Monday, April 15, 2024

Is Solar Power Worth It In Michigan

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost In Michigan In 2022

Continued growth but also contention in Michigan’s rooftop solar industry

As of January 2022, the average solar panel cost in Michigan is $3.10/W. Given a solar panel system size of 5 kilowatts , an average solar installation in Michigan ranges in cost from $13,175 to $17,825, with the average gross price for solar in Michigan coming in at $15,500. After accounting for the 26% Federal Investment Tax Credit and other state and local solar incentives, the net price you’ll pay for solar can fall by thousands of dollars.

Importantly, these costs are typical for solar shoppers comparing solar quotes on the EnergySage Marketplace. When you compare quotes for solar panels on EnergySage’s competitive solar marketplace, you can expect to see prices up to 20% lower than working with a single solar company. Read our to compare solar panel costs across states and by panel brand.

Solar Is An Investment

Purchasing solar is not like buying a car. Whats different is you could get that same brand/model car from any car dealership and receive basically the same results. Then that car can be serviced by a dozen different mechanics in your area.

Buying solar is very different. Solar companies come and go. If you work with one of these companies goes out of business, you may find it difficult to get help if an issue comes up or you could lose some of the warranty benefits they offered. This is why you should spend time getting to know the company you are considering and not make a decision to purchase solely off the cost.

The solar buying process is a little like getting to know which investment advisor you want to work with. You may have many decisions to make over many years and want to have complete confidence in whom you choose to implement those decisions. Similarly, you want a solar installer that you know has your back 5,10 and even 25 years down the road.

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Energy Independence In Michigan Can Help You

One of the most important benefits of installing solar panels on your home is that you can reach energy independence. When youre energy independent, you arent reliant on the traditional electricity grid to power your home.

First, energy independence means you dont have to worry about power outages. When the power in your neighborhood goes out because of a storm or a downed electrical line, you can keep powering your home with solar energy.

Energy independence can also save you a lot of money. When electricity demand increases, prices tend to spike as well. Luckily, with solar panels, you can power your own home and wont be subject to price spikes when the wholesale cost of electricity goes up.

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The Battle For Rooftop Solar In Michigan

Despite the pandemic, its been a good year for small-scale solar developers in the state.

We’ve been super busy. This is the busiest year we’ve ever had, says Ben Schimpf, a sales representative with Peninsula Solar, based in Marquette and Cedar.

Batteries are more efficient, the price of solar panels has plummeted, and solar customers are no longer restricted to the liberal crowd concerned about their carbon footprint.

We can sell it to essentially both sides of the aisle, says Ian Olmsted, president of Peninsula Solar.

For Olmsted, its obvious why theres so much interest in the technology.

Basically it comes down to price. I mean, you can be sending your kid to college for what you are paying electric rates in the U.P. for, he says.

Yet despite all the potential for residential solar in Michigan, theres a huge cloud hanging over the industry. Olmsted says state policy is crippling expansion especially in the Upper Peninsula.

Michigan should be a boom town a boom state for solar. And were not seeing it, were lagging behind, says Olmsted. We get a D minus for our policy.

According to state law, theres a cap on how people can install rooftop solar and hook up to the electric grid meaning they can share excess electricity with their neighbors and buy energy at night.

We have to turn them away because we know that the cap has been reached and the utility is not going to interconnect them, says Schimpf.

Additional Considerations For Michigan

Dominion Energy Charging Customers New Project Costs

Michigan has no solar carve-out. A solar carve-out is a guarantee that at least some portion of the energy generated will come from solar. With an RPS in place, there is no mechanism to enforce or plan a solar carve-out.

There are no solar rebates in Michigan. With the expiration of the RPS, there has been no legislation to encourage solar energy. States with rebate programs have seen dramatic increases in residential solar participation.

There are no state tax credits to encourage participation in Michigan. State tax credits are a win for both the state and the consumer. For the state, there is no out-of-pocket cost, and for the consumer, there is an incentive to participate.

Michigan has no property tax exemption for the value of home solar systems. Since 2013, you are taxed for the increased property value of adding solar to your home. Not exempting solar discourages participation.

Michigan has no sales tax exemption for solar. Many states exempt home solar from state sales tax, further reducing the actual cost of the system. Michigan charges state tax on solar. This is a very easy, inexpensive change that would greatly increase participation.

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Myth: Solar Panels Attract Lightning

No, solar panels do not attract lightning. While lightning is attracted to the highest items in an area, and solar systems are often present as roof installations, the panels themselves do not attract lightning. Additionally, a grounding rod above the roofs surface can mitigate even the slightest chance of lightning striking during a storm.

