Best Solar Companies in Wisconsin

We compared 66 brands and chose the top solar energy companies

    • Customer service
      SunPower
      3.5(2,281)
    • Easy sign-up process
      Green Home Systems
      3.2(51)
    • DIY projects
      ShopSolar
      4.7(149)

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      Best Solar Companies in Wisconsin

      If you've been thinking about going solar in Wisconsin but aren’t sure where to start, you’re not alone. We’re here to help you compare your options and get the best deal.

      The ConsumerAffairs Research Team compared popular solar companies on ratings and reviews, equipment options, warranties, availability and other factors to choose the top picks for this guide. Read the full methodology for all the details. Our picks may be Authorized Partners that compensate us — this does not affect our recommendations or evaluations but may impact the order in which companies appear.

      Our top solar company picks

      1. SunPower
      2. Green Home Systems
      3. ShopSolar
      Why trust ConsumerAffairs?
      • Our recommendations are based on what reviewers say.
      • 4,481,718 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
      • We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
      • We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
      • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.

      Compare the best solar companies in Wisconsin

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      The 3 best solar companies reviewed

      SunPower

      Buyer's Choice Award Winner
      Max. panel efficiency
      22.8%
      Payment options
      Cash, loan, lease
      Warranty
      25 years
      Year founded
      1985
      2x Award Winner
      Selected for having one of the highest satisfaction rates for Best Customer Service and Best for Installation

      SunPower is a top national company with high-efficiency solar panel technology. We like that its SunVault storage battery is excellent for maximizing energy savings during peak rate times.

      What really sets SunPower apart, though, is its seamless solar panel installation process. Local reps evaluate your home energy needs, design a custom system, help secure any necessary permits and work out financing options. They work with local installers on Wisconsin projects, and then SunPower’s monitoring app lets you track the system’s performance once everything is complete.

      SunPower benefits

      • 35+ years of experience
      • Comprehensive 25-year warranty
      • Battery storage options
      • Energy monitoring services
      • Ongoing support

      SunPower is a reliable solar company with comprehensive services, but it’s not the cheapest option. Your upfront costs tend to be a little higher than other companies. It’s also a huge company with locations all over the country. If direct, in-person communication is important to you, consider working with a smaller operation or hiring locally.

      SunPower’s “Complete Confidence Warranty” covers your entire solar energy system for 25 years, including the panels, inverter, racking and monitoring. The company repairs or replaces equipment at no cost to you (including labor and shipping).

      Financing options

      • Loans: Qualified customers can find reasonable rates with no money down. All financing approvals and processing happen through the mySunPower online portal.
      • Leases: Customers pay a monthly fee to use solar panels that SunPower owns. SunPower reimburses you if your solar system doesn’t perform as guaranteed. You can transfer the agreement to a new buyer if you sell your home.
      Our pick for easy sign-up process
      Max. panel efficiency
      20%
      Payment options
      Cash, loan
      Warranty
      25 years
      Year founded
      2017

      Green Home Systems offers a wide range of solar energy solutions, from panels and inverters to batteries and additional accessories. They install equipment from brands we trust, including Panasonic, Qcells and Enphase. You can also get Generac backup generators, IronRidge racking systems and Span Smart electrical panels.

      Happy customers tell us about smooth installations and significant savings on energy costs. One verified customer in Wisconsin told us the panels are working “pretty good” after about a year. “But the last two months in the wintertime, it didn't show. We have to wait until another bill comes in. Other than that, we've had no problem,” they said.

      The process starts with a free quote. During the consultation, the company’s reps look at your property and analyze current electricity bills. Green Home Systems then designs a solar panel system to meet your household’s energy needs.

      Green Home Systems benefits

      • Quality solar equipment
      • PERC (passivated emitter rear cell) technology
      • Financing available
      • Energy storage options
      • 25-year guarantee

      Green Home Systems might not be the best fit if you’re on a tight deadline. Some customers in other states have told us about installation delays.

      Green Home Systems provides a 25-year warranty on solar panels and inverters. Batteries come with a 10-year warranty.

      Payment options

      • Cash: You can pay for your solar energy system upfront, which gives you immediate ownership and potentially better long-term savings on electricity costs.
      • Loan: You can finance through a solar loan with annual percentage rates (APRs) starting at 0.99% (on approved credit).

