Frequently Asked Questions About Solar Installations In Wisconsin

You have questions, we have answers!

How much does a solar energy system cost?

While the prices of a solar installation vary depending on many factors, systems start as low as $15,000 after tax credits and rebates. Another popular option is our solar loan offerings allowing a homeowner to go solar with no cash outlay and monthly payments that are usually less than the value of the solar energy produced (solar loan payments are less than your energy bill savings, resulting in immediate savings).

Does solar even work in Wisconsin?

While Wisconsin sees less sunlight in a year than states like Arizona, solar energy systems still provide plenty of energy year-round and can withstand harsh weather conditions like snow, wind, and hail—we’ve never had a solar panel damaged by weather events so far!

Will the system cause my roof to leak?

With the proper racking system, roof attachments, and flashing methods designed specifically for your roof, there will be zero leaks. We believe in spending a bit more money, time, and attention to ensure your system does not adversely affect your rooftop. Ask about our roof leak warranty.

How long does a solar installation take?

Our crew is normally onsite for 1-2 days to build the solar array.

Leading up to that however, we need roughly 30-60 days to get all of the municipal and utility approvals in place. And then once the system is installed, it usually takes another 2-4 weeks to close out the permits and commission the system.

Do I need batteries?

No, batteries are not required as part of a solar installation. Batteries are a good idea if you want backup power for when the grid goes down. Without batteries, the solar array will not provide any backup power during a grid outage.

What is Net Metering?

Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. For example, if a residential customer has a PV system on their roof, it may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours. If the home is net-metered, the electricity meter will run backwards to provide a credit against what electricity is consumed at night or other periods when the home’s electricity use exceeds the system’s output. Customers are only billed for their “net” energy use. Source: SEIA

 

Are there any incentives to go solar in Wisconsin?

There are! For Wisconsin residents, there are two rebates/incentives. The Wisconsin Focus on Energy initiative offers up to $500 in rebates on solar systems and the federal government offers a 26% Solar Tax Credit of the purchase price of your system. The Solar Tax Credit is set to drop to 22% for systems installed in 2023.

What happens when the grid goes down?

A typical grid tied solar array, without battery storage, will also go down when the grid goes down. This is a safety feature designed to protect utility lineman working on the downed wires. The system is designed to shut off so that solar power is not pushed back onto the utility grid when a lineman is working on it.

To keep your solar array up and running during a grid outage, a battery system with automatic transfer switch would need to be installed. They physically disconnects your solar array from the utility grid during a grid outage so the utility lineman are protected.

How is the solar array secured to my roof?

The solar array if basically bolted down to the roof structure. We use the best roof attachment methods to ensure not only a secure system but also a waterproof system. The roof attachments are designed to keep the solar attached to the roof even during the highest winds and also keep the water out! Ask about our Roof Leak Warranty.

What is a "shutdown" and will I need one?

For most We Energies projects, we will need to coordinate a shutdown with them to safely install the new meter socket / pedestal. We also need to coordinate a shutdown with your utility company if you are getting a service panel upgrade.

The shutdown normally starts around 9am with the goal of having power restored by 4pm of the same day. After the power is cut to the home, we perform our work. Then the inspector meets us onsite to verify the quality and if all looks good he/she will call the utility company to restore power to the home. After the inspector leaves, we call the Utility company to verify the reconnect order has been issued. Our crew tries to stay around until power is restored, but the timing of the restoration is out of our hands. If we have to leave, the foreman will walk you through what to expect and provide you with a phone number to call if you have any additional questions or concerns.

What about replacing my roof?

Ideally, the roof we are installing solar on is less than 10 years old and in good condition. A solar array is designed last 25+ years, so we want to make sure the roof will last just as long. In the event that the roof needs to be replaced, then the solar array will need to removed, temporarily stored, and then reinstalled after the new roof is installed. The costs to remove and reinstall a solar array will vary depending on many factors, but is in the $4,000-$15,000 range.

Will my system still be running by the time I've paid it off?

More than likely, yes! We typically see investments in a solar system paid back over an 8-12 year period, and solar systems last for over 25 years! Most of the equipment ordered and installed comes with a 25-year manufacturer warranty—meaning you’ll have years of power-generating life in your paid-off panels.