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  • Written by
    Max Peterson
  • Fact Checked
  • Updated

Rapid City homeowners are increasingly using solar panels to power their homes and heat their water. While embracing solar power comes with upfront costs, local homeowners could ultimately save $1,100 per kilowatt on their electric bills. A professional technician can help you select the best panels to maximize your savings. On this page, we'll showcase Rapid City's top solar installers and give expert advice for your solar journey.

2 Best Solar Companies in Rapid City

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
Black Hills Solar, Inc. Logo
Top Rated

Black Hills Solar, Inc.

4.7/5

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

Based on 9 reviews


1950 Samco Rd Suite 7, Rapid City, SD 57702

(605) 702-2510

blackhillssolar.com
GenPro Energy Solutions Logo

GenPro Energy Solutions

4.4/5

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

Based on 32 reviews


13261 Timberline Plaza, Piedmont, SD 57769

(605) 341-9920

www.genproenergy.com

Ranking Methodology

Our team has screened dozens of solar contractors near Rapid City, focusing on the following criteria:

  • Professional licensure and experience: Each installer on our list meets state and city licensing requirements and stays up to date with industry best practices. Many of them have been a part of the Rapid City community for over 15 years.
  • Panel quality and brand offerings: The top solar companies remain current on new technology, providing equipment from reliable, innovative manufacturers.
  • Educational programs and business model: Solar technicians must be knowledgeable. They should tap into their years of experience address your questions on how to care for your system and maximize its performance.
  • Service offerings and warranties: Solar contractors should stand behind their systems and services with warranties. We evaluated how each installer responds to issues and warranty claims, focusing on timeliness and customer happiness.
  • Reviews and feedback from customers: Most Rapid City solar installers have both positive and critical reviews. However, a good review ratio demonstrates a company's dependability and responsiveness to issues.

Facts about Rapid City

  • Average Max Temperature:
    58°F
  • Solar Payback Period:
    12 years
  • Average Daily Sunlight:
    55%
  • Homes Powered by Solar:
    0
  • Average Annual Energy Bill:
    $1,635
  • Solar Power per Capita:
    32.6%

Benefits of Solar Energy

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

  • Reduced carbon footprint: Embracing solar is a surefire way to minimize your carbon footprint and home fossil fuel dependency.
  • Lowered energy bills: Solar panels let you generate your own energy to power your home, minimizing your periodic electricity costs. Going off-grid can eliminate your bills completely. Plus, a significant number of states offer net metering, which permit you to earn money by selling your unused energy back to the grid.
  • Better energy independence: Photovoltaic solar panel systems with battery backups and storage systems work through power outages and emergencies, and you won't have to rely on the grid for your safety and well-being.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Rapid City Homeowners?

South Dakota homeowners who go solar could qualify for tax credits, special financing, rebates and reimbursements. Here are just a few of the local incentive programs.

Incentive Type:Property Tax Incentive

Incentive Amount:

$50,000 or 70% of the assessed value of eligible property, whichever is greater, is exempt

How To Choose the Best Solar Company in Rapid City

Choosing a company is the first step toward an effective and cost-efficient solar array. Make your choice based on the following essential elements.

Licensing and Training

South Dakota's Department of Labor and Regulation issues electrical contractors' licenses, which your chosen contractor legally needs to perform solar panel work. For solar thermal systems, you'll need a licensed plumber to connect the system to water mains. You should also visit a company's website to learn about its private credentials. Two of the most prestigious are the PV Installation Professional and Solar Heating Installer certificates, backed 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 Rapid City

Different solar panel types look and perform differently. Monocrystalline panels offer the best energy production but cost more than other options and generally have the highest quality. 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.

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

You can plan to spend about $17,900 on average for a five-kilowatt solar energy system in Rapid City. Use the table in this section to get an idea of the amount Rapid City solar companies might quote for your specific solar system's price.

Solar Panel CostAverage Cost
Solar Monocrystalline$1,037.86
Solar Polycrystalline$809.53
Thin-Film$473.26
Solar Battery$664.23
Solar Home EV Charger$2,490.86

Financing Solar Energy in Rapid City

Solar installers use multiple different financing options to increase your savings and lower your costs. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are solar leases, power purchase agreements (PPAs), cash payments and solar loans. 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 solar incentives. Solar loans have the same benefits, though you'll pay more in total due to interest and fees. Like an auto or home loan, you'll pay a set monthly rate with as little as $0 down. Solar leases allow you to pay a monthly rate to rent your panels, while a power purchase agreement lets you pay a variable rate based on only the energy you use. We generally advise against these options since you will not have ownership of your system and are disqualified from solar incentives, but they might be appropriate in specific circumstances. Look for installers 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 Rapid City.

You can claim a 26% federal solar 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 CapacityEstimated Payback period
1 kW2.1 years
2 kW4.1 years
5 kW10.3 years
10 kW20.7 years

Frequently Asked Questions about Solar in Rapid City

Sources

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