Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy offers multiple perks. Let's look at a few of them.
- Smaller power bills: Sourcing some or all of your own electricity will spend less on electricity long-term.
- Better energy independence: Solar systems with battery backups function through power outages and emergencies, and you won't have to rely on the power grid for your safety and comfort.
- Reduced carbon footprint: Using clean solar power lowers your dependence on conventional, less environmentally-friendly sources.
What Solar Incentives Are Available to Minneapolis Homeowners?
Minnesota homeowners who upgrade to solar could qualify for rebates, special financing, reimbursements and tax credits. Here are just a few of the area's incentive programs.
Incentive Type: Performance-Based IncentiveWebsite: xcelenergy.com
Systems 0.5 kW - 25 kW: $0.005/kWh
Medium-sized Systems 25.1-500 kW: $0.0375/kWh
Large Systems (>500kW): Determined through competitive bid
Incentive Type: Sales Tax Incentive
Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive
Solar: 100% exemption from real property taxes
Wind: 100% exemption from real and personal property taxes
Incentive Type: Sales Tax Incentive
100% of sales tax
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: xcelenergy.com
Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling: $50
Natural Gas Furnace Existing Home: $200-$400
Natural Gas Furnace New Construction: $100-$200
Natural Gas Hot Water Boiler: $100-$400
ECM Furnace: $100
Central AC: $150-$450
Tank Water Heater: $75-$500
Tankless Water Heater: $250
Attic/Wall Insulation: 30% of project cost
Air Sealing: $150-$200
ECM Motor Furnace Fan: $125
Programmable Thermostat: $10
Heat Pumps: $175-$475
Water Heating: $100-$250
Clothes Washer: $10
Ground Source Heat Pump: $150/ton
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: bpu.org
Clothes Washer: $35
Electric Clothes Dryer: $35
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
Heat Pump Water Heater: $250
Air Source Heat Pump: $250
Geothermal Heat Pump: $100/ton
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: connexusenergy.com
EV Charger Installation: $500
Wi-Fi Thermostat: $125
Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostat: Free, with enrollment in PowerNap Wi-Fi Air Conditioning program
Load Control: Varies
Peak-Time Rebate: $1/kWh saved
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: energywisemn.com
Varies by measure and member cooperative offering.
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: whe.org
Ground Source Heat Pump: up to $1,200
Quick Cash Air-Source Heat Pump: up to $900
Quick Cash Air Conditioning: up to $200
Peak Shave Water Heating: $15/kW
Quick Cash Water Heating: Up to $950
Metered Water Storage: $0.06/kWh
Ductless Air Source Heat Pump: $200
Quick Cash Water Storage: up to $300
Dual Fuel: $5/kW
Electric Thermal Storage (ETS) $5/kW
HVAC Electronically Commutated Motor: $50/motor
Pool Pumps: $200-$400
Incentive Type: Loan ProgramWebsite: mnhousing.gov
$15,000. Applicants may be eligible for higher loan and term amounts depending on income
Incentive Type: Performance-Based IncentiveWebsite: mn.gov
1.0¢/kWh for certain hydro facilities in need of repair
Incentive Type: Personal Tax CreditWebsite: ecowatch.com
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 Minneapolis
The more thorough your company research is, the better your photovoltaic system will ultimately operate. Make your choice based on the following crucial aspects.
Different solar panel types look and perform differently. Monocrystalline panels cost more but give you the best performance. Polycrystalline panels offer you a budget panel with a traditional design, but at the cost of less power generation. Thin-film panels aren't the best for large residential installations, but they are excellent accessories for non-traditional roofs.
If you need to charge an electric car or use your solar power in dark weather, you'll usually pay extra for accessories. By choosing the right ones, you can make your system more efficient and convenient to use. Not every solar installer offers these add-ons, so look for a company that has them if it's essential for you.
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. Further check a company's website for private accreditations from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), among the solar industry's most credible trade groups. Its program includes certifications for both solar photovoltaic and water heating installers.
There are a plethora of ways to pay for new solar panels, and the right one will help you decrease overhead. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are cash payments, power purchase agreements (PPAs), solar leases and solar loans. Though it requires a large up-front payment, cash is the most cost-effective choice because it doesn't accrue interest and qualifies you for incentives. Solar loans are the runner-up option. As with a car or home 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 involve paying a set monthly rate to use rooftop panels. A PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) enables you to pay a monthly rate based only on the energy you use, like an electric bill. We typically don't recommend these two choices because you won't own the system and are disqualified from using solar incentives. Ask each installer you're evaluating about the payment options it offers. A representative can help you determine the most suitable option for your financial situation.
Ready to Get a Quote on Your Solar Project?
Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Minneapolis
How much money could I save by going solar in Minneapolis?
How prevalent is solar energy in Minneapolis?
Will solar energy systems raise my Minneapolis home value?
How can I check my site's solar potential?
How long does a common solar system last?
Is solar panel installation a fast job?
How can I maximize my solar panels' performance?
- optimize the panels' position with your solar installer ,
- use energy-efficient appliances ,
- regularly clean your solar panels ,
- upgrade to a more efficient inverter trim or cut down trees in the way of your panels
What is "net metering," and how does it work?
Some states or utilities oblige you to participate in net metering when installing your solar system, while others give you a choice. Either way, once you join, you'll earn a bill credit or check for your excess generation at a retail or wholesale rate.