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Best 4 Solar Companies in Duluth, MN

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Written By Max Peterson | Last Updated: February 05, 2024

With Duluth's clear skies and below-average rainfall, it's an ideal area for homeowners and businesses aiming to harness the additional sunlight. With all the options to choose from in this concrete jungle, you might feel swamped searching for an excellent company. In this article, we'll showcase Duluth's best solar providers and offer advice for your company choice, so you can find the perfect one for your residence.

Best High-Efficiency System
4.8
  • Builds custom, high-efficiency solar systems suited to each home
  • Extensive coverage area throughout the country
  • Offers energy storage and EV charger add-ons

Top Duluth Solar Companies

Benson Electric Company Logo

Benson Electric Company

4.5/5
Based on 45 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Commercial Panels Skilled Repairs Emergency Services Full-Service Residential Panels Maintenance

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Reliable customer support
  • Informative resources
1102 N 3rd St, Superior, WI 715-394-5547 bensonelectriccompany.com
Wescom, Inc Logo

Wescom

4.4/5
Based on 19 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Residential Panels Skilled Repairs Maintenance Consultation

Highlights

  • Informative resources
  • Prompt service delivery
  • Reliable customer support
5137 Jean Duluth Rd, Duluth, MN 218-724-1322 wescominc.com
Wolf Track Energy Logo

Wolf Track Energy

4.7/5
Based on 21 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Commercial Panels Financing Assistance Consultation Battery Storage Residential Panels

Highlights

  • Reliable customer support
  • Informative resources
  • Clear pricing policy
818 6th Ave, Two Harbors, MN 218-302-5601 wolftrackenergy.com

Ranking Methodology

We evaluated a multitude of Duluth solar installers, using the following criteria to determine the finest:

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Facts about Duluth
Average Max Temp: 48°F
Solar Payback Period: 11.6 years
Average Daily Sunlight: 48%
Homes Powered by Solar: 2,851
Average Annual Energy Bill: $1,068
Solar Power per Capita Percentile: 48.0%

Expert Tips By

This Old House empowers homeowners with the knowledge and tools they need to tackle various projects and navigate the complexities of homeownership.

Benefits of Solar Energy

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

  • Reduced carbon footprint: Adopting solar is a surefire way to lower your carbon footprint and home fossil fuel dependency.
  • Lowered energy bills: You can dodge the expensive cost of grid-tied power by creating some electricity at home.
  • Better energy independence: Solar systems with energy storage function through power outages and emergencies, and you won't have to rely on the grid for your safety and comfort.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Duluth Homeowners?

Minnesota agencies and electric companies offer a number of solar incentives to help minimize your solar system costs. Check out a breakdown of eligible solar programs where you live.

Incentive Type: Sales Tax Incentive

Incentive Amount:

100% exemption

Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive

Incentive Amount:

Solar: 100% exemption from real property taxes
Wind: 100% exemption from real and personal property taxes

Incentive Type: Sales Tax Incentive

Incentive Amount:

100% of sales tax

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: bpu.org

Incentive Amount:

Dishwasher: $35
Clothes Washer: $35
Electric Clothes Dryer: $35
Refrigerator: $35
Freezer: $35
Dehumidifier: $20
Room/Window A/C: $35
High Efficiency Electric Water Heater: $35
Central A/C Tune-Up: $35
Central A/C: $200-$350
Mini Split/Ductless A/C: $250
ECM Replacement Motor: $100
Furnaces: $200-$375
Heat Pump Water Heater: $250
Air Source Heat Pump: $250
Geothermal Heat Pump: $100/ton

Incentive Type: Loan Program

Website: connexusenergy.com

Incentive Amount:

$7,500
OR
$20,000

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: energywisemn.com

Incentive Amount:

Varies by measure and member cooperative offering.

Incentive Type: Loan Program

Website: mncee.org

Incentive Amount:

$20,000

Incentive Type: Loan Program

Website: mnhousing.gov

Incentive Amount:

$15,000. Applicants may be eligible for higher loan and term amounts depending on income

Incentive Type: Performance-Based Incentive

Website: mn.gov

Incentive Amount:

1.5¢/kWh
1.0¢/kWh for certain hydro facilities in need of repair

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: mnpower.com

Incentive Amount:

$0.56/kWh estimated production in the first year

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: mnpower.com

Incentive Amount:

Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling: $50
Refrigerator: $30
Freezer: $30
Dehumidifier: $25
Central AC: $50
Air Source Heat Pump: $300-$1200
Electronically Commutated Motors: Varies, see program website
Ground Source Heat Pump: $200-$400 per ton plus $200 for ECM motor
Smart Thermostat: $75
Lighting: $3-$15
Ceiling Fan: $10
Heat Pump Water Heater: $400
Drain Water Heat Recovery: $400

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: mnpower.com

Incentive Amount:

