, Arch Electric, one of the best solar companies in Wisconsin, installs only tier-one panel brands including Panasonic, SolarEdge, SMA, REC, Enphase and Tesla. Another local company, Everlight Solar, installs just one panel brand — Heliene — which is less efficient and considered a tier-two product. 

As you can probably imagine, getting your system from Arch Electric will typically be more costly than getting the same-sized one from Everlight. However, the value provided will also differ, so it’s important to consider both value and price.

Additional Considerations and Costs in Wisconsin

There are some other things you’ll want to consider before going solar in Wisconsin, although they won’t have the same impact on your pricing as the factors above. We’ll discuss these additional considerations below.

  • Permits: In the State of Wisconsin, all solar system installations must be properly permitted. Your solar installer will usually be the one to file and close out permits, but you should confirm this with your company before signing anything.
  • Licenses: Wisconsin doesn’t require any special licenses for solar installers, but a licensed electrician needs to make the connection to the grid. You should confirm with your installer that someone on the team has the proper license to get your panels connected.
  • Warranties: Solar warranties range from 10 to 30 years in most cases, and they typically cover physical damage, power production and the installation process. Choosing a more comprehensive and long-lasting warranty is often worth the extra cost.
  • HOAs: Thanks to Wisconsin’s solar rights laws, all homeowners in the Badger State are entitled to install solar panel systems, even if they live in strict homeowners’ associations.
  • Environmental zoning: The zoning laws in Wisconsin are conducive to installing rooftop solar systems, so it’s unlikely that you’ll run into any major roadblocks provided your system is properly permitted.

Wisconsin Solar Panel Incentives

Aside from dairy, Wisconsin is perhaps best known for its harsh winters. That may have some people wondering if it’s worth going solar in Wisconsin. However, there are already thousands of Wisconsin residents saving money and reducing their carbon footprint by turning to renewable energy alternatives. And did you know that solar panels are actually more effective in colder conditions?

To encourage the adoption of clean energy sources, federal, state and local governments have implemented financial incentives for going solar. Here are the highlights:

Wisconsin Solar Incentive How it Affects the Cost of Solar Panels in Wisconsin
Property Tax Exemption Installing solar will increase the value of your home, but Wisconsin has laws in place to ensure your property taxes don’t rise due to your clean energy addition.
Sales Tax Exemption In Wisconsin, solar equipment is exempt from the state’s 5% sales tax.
Focus on Energy This statewide solar program offers up to a $500 rebate for qualified home solar installations.
Net Metering Wisconsin requires all utilities to have net metering programs for customers that generate electricity through systems up to 20 kilowatts. This means that you can “sell” your excess electricity back to your power company. (Learn more)
Local Solar Rebates & Incentives Make sure to look up any additional rebates or credits available in your area. For example, the City of Milwaukee offers low-interest loans for homeowners wanting to install solar through its Milwaukee Shines solar energy program.
Federal Solar Tax Credit When you install solar panels on your Wisconsin home, you become eligible for the solar investment tax credit (ITC) — also known as the federal solar tax credit. It’s currently worth 26% of your installed system costs, but it’s set to reduce to 22% in 2023 and be eliminated for residential solar in 2024.

The Best Solar Panel Brands Available in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is home to many solar installers, all of which carry different panel brands. As mentioned above, the brand you choose can have a significant effect on your system price. 

The table below provides some comparative pricing for the best solar panel brands available in Wisconsin. This should help you rule out some brands that might be outside of your budget.

Solar Panel Brand Average Cost Per Watt ($-$$$$$)
LG Solar $$$
Canadian Solar $$$
JA Solar $$
Mission Solar $$
Panasonic $$
Q Cells $$
REC $$$
Silfab $$$
SunPower $$$$$
Tesla $$
Trina Solar $$$

Want to know what size solar system you need for your home and what it will cost? Select one of our top providers below, and we’ll connect you with a local, vetted solar installer that can provide you with a free quote.

Read More About Going Solar

FAQs: Solar Panel Cost Wisconsin

The EcoWatch team gets tons of questions from the state of Wisconsin about solar conversions and what the process will cost for them. Below are the more frequent questions we see, along with our responses. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at solar@ecowatch.com.

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Karsten Neumeister

Solar Expert

Karsten is a researcher, editor, writer and energy specialist focused on environmental, social and cultural development. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the solar energy sector, studying energy policy, climate tech and environmental education. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.