All solar installations must have an electrical or plumbing permit, plus a building permit  Check out the Milwaukee Solar Permitting Guide for information and resources online.



  • Specific questions on permits and inspections can be directed to the Department of City Development.
    • For Solar Electric Permitting Questions Call:(414) 286-2532
    • For Solar Hot Water Permitting Questions Call:
      • Residential: (414) 286-3361
      • Commercial: (414) 286-3116
  • Are you looking for different solar contact information?


In 2012, the City of Milwaukee passed its first Solar Zoning Ordinance.  The ordinance was drafted and passed on the existing Wisconsin State Statute 66.0401 that limits the authority to restrict a homeowner or business owner's right to install solar.


There are many ways to finance a solar energy project in Milwaukee. Milwaukee Shines has offers many ways to finance your solar energy project that compliments the many state and federal incentive programs.  Milwaukee Shines or a local solar installer can assist in obtaining financing and incentives for a solar energy project.

Click HERE to learn more about low-interest solar loans.

Click HERE to learn about the Milwaukee Power Pack.

Click HERE to learn more about incentives offered at the local, state, and federal level for solar energy.



The Milwaukee Metro Solar Hot Water Business Council works to advance the solar heating and cooling industry while providing connections to a strong solar manufacturing base in Southeast Wisconsin. Milwaukee Shines organized the Solar Hot Water Business Council to help existing Milwaukee area manufacturers tap into a growing solar market product development. Click HERE to learn more about the SHWBC and the first-of-its-kind market analysis.




Know the numbers!  Solar energy is a big energy saver, but is a HUGE money saver too.  Use the online calculator tools below to estimate your energy and money savings at your home or business.  An actual site assessment by a trained professional will be needed to determine the actual costs and benefits of installing an energy system.

  • Solar Estimator - Financial analysis based on provided on energy bill savings you can expect and the net system cost, after tax credits and other incentives are applied.  Estimates provided for both solar electric and solar hot water.
  •  PVWatts (provided via National Renewable Energy Laboratory) provides calculators allowing users to determine their energy production and cost savings of grid-connected solar electric (PV) systems.  They offer two different options for users:
    • Site Specific Data: Offers individual data for specific locations, depicted with as black cross with a yellow center.
    • Grid Data: Allows users to create estimate performance data for any location in the United States and surrounding territories by selected any pointed within one of the 40km grid cells.
  • Solar Hot Water Estimator - RETscreen offers an international clean energy decision support center with a downloadable tool to estimate a solar hot water system.
  • Energy Analysis Tools - A Variety of cross-section calculators from the Department of Energy for analysis activities.



NABCEP - National certification requires coursework through accredited training programs, designing and installing a specified number of solar installs, and passing a professional technical exam. You can find Milwaukee Shines and Me2 Solar Contractors that are NABCEP certified, by looking for this logo:

Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) - Provides training and resources for solar professionals.  Courses are designed to satisfy the knowledge and skill competencies for professional credentialing. 

MATC - The Madison Area Technical College Renewable Energy Certificate is designed to provide students with the theoretical knowledge necessary for a career in energy management and renewable energy technology.  The certificate requests a minimum of 12 credits of coursework.  Students may choose from online or in-class courses in either solar electric (PV) or solar hot water.



Milwaukee Shines works to increase the number of skilled and qualified solar professionals, installers, and site assessors in the Milwaukee area.  The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) has teamed up with Milwaukee Shines to provide trainings and workshops for people who would like to be solar professionals.  Check here regularly for solar and renewable energy events happening in the greater Milwaukee area and in Wisconsin!

Delta Center, Milwaukee
March 6-7, 2013

In conjunction with Sustainability Summit,  in-depth workshops offered on Friday, March 8, 2013.

MREA Advanced Course on National Electric Code: UWM School of Cont. Ed.
Friday, March 8, 2013 • 1-3pm

Intro to Solar Electricity: Urban Ecology Center - Menomonee Valley Branch
Friday, May 10, 2013  •  9 am - 5 pm

The nation's longest running energy education event of its kind!  Workshops, exhibitors, demos, keynote speakers, live entertainment, great food and drink!
June 21- 23 • Custer, WI

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