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Best 5 Solar Companies in St. Paul, MN

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

With St. Paul's clear skies and below-average rainfall, it's a great area for families and businesses looking to harness the added sunlight. With all the options to choose from in this urban jungle, you might feel swamped searching for the right provider. In this article, we'll show you St. Paul's best solar providers and offer tips for your company choice, so you can find the ideal 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 St. Paul Solar Companies

iSolar Logo

iSolar

4.6/5
Based on 27 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Maintenance Cleaning Commercial Panels Residential Panels Consultation Financing Assistance

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Free quotes
  • Reliable customer support
455 Broadway Ave, St Paul Park, MN 651-565-1140 isolarmn.com
US Solar - United States Solar Corporation Logo

US Solar - United States Solar Corporation

4.4/5
Based on 115 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Residential Panels Community Solar Projects

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Reliable customer support
  • Informative resources
100 N 6th St #410b, Minneapolis, MN 612-260-2230 us-solar.com
Cedar Creek Energy Logo

Cedar Creek Energy

4.7/5
Based on 60 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Consultation Commercial Panels Ev Charger Community Solar Projects Residential Panels Maintenance Solar Carports Battery Storage Financing Assistance Tesla Powerwall

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Informative resources
  • Free quotes
10361 Jamestown St Ne, Blaine, MN 763-432-5261 cedarcreekenergy.com
Apadana Solar Technologies Logo

Apadana Solar Technologies

4.4/5
Based on 20 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Solar Panel Upgrades Residential Panels Financing Assistance Commercial Panels Community Solar Projects

Highlights

  • Prompt service delivery
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Informative resources
3401 Nevada Ave N, New Hope, MN 612-803-9000 apadanasolartech.com

More Local Solar Companies

Everlight Solar

User Reviews: 4.4/5 

7369 Hwy 13 W
Savage, MN 55379

SolarPod

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

2915 133rd St W
Shakopee, MN 55379

Wolf River Electric Company

User Reviews: 5/5 

101 Isanti Parkway Northeast Suite G
Isanti, MN 55040

Everlight Solar

User Reviews: 4.1/5 

10501 Winnetka Ave N Suite 170
Brooklyn Park, MN 55445

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

Ranking Methodology

We evaluated a multitude of St. Paul solar providers, using the following criteria to choose the best:

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Facts about St. Paul
Average Max Temp: 53°F
Solar Payback Period: 11.6 years
Average Daily Sunlight: 51%
Homes Powered by Solar: 10,195
Average Annual Energy Bill: $1,279
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: Using clean solar power means you're less dependent on fossil fuels, which emit harmful greenhouse gasses.
  • Reduced energy costs: Producing some or all of your own electricity will spend less on electricity long-term.
  • Better energy independence: Solar energy can keep your home powered through blackouts and emergencies. You can use your solar energy anytime with optional battery backup.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to St. Paul Homeowners?

Minnesota agencies and electric companies offer numerous solar incentives to help lower your solar system costs. Here is a breakdown of eligible solar programs where you live.

Incentive Type: Performance-Based Incentive

Website: xcelenergy.com

Incentive Amount:

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 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: xcelenergy.com

Incentive Amount:

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
Furnaces: $200-$425
Boilers: $125-$400
ECM Motor Furnace Fan: $125
Programmable Thermostat: $10
Heat Pumps: $175-$475
Water Heating: $100-$250
Clothes Washer: $10
Refrigerator: $15
Ground Source Heat Pump: $150/ton

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: Grant Program

Website: xcelenergy.com

Incentive Amount:

Varies

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: dakotaelectric.com

Incentive Amount:

LEDs: up to $2/bulb
LED Yard Light: $30/fixture
Clothes Dryer: $25
Central AC/Heat Pump Tune-Up: $25
Central A/C Installation: $280- $330 depending on SEER rating
Air-Source Heat Pump Installation: $480- $630 depending on SEER rating
Ductless Air-Source Heat Pump: $300 - $500
Geothermal Heat Pump: $400/ton
Electric Thermal Storage Heat: $50/kW
Electric Water Heater: Up to $400
Heat Pump Water Heater: up to $400
Refrigerator: $75
Freezer: $75
Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling: $75
ECM Furnace Motor: $100
Pool Pump Variable Speed Motor: $200
Air-Source Heat Pump Pool Heater: $400
Solar Panel Installation: $0.50/watt of installed solar, not to exceed $4,000
Load Management: Varies

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 St. Paul

The purchase price and effectiveness of solar panels often hinge on the solar company that installed them. Make your choice based on the following key factors.

