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Michigan Solar Energy Incentives

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The year 2016 was a big year for solar installations. With more residential systems springing up around the country, there is a clear consumer set standard for energy independence using clean energy. Although very northern states such as Michigan do not get as much sun rays as a state like California, there is plenty of opportunity and necessity for homeowners to go solar. Michigan is currently sitting at 12 th place in the nation’s highest electricity costs, and the state does get enough solar irradiance to merit installing a solar system which will generate a high ROI. Michigan has been working hard over the last decade to incentivize homeowners and businesses to install renewable energy sources. Michigan further encourages new photovoltaic technologies by to claim a tax credit against the Michigan Business Tax.

In 2008 Michigan passed the Renewable Energy Standards (RES) in which, all of Michigan’s utility companies are required to source at least ten percent of their total energy from a renewable energy source. Although the law expired in 2016, the debate as to whether the law will be renewed is still underway, and Michigan’s impressive Net Metering laws are still in place. Michigan may further alter the laws for improvement, and those interested in going solar in the state should keep up to date on the growing incentives for solar investment.

Michigan’s Net Metering Regulations

Michigan’s Net Metering Law allows residential photovoltaic system owners to meter systems up to 15 kilowatts in size. Given the fact that many residential systems range between 2-20 kilowatts, the law covers the majority, if not all, residential systems. Using net metering, homeowners can be credited for future energy consumption on a monthly basis over an indefinite period of time. The utility companies further give a generous cap of 20 kilowatts per month, which can accumulate quickly and lead to deep energy savings during the winter months when the sun is not as prevalent and the output of the system generates less energy than the summer months.

For those who which to eventually go off-grid, the utility companies incentivize the break from the utility company by offering reimbursement from excess energy after the homeowner completely disconnects from the grid. After disconnecting, homeowners should call their utility company and request the reimbursement for the excess. Keeping a record of your utility bills, and net metering from your inverter is advised during this time to ensure that their records match the homeowners.

To find out more about Michigan’s Net Metering Laws checkout the Michigan Government Website

Further, in 2015, Michigan authorized the first community solar installation, which allows homeowners to purchase half kilowatt blocks and receive credits based on the value of the solar module for the standard 25-year life of the modules. To apply, applicants must sign a standard interconnection agreement with the utility company to ensure eligibility for net metering.

In addition to net metering, Michigan continues to grow their renewable energy incentives. The list below shows a portion of Michigan’s ever expanding laws which benefit both home and business owners.


Grant Programs
  • USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
  • Tribal Energy Program Grant
  • Renewable Energy Program Grants
  • Energy Efficiency Grants
Loan Programs
  • Energy Revolving Loan Fund
  • Michigan Saves Home Energy Loan Program
  • Fannie Mae Green Initiative
  • Michigan Saves - Business Energy Financing
  • Energy-Efficient Mortgages
  • USDA - Bio-refinery Assistance Program
  • City of Detroit - SmartBuildings Detroit Green Fund Loan
  • Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs)
Interconnection
  • Interconnection Standards
Green Power Purchasing
  • City of Ann Arbor - Green Power Purchasing
  • City of Grand Rapids - Green Power Purchasing Policy
  • City of Lansing - Green Power Purchasing Policy
Generation Disclosure
  • Fuel Mix and Emissions Disclosure
Building Energy Code
  • Building Energy Code
Industry Recruitment / Support
  • Renewable Energy Renaissance Zones
  • Non-Refundable Business Activity Tax Credit
  • Refundable Payroll Tax Credit
Rebate Programs
  • Consumers Energy (Electric) - Residential Energy Efficiency Program
  • Consumers Energy (Electric) - Commercial Energy Efficiency Program
  • Coldwater Board of Public Utilities - Commercial and Industrial Energy Effficiency Rebate Program
  • Coldwater Board of Public Utilities - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
  • Lansing Board of Water and Light - Hometown Energy Savers Commercial Rebates
  • Efficiency United (Gas) - Commercial Efficiency Program
  • Efficiency United (Gas) - Residential Efficiency Program
  • Great Lakes Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
  • Energy Smart - Commercial and Industrial Energy Efficiency Rebate Program (20 Municipalities)
  • DTE Energy - Commercial New Construction Energy Efficiency Program
  • Consumers Energy (Gas) - Commercial Energy Efficiency Program
  • Lansing Board of Water and Light - Hometown Energy Savers Residential Rebates
  • Energy Optimization (Electric) - Residential Efficiency Program
  • Consumers Energy (Gas) - Residential Energy Efficiency Program
Property Tax Incentive
  • Biomass Gasification and Methane Digester Property Tax Exemption
Solar / Wind Contractor Licensing
  • Solar Heating Contractor Licensing
Energy Standards for Public Buildings
  • City of Grand Rapids - Green Building Requirements for Municipal Buildings
  • Energy Goals and Standards for Federal Government
  • Energy Efficiency in State Buildings
Renewables Portfolio Standard
  • Renewable Energy Standard
PACE Financing
  • City of Ann Arbor - PACE Financing
  • Local Option - Property Assessed Clean Energy
  • Lean and Green Michigan PACE
Appliance / Equipment Efficiency Standards
  • Federal Appliance Standards
Net Metering
  • Net Metering
Personal Tax Credit
  • Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Corporate Tax Credit
  • Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
Feed-In Tariff
  • Consumers Energy - Experimental Advanced Renewable Program
Corporate Tax Exemption
  • Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Corporate)


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