Is It Worth It To Install Solar Panels In Michigan?

PV panels operate at their best under sunny skies, so if you’re considering installing solar panels in Michigan, you’ve probably got some questions.

Michigan may be one of the cloudiest states in the USA, but modern, highly efficient solar panels can generate electricity when clouds lurk overhead. So, it’s not all doom and gloom for those who’d like to get on board with this type of sustainable energy.

man in blue shirt and black pants sitting on roof with a solar panel in his hands

Photo by Kindel Media

Read on to explore the ins and outs of solar panel installation in Michigan.

Solar incentives in Michigan

Michigan doesn’t offer any solar rebates, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save on the cost of your solar installation in this state. Some of the attractive incentives on offer include:

Michigan Saves home energy loan program

Michigan Saves is the nation’s first nonprofit green bank, offering competitive home improvement loans for Michigan residents who want to install eco-friendly energy measures in their homes. 

The bank works with local credit unions to offer low-down payments and low-cost loans for green upgrades. Loan terms depend on the total project costs and offer interest rates starting from 6.90% over 180 months.

Michigan property tax exemption

In 2019, Governor Gretchen Whitmer reinstated a property tax exemption for homes with renewable energy systems. This means homeowners don’t pay increased property taxes when installing solar panels increases their home value.

When one takes into account that the average solar system can increase a home’s value by over 4%, this can add up to worthwhile savings over the years.

Net metering and distibuted generation in Michigan

Many homeowners agree that switching from net metering to distributed generation doesn’t work for them, but changes are underway regardless.

So, while the new system for selling electricity back to the grid offers smaller savings than net metering, homeowners will still receive an attractive credit when they sell back unused energy to power companies.

Federal solar tax credit

The long-running solar tax credit offers savings to all US residents when they install solar power. This incentive means homeowners can deduct 30% of their solar costs in Michigan from their annual income tax. 

The federal tax credit is set to expire in 2032, but it’s only valid until 2032. After that, the savings drop to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034. Unless Congress decides otherwise, this incentive will expire in 2035.

Affordable solar options

You can only benefit from the federal tax credit if you pay for your solar panels in cash, but there are other ways to save if you can’t afford to pay for a solar system upfront. For instance, affordable solar services in Grand Rapids Michigan include solar leases, PPAs, and custom packages.

The benefits of solar panels in Michigan

The average cost to install a residential solar system is around $25,300, but you can cut this cost to around $17,700 thanks to the above solar savings in Michigan. You’ll also get to enjoy several other benefits and cost savings when you implement solar solutions for your home.

You’ll also experience huge savings on electricity, depending on a few factors:

Your energy needs

You can save up to 100% on your electricity bill when you install off-grid solar in Michigan. This means you’ll rely entirely on solar power to keep your home running efficiently.

To achieve this, you must install battery backup power to store excess electricity during peak solar production times. You can harness this backup energy at night when your solar panels aren’t producing power.

If you opt for grid-connected solar, you’ll save on battery backup as any excess electricity goes back into the grid. When darkness falls, you can switch over to the grid.

You’ll receive a discount on any electricity you use, so you’ll still save on your electricity bills. 

Unless you can afford to pay cash for your solar system, you’ll need to take out a solar loan or sign up for a PPA or solar lease if you want to access solar power. You must compare the costs associated with these monthly payments to your average electricity bill to determine whether solar panels are a good choice for you.

You can cut your electricity use at home by installing tankless or gas-powered water heaters, energy-saving lights, and gas appliances. However, you’ll need to add the cost of this to the price of your installation to determine if it’s worth going solar.

Your home’s roof

The more electricity you use in your home, the more solar panels you’ll need. If you have a small or irregularly shaped roof, you might not have enough space to accommodate the required number of PV panels.

Ideally, your installer should be able to install your panels on a south-facing surface to ensure maximum energy production. If your roof faces another direction, you’ll need to install more panels or more expensive ones.

Finally, if your roof is due for replacement, you’ll need to do this before installing solar panels. If you don’t, you’ll need to pay for solar installers to remove the panels before you replace your roof and then re-install them again afterward.

Your location

Your exact location can play a major role in your solar panels’ efficiency. If you live in an exceptionally cloudy part of Michigan, you’ll need to install more solar panels.

Shade can also impact your PV panels’ productivity. If your home is overshadowed by large trees, it’s best to remove them before installing your solar system. The extra cost associated with this will affect how much you save in the long run.

It’s best to contact a reputable Michigan solar company to help you figure out the cost of a solar installation, depending on the above factors.

Don’t delay installing solar panels in Michigan

Installing solar panels in Michigan offers enormous benefits for homeowners. It also offers significant benefits to the environment.

Yet, solar power isn’t the ideal solution for everyone. Factors like your location, energy needs, and roof can all impact whether it’s a good fit for you. It’s best to consult with an experienced solar installer before you decide. 

Are you curious to discover more home improvement tips? Browse my blog for insights into simplifying your daily life, and check back regularly for updates.

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