      ShopSolar

      Buyer's Choice Award Winner
      Max. panel efficiency
      Varies
      Payment options
      Cash, loan
      Warranty
      Varies
      Year founded
      2018
      1x Award Winner
      Selected for having one of the highest satisfaction rates for Best Customer Service

      ShopSolar is a great option if you’re buying solar equipment for do-it-yourself projects. It has a nice selection of equipment, fast deliveries and good communication. You can find new and used solar panels, solar storage batteries, inverters, charge controllers, cabling and hardware, mounts and racks — everything needed for an off-grid or hybrid setup.

      Like other happy customers, Faith in Hillsboro told us she had a “great experience” with ShopSolar sales reps. “Everything worked out just fine. I was pleased in every way,” she said. “If I needed more of something, I would start with ShopSolar because everything was very satisfactory. They were cheaper than anywhere else I could get what I wanted.”

      The online company stocks brands like Panasonic, REC, Renogy, Canadian Solar and EcoFlow, plus it sells custom solar kits. Orders typically arrive within 10 business days.

      ShopSolar benefits

      • Great for homes, RVs and outbuildings
      • Free shipping
      • Price-match guarantee
      • 30-day return policy
      • Lifetime customer support

      Some customers experienced problems with their purchases, such as damaged or faulty equipment, but ShopSolarKits generally resolved these issues with refunds or replacements.

      The really important thing to keep in mind is that ShopSolar doesn’t offer professional installation services. So, it’s best to know a little about solar panels and electrical work. Otherwise, you might get frustrated with the process or install something incorrectly.

      » DIY SOLAR PANELS: Pros, cons and installation guide

      ShopSolar is an authorized distributor of all the brands it sells, so all solar equipment is covered by the individual manufacturers’ warranties. If you run into a warranty issue, reps can help you contact the equipment manufacturer.

      Payment options

      • Online payments: ShopSolar accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Venmo, Shop Pay and Diners Club International.
      • Financing: ShopSolar partners with Affirm on financing. Customers can make payments every two weeks or once a month for up to 36 months. Rates range from 0% to 36% APR.

      Wisconsin solar panel buyers guide

      Our team has talked to thousands of solar customers across the country — here’s what to expect and what to look out for.

      Key insights

      • A professional solar panel installation can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 or more.
      • The federal solar tax credit is the most significant way to lower the cost of buying solar panels. You won’t be eligible if you lease the equipment.
      • The best solar energy companies have a few things in common: great reviews, transparent contracts, reliable equipment and comprehensive warranties.

      How much does it cost to install solar panels in Wisconsin?

      The cost to go solar in Wisconsin has fallen 47% over the last 10 years.

      Solar panel costs in Wisconsin are comparable to the national average of around $18,000 for a 6-kilowatt system (that price drops to $12,600 after factoring in the full federal solar investment tax credit).

      The size of your system plays a big role in how much it costs overall. The price also varies depending on which installer you hire and if you need a solar storage battery. Solar storage battery costs are sometimes almost as much as the panels. Storage batteries are a must if you want real energy independence and essential if you go off-grid.

      » COMPARE: Solar costs in other states

      How can I pay for solar panels?

      You could pay the full cost of your solar panels upfront, but many choose to finance their system through a solar loan. It works like most other types of loans — there is an application process, and you pay the loan back over time with interest.

      Alternatively, you can lease solar panels. There are pros and cons to leasing. It’s sometimes cheaper in the short term, but you’ll be disqualified from some of the best financial incentives, including the federal solar investment tax credit.

      » SOLAR PANELS: Lease vs. buy

      What solar incentives are available in Wisconsin?

      The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the most significant way to make installing panels more affordable. The ITC is a federal income tax credit worth 30% of your system’s total cost, including equipment, labor and permits. ITC is not a rebate or a refund, and any unused portion rolls over into the next tax year.

      Homeowners may also take advantage of solar tax breaks, rebates and loan programs in Wisconsin.

      » EXPLORE: Wisconsin solar incentives

      Net metering in Wisconsin

      Net metering lets Wisconsin homeowners get credits for extra electricity their solar panels generate. The goal of net metering is to let you produce enough renewable electricity for your own home's needs but not drastically more than what you use. Any credits that are more than a year old will expire. Here's how it works:

      1. Your home's electricity meter keeps track of both the electricity used from the utility company and any extra electricity fed into the grid from your solar panels or other system.
      2. At the end of each billing period, your utility company looks at whether your system put more electricity into the grid than you pulled out.
      3. If you put back more than you used, you get a credit towards next month's bill for the extra amount. In Wisconsin, compensation for net metering is a credit on your next month’s electricity bill. If your net excess generation (NEG) exceeds $25, the company must pay you.