How Does The Cost Of Solar Power Compare To The Electricity Rates Charged By Dte

Levelized cost of power from this typical solar system installed on a home in Michigan over 25 years is 6.9 cents/kWh.

Average cost of utility power over 25 years is 26.9 cents/kWh. This shows that solar is a far cheaper way to power your home in Michigan over the long term. The way we calculate the average cost of utility power is by assuming the current DTE electric rates will grow each year at a compound rate of 3.5%. Actual inflation may be higher or lower than this but either way this analysis shows that solar is a clearly better choice.

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Myth: Snow Will Impact Solar Panel Productivity And Upkeep

For the most part, snow on solar panels in Michigan is self clearing. Most panels are installed on an angle, so snow slides off panels naturally. However, if your panels are completely covered in snow, it will halt energy production. To remove snow, most people simply brush off the snow with a rubberized solar panel rake but dont worry about needing to get all of the snow off. All that figures to be necessary is to clear the snow thats in the front of the panel and a portion of the panels surface. When the sun hits the panels, the snow will begin melting and shed the rest of snow, making for an easy cleanup. Even better, the snow can reflect light and help improve PV performance and overall panel productivity.

Solar panels have no moving parts to maintain, and really all that is necessary is cleaning the dust or dirt off roughly twice per year just as you would clear the gutters of your roof at the end of a season.

Account For Tax Credits And Incentives

Solar Energy for Michigan Home Owners

If you have been wondering is solar power worth it, tax credits and incentives may be all you need to hear. The government offers solar panel state incentives for going solar. Most people are eligible for the federal solar tax credit which currently returns 26% of your total installation costs as a credit toward your federal taxes. There may be local incentive programs that stack with the federal credit for even more savings to help ensure your solar panels are worth the investment.

The credit applies to your entire project upfront costs, not just the equipment. Shipping, permitting and contractor fees can all be claimed .

1. Subtract the total value of incentives you can claim from the costs you calculated in steps 2 and 3. That money is paid upfront, but returns to your pocket in the form of a credit come tax season.

Example: * 0.74 = $12,927.06.

Once tax credits have been taken into account, you will have spent about $12,927 to install your system, assuming you hired an installer.

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Michigan Property Tax Exemption

Its a roller coaster ride over the past decade when we discuss Michigans solar property tax exemption. For many years in solar installation, theres a tax exemption but went away under former Governor Rick Snyder in 2013.

Thanks to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who signed the bill to re-establish the property tax exemption for solar again in 2019. What does that mean? It means that taxing your home for property taxes will not include the tens of thousands of dollars value of your solar panels installed on your property.

Michigan Solar Panel Incentives Or Rebates

While initial installation can be costly, there are rebates and incentives to help offset that upfront cost. When it comes to Michigan solar incentives, there are a few different components to consider.

There are several such incentives and rebates at the federal level. A 26 percent federal solar tax credit is available for homeowners who install solar panels on their primary or secondary residence in 2021. As of now, this tax credit is set to expire in 2024 unless Congress renews it. While this has happened before, there is no guarantee that it will be renewed. With that in mind, homeowners interested in solar should consider purchasing a system sooner rather than later to guarantee that they benefit from the tax credit.

The state of Michigan also offers some incentives and rebates. The state offers low-interest loans to purchase and install residential solar systems. Homeowners who generate more electricity than they use can also sell some back to the local grid through a program called net-metering.

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Solar Power Companies In Michigan Center Mi

The following companies do solar power installation and financing in Michigan.

No solar providers found in Michigan. Check back soon or request a quote and we’ll try to find someone to help.

While you can install your own solar panels, it’s definitely not easy. We strongly recommend working with a professional solar power installer. If you have professional construction and roofing experience feel free to read more about DIY systems.

Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit

Powerhome Solar completes project for Benlee in Michigan

The federal solar investment tax credit will have the biggest impact on the cost you will face to go solar inMichigan

This perk is commonly known as the ITC, short for Investment Tax Credit. If you install your photovoltaic system in 2020, the federal tax credit is 26% of the cost of your solar panel system. This is 26% off the entire cost of the system including equipment, labor and permitting.

Example: If your solar energy system costs $20,000, your federal solar tax credit would be $20,000 x 26% = $5,200.

The federal tax credit falls to 22% at the end of 2022.

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Are There Any Incentives For Going Solar In Michigan

The main incentive for going solar in Michigan is the states favorable net metering policy, which requires utilities to give you full credit for any surplus energy your PV system produces. Michigan is lacking in terms of rebates and tax credits for solar power, but the 30% federal tax credit compensates this.

