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To date, it’s true: Michigan hasn’t been at the forefront of solar power development in the United States. The Solar Energy Industries Association ranked Michigan 30th in solar energy for 2018 based on a variety of factors, including the number of homes with installed solar (25,398), the percentage of electricity the state gets from solar (0.21%), and the number of solar jobs (4,196).1
Still, there are plenty of Michiganders who would love to save money on their utility bills by going solar, especially since Michigan homeowners pay an average of 16 cents/kWh for electricity, more than 2 cents above the national average.2 Many people interested in solar are also motivated by the wish to do something positive for the environment. And although some people think solar power couldn’t work in a state known for cold, snowy winters, they couldn’t be more wrong. Detroit gets an average of 4.2 hours of full sun per day over the course of a year, certainly enough to support solar.3 Plus, solar panels actually perform well when it’s cold; in fact, cold temperatures typically improve panel output.4
Michigan has Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) that require utilities to increase their production of energy from renewable energy sources, which encourages utilities to offer solar incentives to homeowners. Michigan has had an RPS law since 2008, and it was updated in 2016 to mandate 15% of all electricity must come from renewables by 2021.5
So, if you live in Michigan and are considering installing solar panels, LG Solar salutes you! A number of programs are available to help you go solar and get the greatest value possible out of your solar investment.
Michigan does offer a Distributed Generation (Net Metering) Program that enables the state’s utility, cooperative and AES customers to develop on-site renewable energy electric generation projects, including solar panel systems, to meet some or all of their electric energy needs and decrease their electric bills. The project must supply only the amount of energy needed to meet a customer's overall energy needs. The customer can then reduce their electricity bills by using their generated electricity "behind the meter" and receiving a credit for excess generation.8 As of December 2016, Michigan had more than 2,500 customers in the program. Ask your local LG PRO solar installer about Net Metering options in your community.
Michigan Saves is a non-profit organization dedicated to making energy improvements easy and affordable in the state. The group offers a Home Energy Loan Program that provides low-interest financing options for residents who want to take steps to make their homes more energy-efficient, including installing solar panels.9
PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Financing is a program that will loan the entire cost of an eligible energy upgrade to a homeowner to be repaid over time with no extra bills to keep track of because the cost is added to the homeowner's property tax bill. In Michigan, Lean & Green Michigan allows a property owner who wants to invest in comprehensive energy efficiency, water efficiency and renewable energy projects to voluntarily enter into a special assessment agreement, which it pays off as part of its property tax bill over the next 15 to 25 years.10
1. “Michigan Solar.” SEIA. April 11, 2019. Web.
2. “Your 2019 guide to getting solar panels for your home in Michigan.”
SolarPowerRocks.com. April 11, 2019. Web.
4. “Can solar panels produce power in the winter?” EnergySage. April 11, 2019. Web.
5. “Your 2019 guide to getting solar panels for your home in Michigan.” SolarPowerRocks.com.
April 11, 2019. Web.
6. “Solar Investment Tax Credit.” SEIA. April 11, 2019. Web.
7. “Federal Government of the United States. "Title 26 - Internal Revenue Code". Federal
Government of the United States. Federal Government of the United States. p.520. n.d. Web.
https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2011-title26/pdf/USCODE-2011-title26-subtitleA-chap1-subchapB-partIII-sec136.pdf. 10 Dec. 2018.
8. “Distributed Generation (Net Metering) Program.” LARA Public Service Commission. April
11, 2019. Web.
9. “Michigan Saves Residential Financing.” Michigan Saves. April 11, 2019. Web.
10. “How PACE Financing Works.” Lean & Green Michigan. April 11, 2019. Web.