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Wisconsin Solar Incentives and Tax Credits

Wisconsin's Focus on Energy rebate and federal tax credits cover about 30% of the purchase price of solar.
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Wisconsin Solar Rebates 

Customers of most Wisconsin utilities, including We Energies and Alliant Energy, are eligible for the Wisconsin Focus on Energy rebate when they purchase a qualifying solar panel system.

This rebate is worth $200 / kW AC of installed capacity, up to $1000 per system.  Most of our customers would get the full $1,000 rebate.

When you decide to move forward with an installation, we make a reservation with the state to ensure you get the payment you expect.  Then, when your installation is complete, we file all the necessary forms for you.  You will receive your rebate check in the mail about 10 weeks later.

The best way to estimate the size of the incentive you can receive for your home is to consult with a residential solar expert like Certasun. Fill out the form below for a completely free, no-obligation consultation!

Federal Solar Tax Credits 

The federal government also offers an incentive for residential solar, in the form of a tax credit. For systems installed in 2020, the credit is 26% of the cost of the system. It declines to 22% for systems installed in 2021.

A Tax Credit is Not a Tax Deduction

A tax credit is a direct reduction in the amount of tax you owe. If you have a $10,000 credit you would pay $10,000 less in taxes than you would otherwise owe. Many taxpayers are more familiar with tax deductions, which reduce the amount of income that is taxed. A tax credit is much more valuable.

Claiming the Solar Tax Credit

Unlike the Wisconsin Focus on Energy rebate, which Certasun can and does apply for on your behalf, you must claim the federal incentives on your own tax return.

There is one additional form involved: Form 5695: Residential Energy Credits. On line 1 of this form you enter the cost of your solar system. In our example, this is $20,000. The video here shows how to fill this out. After filling out the rest of form 5695, you take the result to line 53 of Form 1040.

Residential Solar Tax Credits and Estimated Taxes

If you are required to file quarterly estimated taxes, you can take advantage of the federal incentives almost immediately after installing your system. (If you are required to file estimated taxes, you already know who you are. If you don’t know what estimated taxes are, you can skip this section.) Estimated taxes are based on the amount of tax liability you expect to have for a given year. Let’s assume our taxpayer above is required to make estimated tax payments. Since our taxpayer would expect to owe $5,200 less in taxes than she otherwise would because of the tax credits, she could reduce her estimated payments by $1,300 each quarter.

The Inevitable Disclaimer

You had to know this was coming, right? Certasun is not your tax preparer, accountant, or lawyer. We are not giving you individualized tax advice. You should consult your own advisors about your particular situation.

Let Us Tell You More

Certasun would be more than happy to explain more about both the Wisconsin Focus on Energy rebate and federal tax credit. Sign up for a completely free, no-obligation consultation. We will provide a quote for a system for your particular home, calculate the value of the incentives, and clearly explain your financing options. Fill out the form below or call us at (312) 638-0800!

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