Comprehensive FAQ on Solar Panel Installation in Michigan: All You Should Know

Comprehensive FAQ on Solar Panel Installation in Michigan

Living in Michigan presents unique opportunities for harnessing solar energy, especially considering the state’s susceptibility to frequent power outages, particularly during harsh winter storms.

Despite receiving approximately 17% less sunshine annually than the U.S. average, Michigan’s robust energy policies rank 13th in the nation, highlighting its potential for solar adoption.

With 170 sunny days per year, the state boasts solar viability of 78%, indicating that over three-quarters of residential, commercial, and governmental buildings are conducive to solar panel installation.

This guide aims to assist residents in navigating the solar panel installation process amidst Michigan’s promising solar landscape.

The popularity of solar panel installation in Michigan

Michigan’s aim to generate 60% of its electricity from renewables by 2030, coupled with plans to phase out coal power plants, is driving the surge in solar installations. While wind power has historically dominated, recent years have witnessed a remarkable uptick in solar capacity.

Michigan boasts 1,314 megawatts of installed solar energy, powering over 230,000 homes. Despite the expanding industry, legislative support for community solar hinders its growth.

However, numerous solar panel installation service providers now operate in Michigan, catering to diverse market segments.

Solar panel installation cost in Michigan

Solar panel installation costs in Michigan vary based on system size, equipment quality, and installation complexity.

On average, residential installations range from $12,650 to $16,650 before incentives, with commercial projects typically higher.

Despite the initial investment, long-term savings from reduced energy bills and available incentives make solar panels a financially viable option for Michigan residents and businesses.

solar panel installation cost

Solar financing options in Michigan

Solar financing options in Michigan include:

  • Loans: Allows homeowners to spread costs over time.
  • Leases: Offers no upfront payment, with homeowners paying a fixed monthly fee.
  • Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs): Homeowners buy solar power at a predetermined rate, often lower than utility rates.

Solar rebates and incentives in Michigan

The following incentives substantially lower upfront costs, making solar panel adoption more accessible and financially appealing for residents and businesses in Michigan:

Distributed Generation Program & Net Metering

Michigan’s Distributed Generation Program allows customers to generate electricity on-site and receive credits for excess power fed back into the grid.

These credits offset future energy bills through net metering, effectively spinning the meter backward. This incentivizes renewable energy adoption, including solar, by reducing upfront costs and ensuring a favorable return on investment.

Community solar projects in Michigan

Community solar projects in Michigan enable multiple participants to share benefits from a single solar array, regardless of whether they can install panels on their property.

These projects offer subscription-based models where participants receive credits on their energy bills based on power generated.

However, Michigan lacks legislation supporting community solar, hindering its widespread adoption despite its potential to democratize access to renewable energy.

Are there solar panel installation companies in Michigan?

Here are some solar panel installation companies operating in Michigan:

  • Michigan Solar Solutions: Provides comprehensive solar services, including design, installation, and maintenance, focusing on energy efficiency.
  • SunPower: Recognized for its high-efficiency solar panels and innovative technology, offering sustainable energy solutions for residential and commercial clients nationwide.
  • Tesla Solar: Known for its cutting-edge solar products and integrated energy solutions, providing reliable and efficient solar panel installations for homeowners and businesses.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it worth getting solar in Michigan?

Getting solar in Michigan is a worthwhile investment. Despite receiving slightly less sunshine than the national average, Michigan’s robust energy policies and federal and state incentives make solar panel installation financially attractive.

With rising utility costs and a desire for clean energy, investing in solar can offer long-term savings and environmental benefits.

Do I need a license to install solar panels in Michigan?

You typically need a license to install solar panels in Michigan. Contractors must also be licensed by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) or hold an electrical contractor’s license.

Ensuring that your installer is qualified and complies with all state regulations for safe and efficient installation is essential.

Is there free solar panel installation in Michigan?

While some programs may offer free solar panel installation in Michigan through community or government initiatives, most installations involve upfront costs.

However, various financing options, incentives, and rebates can significantly reduce these costs, making solar more affordable and accessible for homeowners and businesses.

Is it better to lease or buy solar panels in Michigan?

Deciding between leasing or purchasing solar panels in Michigan depends on individual circumstances. Buying panels outright offers ownership, eligibility for solar panel incentives like tax credits, and long-term savings.

Leasing may require little to no upfront cost but may limit financial benefits and ownership rights. Consulting with a solar provider can help determine the most suitable choice based on your financial goals and preferences.

Do solar panels work in Michigan winter?

Solar panels can still generate electricity during Michigan winters. While snow and shorter daylight hours may affect overall production, modern solar panels are designed to be efficient even in colder climates.

Additionally, snow often melts quickly on solar panels due to their heat absorption properties, allowing them to continue functioning effectively throughout winter.

Read: Answering Common Questions About Solar Panels and Snow

solar panels for cold climates

What solar panels should I install in Michigan?

When choosing types of solar panels for Michigan, opt for high-efficiency panels with proven performance in colder climates. Brands like SunPower and Tesla Solar offer premium panels known for their durability and efficiency in varying weather conditions.

Seeking advice from a reputable solar installer can help determine the best panels based on your specific needs and budget.

Do solar panels increase home value in Michigan?

Solar panels can increase home value in Michigan. Homes with solar panels can sell for more than those without, with an average of 4% potential increases.

Additionally, solar panels can make homes more attractive to buyers, especially those looking for energy-efficient and environmentally friendly features.

Are solar panels exempt from property taxes in Michigan?

In Michigan, solar panels installed on residential properties are generally exempt from property taxes under the state’s Renewable Energy Personal Property Tax Exemption.

This exemption applies to the value the solar energy system adds to the property, providing additional monetary incentives to homeowners who invest in solar energy. However, it’s essential to verify the specific tax policies in your area with local authorities or a tax professional.


Solar panel installation in Michigan represents a promising path for environmental conservation and financial savings. Despite the state’s unique weather challenges, advancements in technology and supportive policies have made solar energy increasingly accessible and beneficial for residents and businesses alike.

With various financing options, incentives, and reputable solar installers available, embracing solar power in Michigan offers a pathway toward sustainable energy independence while contributing to a greener future.

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