How Much Do You Pay For Electricity

Your current electricity bill is the largest factor in determining how much youll save by installing solar. You pay your utility company for every kilowatt-hour of electricity you use, and your rate varies significantly depending on where you live. In some parts of the country, like the South, you can pay under 12 cents per kWh in others, like the Northeast, you could pay 20 cents or more. When you go solar, you reduce or eliminate your monthly electricity bill, so the amount you pay for electricity substantially impacts your savings.

If youre not sure where to start in determining your solar savings, try using our Solar Calculator. Our calculator incorporates local electricity rate data to provide you with a customized estimate of what you can expect to save, and just how quickly your investment will pay off.

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How Does It Work

A solar panel usually works by allowing particles of light or photos , to free electrons from atoms, which then generates a flow of electricity.

These panels consist of many small units known as Photovoltaic cells .

Such cells, connected consecutively, make a solar panel.

The photovoltaic cell is made up o many different layers of materials, each with a purpose of its own.

The semiconductor layer is the most essential layer of the cell, which is made up of two different layers, usually silicon, P-type, and N-type.

How Much Energy Do Solar Panels Generate

Solar Power Q& A with Michigan Solar Solutions

Solar panels are rated in wattage most solar panels are between 250 and 400 watts. Note that this reflects how many watts a solar panel produces in one hour under optimal conditions in other words, in direct sunlight.

We can calculate how much power a solar panel will generate using the amount of direct sunlight an area gets, on average, per day. For example, in Michigan, there are usually about 4.1 hours of direct sunlight per day.

That means we could expect about 1000 watt-hours of power from a 250 W solar panel each day, or approximately 1 kWh. Conversely, a 400 W solar panel would produce about 1.6 kWh a day.

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What Maintenance Is Required For Solar Panels

There is very little maintenance required for solar panels. It is recommended that you clean your solar panels once or twice a year to avoid dirt and buildup. However, this might not be necessary if your area gets regular rainfall or if your roof is steep, which allows debris to easily fall off.

It is worth checking to see that all junction boxes are sealed and watertight once every five years.

Because there is almost no maintenance required, you dont need to worry about additional maintenance costs.

Can You Buy And Install Your Own Solar Panels To Save Money

It is possible to buy solar panel kits and then organize the installation, permitting, and inspections yourself. Doing this could save you between $2,000 and $3,000 – potentially more.

However, there are some potential pitfalls to install solar yourself. The installation of solar panels is dangerous, as it requires you to do electrical work at great heights. Its also possible that you could damage the equipment, and it can be very difficult to claim a solar warranty when you install on your own. DIY solar projects typically suit those who are contractors, or those who know a qualified solar electrician to help them out.

If you order a DIY solar kit, you can contact a local solar contractor to assist you if you are not comfortable performing the installation on your own. In some cases, however, installers will charge you more for the installation of a DIY solar kit, making it cost the same amount it would have if you hired an installation company to do all of the work. If this is the case, it might not be worth it to install solar on your home with a DIY kit.

Therefore, if you are considering DIY solar panels, we suggest that you get at least one quote from a full-service solar company that will supply the equipment, perform the installation, and handle permitting.

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What Problems Do Solar Panels Cause

There are no known issues that solar panels cause. Some people worry that their roofs may collapse under the weight of a solar array, but their weight is less than 5% of the roofs bearing capacity. Large-scale solar arrays can cause issues with the environment, such as deforestation, so careful urbanistic planning and respect for the environment are needed.

Pros And Cons Of Solar Roofing In Michigan

2 former Michigan mine sites to be repurposed as solar ...

Installing solar roofing in Michigan has many advantages and few drawbacks, but its important to have a clear picture before investing in new roofing and energy technology. Lets look at a few of the perks of going solar as well as some flaws that currently exist in the incentives package.

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On This Page You Can:

  • Learn what solar incentives are available to Michigan homeowners

  • See what Michigan solar incentives you qualify for based on your utility company and city

  • Find out how much these incentives and/or Michigan solar tax credits will reduce your cost to go solar and add batteries

  • Solar Roofing Requires Minimal Maintenance

    Solar panels are easy to maintain, but they do require a little care to keep them functioning at top capacity. They can be washed with just water with no cleaning additives that could abrase the surface. Using a squeegee or brush made for this purpose can help keep panels free of debris. Your panels wont be damaged if you dont clean them and theyre extremely resistant to hail and inclement weather.

    Snow can cover solar roofing in Michigan and diminish its ability to collect light, but wont cause damage to the panels at all. If you choose to remove the snow, the process is simple. Using a long broom, brush the snow away from the panel. You dont even need to remove all of the snow. As the sun heats the surface of the panel, remaining snow will melt away on its own.

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