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 carry a $25,000 minimum bond with the Department of Labor and Industry. You should also visit a company's website to learn about its private certifications. Two of the most respected are the PV Installation Professional and Solar Heating Installer certificates, granted by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Some companies don't publish this information online, so you should also ask your estimator about them.

Cost of Solar Panels in St. Paul

Your solar modules' type will influence how much electricity you can produce. Monocrystalline panels perform the best but cost the most. Polycrystalline panels offer you a budget panel with a traditional design, but at the cost of less power generation. Thin-film panels are excellent for non-traditional roof shapes and cost the least, but don't work well for large residential installations.

Additional accessories, such as electric vehicle (EV) chargers and battery storage, will increase your overall costs. However, they might make your solar system more efficient and convenient to use. Not all solar companies include these extras, so look for a company that installs them if it's important for you.

If you're a resident of St. Paul 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 $1,285
Solar Polycrystalline $1,002
Thin-Film $586
Solar Battery $822
Solar Home EV Charger $3,084

Financing Solar Energy in St. Paul

There are many ways to pay for new solar panels, and the right one will help you decrease overhead. A few of the most common options include power purchase agreements (PPAs), leases, loans, and cash payments. 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 second most effective option. As with a car loan or mortgage, 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 let you use your panels for a fixed monthly rate, while PPAs let you pay only for the energy you use, similar to an electric bill. Both options disqualify you for solar incentives and don't grant you system ownership. Solar experts generally don't recommend them, but they might be suitable in some cases. Ask each installer you're evaluating about the payment options it offers. A staff member can help you determine the optimal option for your pocketbook.

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

You can claim a 26% federal tax credit from the IRS for new residential solar systems purchased before 2032. Additionally, local governments and utilities may have their own rebates and financing plans that could reduce your total cost even 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 St. Paul

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

On average, St. Paul homeowners pay approximately $1,279 per year on energy bills. Once you repay your solar array, you could reduce your costs by $994.20 per kilowatt you produce.

Is solar energy readily available in St. Paul?

Yes, solar energy is readily available in St. Paul. A growing number of local homes already use solar power on-site or through utility grids, and Minnesota has about 4335 jobs making up its solar economy.

Should I anticipate a property value increase after installing solar panels?

Yes, new solar systems mean higher property values according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL.) Homeowners could project a $20 property value increase for each dollar they save on energy. Therefore, $600 in energy savings could increase your home's value by $12,000.

How can I evaluate my site's solar viability?

One common way to calculate your home's solar viability is by using PVWatts. This powerful free tool considers panel efficiency, tree cover, local weather and topography, and system size to determine how much energy your array could generate. However, it's not a substitute for consulting with a solar expert, who can build a full estimate with the most updated data.

What upkeep do my solar panels need, and how often do they need it?

Solar panels don't require much upkeep to keep working well. All you'll need to do is clean and inspect the panels every six months or as necessary in dusty seasons. Solar installers frequently offer maintenance packages to assist in your system's care.

What is the average payback period for St. Paul solar panels?

The average payback period for a solar loan in St. Paul is 14.2 years. By paying off extra principal each month, you can shorten the payback period and own your system faster.

What is "net metering," and how does it work?

Net metering is a system that credits solar homeowners for any excess electricity they generate and send back to the grid.

Some states or energy providers oblige you to participate in net metering when installing your solar system, while others give you a choice. Either way, once you participate, you'll earn a check or bill credit for your excess generation at a wholesale or retail rate.

What are the signs I shouldn't use a particular solar company for my job?

Even the most renowned St. Paul solar installers will have both favorable and negative reviews. To make the most informed decision possible, focus on these warning signs to know if a company isn't worth your time:
  • High-pressure sales tactics
  • Not being straightforward about warranties, cost, references and training and credentials
  • Limited or no customization
  • Rushing through the site assessment
  • Limited online information

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

Sources