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Milwaukee Solar Group Buys

Milwaukee Shines partners with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) and the Riverwest Cooperative Alliance to coordinate neighborhood group buys in the City of Milwaukee. The advantage of a group buy is the power of volume purchasing, which can significantly reduce the upfront costs of installing solar in your home or business.  You do not need to be a City of Milwaukee resident to participate - the group buys are open to all Southeastern Wisconsin residents and business owners.

What is a Solar Group Buy? A solar group buy is when community members form a group and use their collective buying power to save on the total cost of going solar. The program can help residents invest in lower cost solar installations through the power of volume purchasing.

Learn more about the program and find out what neighborhoods are currently participating on the Milwaukee Shines Solar Group Buy page!


Photo of a residental rooftop solar panel               Photo of a residential rooftop solar instal

Photo of residental solar panels


Step-by-Step Process Guide for getting solar for your home or business in Milwaukee.

  1. Learn about the types of systems available. The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) provides information and also holds solar workshops. You can view online videos about solar and how it works on the MREA's Grow Solar website.
  2. If you are interested in financing your system, learn more about the Milwaukee Shines Solar Loan Program for homeowners offered through Summit Credit Union or the Focus on Energy Renewable Energy Loan Program for homes and businesses.
  3. Schedule a solar site assessment to help determine which technology is best for your home or business (optional). You can find a list of qualified and certified solar installers on the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) website.  MREA also provides a list of Certified Site Assessors. Please note - there may be a fee for the site assessment. Be sure to get a few bids from installers to find the best fit for your needs.
  4. Make your home or business more energy efficient to maxmize the benefits of solar. The Milwaukee Energy Efficiency (Me2) program can help.
  5. Get preapproval of your residential solar loan through Summit Credit Union to keep your project moving forward smoothly. (If you do not need financing, please disregard this step!)
  6. Select your installer and sign the contract. We recommend getting at least 2-3 bids prior to making your final selection. Focus on Energy has information on how to find and choose solar installers that are eligible for incentives.
  7. Work with your installer to make sure you get all the incentives your system is eligible for.
  8. Have your system installed by your solar installer.
  9. Close on your Milwaukee Shines solar loan if you received financing from Summit Credit Union. Contact your loan officer at Summit Credit Union after the project is complete to close on your loan. Summit will then issue the check for payment directly to your installer.
  10. Enjoy the benefits of your new solar system!

Airial photo of a residental garage rooftop solar panel Photo of a residential rooftop solar panel Photo of a residential solar panel

We Energies Rate Case Decision


The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin made a decision regarding the 2014 We Energies rate case, which affects customers who have solar and other forms of renewable energy to power their homes and businesses. Read more about how this decision impacts solar in Milwaukee.

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Milwaukee Shines Solar Loans

Milwaukee Shines has partnered with Summit Credit Union to offer low-interest solar financing for Milwaukee homeowners.

Summit's special loan terms help make your solar energy improvements easier and more affordable than ever. You have the option to finance up to 100% of the costs approved through the Milwaukee Shines program. Loans are available for as little as $1,000 on up to $20,000, with low rates and flexible repayment terms.


Milwaukee Shines Solar Loans: At-A-Glance:

Summit Credit Union and the City of Milwaukee are offering up to $2 million in low-interest solar loans to help Milwaukee homeowners finance your solar energy systems costs.

  • Eligibile Participants: City of Milwaukee homeowners of 1-3 unit, owner-occupied residences
  • Loan Size: Up to $20,000
  • Interest Rate: Low-interest, fixed rate (as low as prime + 1.50%); check today's rates.
  • Terms: Up to 15 years to repay. No penalties for early payment, no fees, no down payments
  • Eligible Projects: Solar electric systems (up to 6 kW), solar hot air, or solar hot water systems (1-8 panels). Must be installed by a Focus on Energy Residential Ally solar installer
  • Eligible Expenses: All equipment, labor, permits, and interconnection fees. Also structural reinforcement and re-roofing expenses if part of the solar project


How it Works: Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Select a solar installer. It is recommended that you get at least two bids. Your solar installer must be a Focus on Energy Residential Ally.
  2. Apply for your solar loan at Summit Credit Union. Get started!
  3. After your loan has been preapproved, schedule and install your solar project.
  4. Once your project has been completed, contact Summit Credit Union to close on your loan. Summit will issue a check directly to your installer.

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Solar Information & Resources

Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) - Education

We Energies - Information

U.S Department of Energy - Renewable energy technology

NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Pracitioners) - "Gold Standard" for renewable energy certification

Site Assessments

NABCEP List of Certified Solar Professionals

MREA - Site Assessor List


Milwaukee Shines Solar Electric Permitting Process Guide

City of Milwaukee Permit Page


Milwaukee Shines Solar Financing with Summit Credit Union

Me2 Commercial PACE Financing


Focus on Energy - list of installers

NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Pracitioners) - "Gold Standard" for renewable energy certification


Focus on Energy - Incentives

DSIREUSA (Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency) - List of incentives


We Energies - Interconnection information

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