See your electricity usage history: Find out how much electricity you used in the past 12 months. Start by logging into your account history.
Size it right: BWL pays incentives only on systems designed to offset the amount of electricity you typically use over a 12-month period. The average residential system size is about 2 kW, and requires approximately 200 square feet of roof space with solar access. Solar panels should be mounted to face south/southwest and cannot be obstructed by shade.
Your best savings will always be the energy you don’t use. To maximize the benefits of having your own solar power system, make sure the electricity it generates is not lost to energy-inefficiency in your home or business. Learn more here about saving energy and money in your home, as well as rebates and incentives.
You’ve analyzed the savings potential of installing a solar power system on your home and taken steps to make your home more energy efficient. Good. Now it’s time to begin.
Selecting a contractor: To install a solar electricity system on your home or business, you will need to work directly with a solar contractor. They will help with the permitting as well as the application process. For your own peace of mind, it’s best to talk to more than one contractor to evaluate them not only on price, but also on their expertise. The Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association maintains a list of solar contractors (the BWL does not endorse specific contractors).
Assessing costs: With solar power becoming more available, equipment costs are declining. Installed system costs can be as little as $4-5 per watt or perhaps even less. Financing through Michigan Saves is available for qualifying solar PV systems.
Incentives: The BWL offers a solar PV rebate of $500 per installed kilowatt, up to $2,000 (4 kW). The Solar Rebate Application must be submitted to receive this incentive. The federal government also offers a tax incentive of 30% of qualified expenditures for a solar PV system.
Prior to the contractor beginning work on your new solar power system, you must submit an Interconnection and Net Metering Application.
Ask BWL: For questions or more information about solar electricity for your home, email firstname.lastname@example.org.