Comprehensive Measures: $2,000
Central A/C: $50
Drain Water Heat Recovery unit: $400
Air Source Heat Pumps: $50 - $1,000
Drain Water Heat Recovery Unit: $400
Ground Source Heat Pump: $200-$300
Electronically Commutated Motors: $200-$600 (higher incentive levels are in combination with central AC or Air Source Heat Pumps)

ENERGY STAR Appliances:
Refrigerator: $30
Freezer: $30
Dehumidifier: $10
Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling: $50
Heat Pump Water Heater: $50
LED Bulbs: $3-$5
LED Fixtures: $10 - $15

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: lakecountrypower.coop

Incentive Amount:

Geothermal Heat Pump: $400 per ton
Ductless Air-source Heat Pump: $450- $750
Heat Pump Water Heater: $500
EC Motors: $25/motor
Replacement Refrigerator/Freezer with Recycling: $25
Refrigerator or Freezer (Recycling only): $25
Dehumidifier: $25
Clothes Dryer: $25
WiFi Thermostat: $25
LED Bulbs: $1/bulb
LED Yard Lights: $25/fixture

Incentive Type: Personal Tax Credit

Website: ecowatch.com

Incentive Amount:

30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.

How To Choose the Best Solar Company in Duluth

The more informed your company investigation is, the better your solar panels will ultimately function. Here are some crucial criteria to bear in mind while searching for a solar installer.

Licensing and Training

To install a new photovoltaic system in Minnesota, a contractor must have an electrical contractors' or electricians' 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 have a $25,000 minimum bond with the Department of Labor and Industry. Solar companies can also pursue accreditations from trade groups and standards organizations. The top ones in the industry come from the NABCEP. Most company websites will prominently display earned credentials, but you should also ask your estimator for more information.

Cost of Solar Panels in Duluth

Different solar panel types look and perform differently. Monocrystalline panels cost more than other options, but they generate the most power. Polycrystalline panels provide a lower price point but produce less power. Thin-film panels work well for small projects like RVs and sheds, but they're not ideal for larger installations due to their low performance.

If you want to charge an electric car or use your solar power in cloudy weather, you can pay extra for add-ons. By selecting the right components, you can make your panel array more efficient and user-friendly. Not every solar company includes these optional components, so look for a contractor that sells them if it's crucial for you.

If you're a resident of Duluth and are considering getting a five-kilowatt solar energy system, you could plan to spend about $20,150 for materials and labor. Find more information on specific component and panel costs in the table.

Solar Panel Cost Average 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

Solar installers use multiple different financing options to lower your costs and increase your savings. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are power purchase agreements (PPAs), solar leases, solar loans and cash payments. Most solar experts recommend paying cash or using a solar loan. Cash payments require a large up-front sum, but they save you from paying interest, grant you system ownership, and qualify you for cost-saving incentives. Solar loans have the same benefits, though you'll pay more in total due to interest and fees. Similar to a car or home loan, you'll pay a set monthly rate with 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 don't recommend these options since you will not have ownership of your system and are disqualified from solar incentives, but they might be suitable in certain circumstances. We recommend working with a contractor that offers multiple financing options. Ask each consultant about what's available, and secure more than one estimate for the best odds of keeping within your budget.

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

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

Solar System Capacity Estimated Payback period
1 kW 2.3 years
2 kW 4.6 years
5 kW 11.6 years
10 kW 23.1 years

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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Duluth

How much energy and money could I save per year by switching to solar?

Most Duluth homeowners spend about $1,068 on energy each year. Your costs could drop by $834.12 for each kilowatt you generate after you pay off a solar array.

How widespread is solar energy in Duluth?

Yes, solar energy is gaining popularity in Duluth. Some homes already use solar power on-site or through utility grids, and they're fortified by a state solar economy with 4335 job opportunities and counting.

Will solar energy systems boost my Duluth home price?

Yes, solar panels will boost your property value. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, for every dollar you reduce on energy bills, your home value increases by $20. So, if your panels save you $600 per year on energy costs, your property could appreciate $12,000.

Could I still use solar power if I live in a dark, wooded, or rainy area?

A solar setup could still operate in dark areas. Your technician will position your panels to capture the most sunlight possible. They might also recommend a back-up power source to keep your system functioning at its best.

What size should my new Duluth solar system be?

The average Duluth solar system size is 7.6 kilowatts (kW). However, your final system size depends on your family's power consumption. Your surrounding shading, roof size, and panel model could also impact your final result. A professional solar contractor will consider these factors and determine the right array size for your home.

How long does it take to pay back a solar loan in Duluth?

Most Duluth homeowners pay back a solar loan in 16.9 years. You can shorten the payback period by paying off extra loan principal each month.

Should I get quotes from multiple Duluth solar companies?

Yes, we recommend requesting free solar quotes from at least three companies. You should review each quote and compare prework scope and costs, labor fees, equipment costs, financing options and warranty details. Ensure each quote provides an itemized financial plan and includes your expected payback period.

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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