In Wisconsin, volatile energy prices are hurting the bottom line and family budgets. We’re sending over $12 billion dollars every year to other states to buy and import energy. This bleeds money from Wisconsin’s economy, and limits our opportunities to lead in the fast-growing clean energy innovation sector.

But Wisconsinites can change that. We have an opportunity to usher in a safer, more reliable and more prosperous energy future. We can urge policymakers to make energy freedom a priority.

Energy freedom is about establishing sound and effective policies and incentives that give Wisconsinites the ability to own and control the energy they use. Right now, our state lacks clear policies allowing homeowners and businesses to produce their own on-site clean power (also known as distributed generation). These policies are in place in dozens of other states, where they have cut costs for businesses and families, sparked innovation,  created new jobs, and promoted a healthier and cleaner environment. Wisconsin deserves no less.

Have questions? Want to learn more about this issue? See below.

Property owners across the country are installing rooftop solar energy, small-scale wind turbines, methane digesters, and other on-site clean energy sources. By producing their own power, families, businesses and farmers are cutting energy costs, reducing reliance on volatile sources of energy, and promoting a cleaner and healthier environment.

Wisconsin has no clear policies in place to advance energy freedom or explicitly allow property owners to produce their own power. There are restrictions on net metering, and it’s not clear whether state law allows third-party purchase agreements for solar power.

There are several possible policy and financing mechanisms that could help to promote Energy Freedom in Wisconsin, including:

  • Third-Party Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs): Third-party power purchase agreements are common and tested financing mechanisms that allow consumers to install rooftop solar panels on their property at no upfront cost. It’s not clear whether Wisconsin law allows third-party PPAs.
  • Net Metering: Wisconsin currently restricts net-metering programs to energy systems under 20 kW, or 100 kW for customers of We Energies. Net metering is a billing mechanism that allows consumers to sell the excess on-site energy they produce back to the grid.
  • Community Solar Gardens. Property owners can pay to receive their electricity from centrally-located solar PV systems known as Community Solar Gardens.