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  • Written by
    Max Peterson
  • Fact Checked
  • Updated

With Duluth's clear skies and below-average rainfall, it's an ideal area for homeowners and businesses seeking to harness the additional sunlight by buying panels from one of the best solar installers. With all the options to choose from in this urban jungle, you might feel overwhelmed searching for a top-notch contractor. On this page, we'll show you Duluth's leading solar installers and offer valuable advice for your solar journey.

4 Best Solar Companies in Duluth

Brands are algorithmically curated from a database of local service providers near you. We require a minimum number of Google reviews and average ratings for provider inclusion.

Top Rated Provider
Wescom, Inc Logo
Top Rated

Wescom, Inc

4.6/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 36 reviews


5137 Jean Duluth Rd, Duluth, MN 55803

(218) 724-1322

wescominc.com
Optimum Energy Group Logo

Optimum Energy Group

4.5/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 57 reviews


230 W Superior St, Duluth, MN 55802

(844) 849-7094

www.optimumsolargroup.com

Benson Electric Company

4.4/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 49 reviews


1102 N 3rd St, Superior, WI 54880

(715) 394-5547

bensonelectriccompany.com
Wolf Track Energy Logo

Wolf Track Energy

4.7/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 26 reviews


818 6th Ave, Two Harbors, MN 55616

(218) 302-5601

www.wolftrackenergy.com

Ranking Methodology

Our team used the following criteria to determine the best Duluth solar companies.

  • Service offerings and warranties: Solar contractors should stand behind their systems and services with warranties. We evaluated how each company responds to issues and warranty claims, focusing on timeliness and customer happiness.
  • Panel brands and quality: The leading solar companies remain current on new technology, providing equipment from reliable, innovative manufacturers.
  • Professional licensure and experience: Each provider on our list meets state and city licensing requirements and keeps current with industry best practices. Many of them have been a part of the Duluth community for a decade or longer.
  • Reviews and feedback from customers: Most Duluth solar companies have both favorable and unfavorable reviews. However, a good review ratio reflects a company's reliability and responsiveness to issues.
  • Educational programs and business model: Solar technicians must be knowledgeable. They should use their years of experience answer your questions on how to maintain your system and improve its performance.

Facts about Duluth

  • Average Max Temperature:
    48°F
  • Solar Payback Period:
    17 years
  • Average Daily Sunlight:
    48%
  • Homes Powered by Solar:
    2,851
  • Average Annual Energy Bill:
    $1,068
  • Solar Power per Capita:
    17.4%

Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar energy provides numerous advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.

  • Reduced carbon footprint: The sun is the universe's most abundant clean energy source, meaning you can reduce or eliminate your home's dependence on "traditional" sources.
  • Smaller power bills: Producing some or all of your own power will save you money on your electric bills long-term. Plus, some states provide net metering programs that make it possible for you to sell your surplus energy back to the grid, generating additional credits toward your energy bill.
  • Better energy independence: Adding a battery backup or storage system lets you have trustworthy energy during grid outages and storms.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Duluth Homeowners?

Governments and power companies often reward homeowners for switching to solar. Here are some of the rebates, tax credits or other programs you could qualify for.

Incentive Type:Sales Tax Incentive

Incentive Amount:

100% exemption

How To Choose the Best Solar Company in Duluth

Choosing a company is the first step toward an effective and valuable solar energy system. Consider all of these aspects in your service provider search.

Licensing and Training

To install a new photovoltaic system in Minnesota, a contractor must have an electricians' or electrical contractors' license from the Department of Labor and Industry, along with a residential building or remodeling contractors' license in some cases. If their work is regulated by the state's Mechanical Code, they must put up a $25,000 minimum bond with the Department of Labor and Industry. Check for private accreditations from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), among the solar sector's most credible trade groups. Its program includes certifications for both solar photovoltaic and water heating installers.

Cost of Solar Panels in Duluth

The kind of solar panels you purchase determines how much electricity you can produce. Monocrystalline panels and high-quality and cost more but give you the best performance. Polycrystalline panels produce less power, but they're worth it if you want a traditional panel style without the high cost. Thin-film panels aren't meant for large home installations, but they're excellent for small projects like sheds and RVs.

Additional accessories, such as battery storage and electric vehicle (EV) chargers, will increase your overall installation costs. However, they might make your solar system more efficient and convenient to use. Not every solar contractor includes these add-ons, so look for a provider that installs them if it's a priority for you.

If you're a resident of Duluth and are considering getting a five-kilowatt solar energy system, you could expect to pay about $20,150 for parts and installation. See more information on specific component and solar panel costs in the table.

Solar Panel CostAverage Cost
Solar Monocrystalline$1,245
Solar Polycrystalline$971
Thin-Film$568
Solar Battery$797
Solar Home EV Charger$2,988

Financing Solar Energy in Duluth

There are numerous ways to pay for new solar panels, and the right one will help you decrease overhead. A few of the most common options include leases, power purchase agreements (PPAs), cash payments, and loans. Though it involves a large up-front payment, cash is the most affordable choice because it qualifies you for solar incentives and doesn't accrue interest. Solar loans are the second most effective option. As with a home or auto loan, you'll pay a monthly rate towards system ownership, including interest. You can still apply for money-saving solar incentives, and depending on your lender, you could put as little as $0 down. Solar leases allow you to pay a monthly fee to rent your panels, while a PPA lets you pay a variable rate based on only the energy you use. We generally advise against these options since you won't own your system and are disqualified from solar incentives, but they might be appropriate in specific circumstances. Look for providers that offer two or more payment plans to find the right fit for your pocket.

The table below lists the average payback periods for different capacities of solar systems in Duluth.

You are eligible for a 26% federal solar tax credit for new solar power systems until the year 2032. Local and state governments and utility companies might also offer discounts, rebates, and dedicated financing plans that could save you more.

Solar System CapacityEstimated Payback period
1 kW2.3 years
2 kW4.6 years
5 kW11.6 years
10 kW23.1 years

Frequently Asked Questions about Solar in Duluth

Sources

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviewsteam@thisoldhousereviews.com.

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