      How do I choose a solar company in Wisconsin?

      The best solar energy companies have a few things in common: fantastic reviews, transparent pricing, reliable equipment and comprehensive warranties. When hiring a solar installer in Wisconsin, here is what you'll want to look for:

      • A long time in business: Look for companies with plenty of experience installing solar panels in Wisconsin. It makes it easier to navigate regulations, permits and available financial incentives.
      • A good reputation: Research the company's track record and read reviews. Look out for red flags — complaints about misleading sales tactics, equipment failures, billing issues and lack of communication are common themes in negative solar company reviews.
      • Comprehensive service: Consider if you want a solar storage battery, electric vehicle (EV) charger or a monitoring system to ensure optimal output. It’s also smart to ask about critter guards in Wisconsin.
      • Free consultations: Get multiple quotes from different solar companies to compare prices and services. Be cautious of companies that provide significantly lower quotes than others — this may indicate lower quality.
      • Licensed, insured and certified: Ensure the company is appropriately licensed, insured and has NABCEP-certified installers. This protects you and shows the employees take their business seriously.
      • Transparent terms: Carefully review proposals and financials carefully, understand legal considerations and ask about maintenance before signing an agreement with any solar company. If you don’t understand something about the payment terms, warranty or ongoing services, ask.

      » TIPS: Get the best solar quotes

      Are solar panels worth it in Wisconsin?

      Solar panels can be a great investment in Wisconsin. For a lot of homeowners, it ends up being worth it for the long-term savings on energy bills and better energy independence.

      Like a lot of homeowners, Nathaniel in Eau Claire said he went solar “to save the planet and save a little money as well.” He said the installation process took about three months, and then it took another month to “finally go through all the loopholes of PNM and power company and what not.” Since, he’s been overall satisfied with the decision to go solar. Others we’ve talked to have similar experiences.

      It’s a common misconception that solar panels always eliminate your monthly power bill — this is not always the case. On the bright side, people who still have a bill after going solar typically pay significantly less than before. The return on investment of a solar panel installation depends on the efficiency and size of your system.

      Most Wisconsinites need an 8.5-kW system to offset 100% of their electricity bills, according to EnergySage. This size system typically costs between $24,871 and $27,980 ($17,410 to $19,586 after using the full federal solar investment tax credit (ITC). Considering expected annual increases in electricity costs, Wisconsin homeowners with solar panels can save $47,200 over 20 years.

      » STILL NOT SURE? Solar energy pros and cons

      Methodology: How we picked the best solar companies in Wisconsin

      The ConsumerAffairs Research Team objectively evaluates solar providers to highlight those best equipped to meet most homeowners' needs. To choose our top picks for this guide, we started with 31 popular providers. First, we narrowed it down to the ones available in Wisconsin. We then weighted several key features to get our final rankings:

      Reviews, ratings and testimonials: 40%
      We analyzed verified customer reviews and ratings to gauge real-world satisfaction.

      Overall reputation: 20%
      We considered each company's history, mission and value. Companies with generally positive feedback on our site scored highest in this aspect.

      Warranties: 20%
      A long warranty is important. We compared both product and craftsmanship warranties available from our top picks. All of our top picks have warranties of at least 25 years.

      Equipment selection: 10%
      We evaluated each company’s selection of solar panels, storage batteries and inverters. Those with proprietary technology or a wide equipment selection from trusted brands ranked highest.

      Monitoring and maintenance: 10%
      We gave preference to companies that offer real-time monitoring, regular maintenance services and solid after-sales support.

      To recap, our top picks for the best solar companies in Wisconsin are:

      • Our pick for customer service: SunPower
      • Our pick for easy sign-up process: Green Home Systems
      • Our pick for DIY projects: ShopSolar

      Guide sources

      ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:

      1. DSIRE, “Wisconsin Solar Programs.” Accessed Feb. 1, 2024.
      2. EnergySage, “The cost of solar panels in Wisconsin.” Accessed Feb. 1, 2024.
      3. EnergySage, “Cost of electricity in Wisconsin.” Accessed Feb. 1, 2024.
      4. Solar Energy Industries Association, “Wisconsin Solar.” Accessed Feb. 1, 2024.
      5. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, “Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics.” Accessed Feb. 1, 2024.

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