5 Best Solar Companies in Minnesota (2023)
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Minnesota is one of 20 states committed to converting to 100% carbon-free energy by 2040, according to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI). The state offers several incentives to support this initiative and make solar more affordable for homeowners. Our team spent more than 80 hours researching top solar installers to find the best companies and ways to save. Keep reading to learn about our picks in Minnesota plus get tips for narrowing down your choices.
Compare Solar Companies Across MN
|Star Rating||Best For||Location Presence||Link|
|SunPower||Best High-Efficiency System||50 States||Get Quote|
|Blue Raven||Most Reputable||18 States||Get Quote|
|Tesla Solar||Best Solar Tech||50 States||Get Quote|
|All Energy Solar||Best Full-Service Installer||5 States||Get Quote|
|MN Solar and More||Best Local Minnesota Installer||1 State||Get Quote|
|Best For||Best High-Efficiency System|
|Location Presence||50 States|
|All Energy Solar|
|Best For||Best Full-Service Installer|
|Location Presence||5 States|
Minnesota’s Top Solar Energy Companies
- SunPower: Most Energy-Efficient
- Blue Raven Solar: Best Benefits
- Tesla: Best Availability
- All Energy Solar: Best Full-Service Installer
- MN Solar: Best Local Minnesota Installer
SunPower: Most Energy-Efficient
SunPower pairs in-house components paired with high-efficiency solar panels to create a streamlined system designed for maximum energy production.
*All BBB ratings are current as of May 2023.
Learn more: SunPower review
Blue Raven Solar: Most Reputable
Blue Raven has one of the best reputations in the solar industry among both its customers and employees.
Learn more: Blue Raven Solar review
Tesla: Best Availability
Tesla offers the best availability with third-party installers in all 50 states, including Minnesota. The company produces high-tech solar products, including solar panels, roofing, and the popular Tesla Powerwall battery.
Learn more: Tesla Solar review
All Energy Solar: Best Full-Service Installer
All Energy Solar offers various solar services, including in-house installation, solar batteries, EV chargers, and system monitoring. The company also offers roofing services and holds official building and electrical contractor licenses.
Learn more: All Energy Solar review
MN Solar and More, LLC: Best Local Minnesota Installer
MN Solar limits its installations to the Twin Cities metro area, providing Minnesota residents a more focused solar experience.
Solar Incentives in Minnesota
Minnesota offers several solar incentives and rebates to make going solar more affordable. These incentives lower your solar panel system cost, eliminate state sales taxes, and offer ongoing credits for using renewable energy. We’ll review the available Minnesota incentives below.
The federal solar tax credit provides a federal tax deduction equal to 30% of your solar installation costs. You must legally own your solar system to qualify, meaning you must pay for your system in full or take out a loan. Solar leasing and PPA customers are disqualified.
Minnesota offers two state tax credits that don’t require additional applications or qualifications. The Minnesota Sales Tax Exemption eliminates the state’s 6.875% sales tax on all solar products. The state’s Wind and Solar-Electric (PV) Systems Property Tax Exemption also prevents you from paying additional property tax for your solar system, even though it increases your home value.
Minnesota mandates net-metering for all energy companies, electric cooperatives, and municipal utilities in the state. These programs allow you to sell your excess solar energy to the grid in exchange for credits on your electric bills or cash payouts, depending on your utility company.
Some utility companies and city-specific programs offer additional one-time rebates for converting to clean energy. We recommend checking the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) to view all incentives in your area.
What To Look For in a Solar Company
Solar companies offer varying services, warranties, and financing options. We’ve compiled this list of top features to look for when shopping for a provider.
Solar installers may provide installation through an in-house team or rely on third-party installers. When reading solar customer reviews, we noticed that some homeowners experienced communication issues when working with third-party installers.
We recommend looking for companies that offer added services, such as system monitoring through dedicated apps or web portals. These tools help you keep your system working optimally and let you monitor its performance. In select cases, companies may offer full-home energy audits to improve your energy efficiency and reduce your carbon footprint.
Warranties and Power Production Guarantees
System warranties vary between companies but could include separate warranties for solar components or a comprehensive warranty for the entire system. During our research, we found that a typical solar company offers a 10-year product or manufacturer warranty covering component defects and issues. Workmanship warranties protect against problems caused by faulty installation. Typical solar panels last 25 years or more, so we recommend choosing companies with at least two decades of warranty coverage to protect your system throughout its lifetime.
Many solar installers also include power production guarantees that outline your panels’ expected power production at the end of your warranty. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), panels degrade in efficiency by 0.5% per year. Power production guarantees can last 10–15 years for cheap solar panels or 25 years for top-quality options.
Most solar companies offer two or more payment options, including cash payments or solar loans. These options make you the legal owner of your system and qualify you for solar incentives, credits, and rebates that save you money. Note that solar loans will increase your overall investment due to interest rates.
Selecting a solar lease means you’ll pay monthly installments to rent your solar panels. A power purchase agreement (PPA) means you’ll pay monthly only for the energy you use, similar to an electric bill. Both options keep system ownership with your provider and disqualify you from incentives.
How To Get a Solar Quote in Minnesota
You should request quotes from multiple companies before making a decision. Compare each quote to verify all included costs, labor expenses, and estimated savings. We’ve provided an overview of the typical solar quote process below.
- Contact the solar company: Contact the solar company via an online form or by phone. When we called solar companies for sample quotes, we spoke with a representative who verified we were eligible for solar and that the installer serviced our area. You’ll need to provide your address for this confirmation. After speaking with a representative, you’ll schedule either an in-person or virtual consultation. Someone will contact you at the email or phone number you entered online if you choose to request a quote that way.
- Assess your energy needs: During your consultation you’ll review your average energy usage and determine the right system for your home. You’ll need your most current energy bill for this step. We found during our shopping experiences that some companies ask for multiple months of bills to check for seasonal fluctuations. We recommend having at least three months of statements handy for your consultation.
- Review your home design and roof space: The representative will check your available roof space to determine your solar project size. The rep will also check for nearby objects or trees that could impact your solar panel performance. Finally, they’ll assess your roof’s condition and recommend necessary repairs or updates. Virtual consultations use satellite imaging to assess your home design.
- Build your project: You’ll receive a finalized quote complete with a detailed inventory of all essential equipment. You can add solar batteries or electric vehicle (EV) chargers to your system if available. Your solar quote will include all system costs, pricing, and warranty information. You’ll also receive information about available financing options and local solar incentives. Finally, you’ll receive details about your expected payback period, or the time it will take for your system to pay for itself.
We recommend SunPower as the top provider in Minnesota due to its top-quality solar systems, high-performing in-house components, and 25-year comprehensive warranty. Though the company is more expensive than other providers, investing in high-quality solar equipment will save you the most money long-term.
We recommend getting quotes from at least three solar providers and comparing their solar products, warranties, and services.
Other Minnesota Home Service Resources
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- Homeowners Insurance Minnesota
FAQ About Solar Companies in Minnesota
How many solar companies are in Minnesota?
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Minnesota has 168 solar companies. This figure includes 58 installers and developers, 37 solar manufacturers, and 73 other solar-related businesses.
Are solar panels a good investment in Minnesota?
Yes, solar panels are a good investment in Minnesota. The state has high electricity rates, meaning homeowners stand to save more by going solar. It also has several solar incentives to make the switch more affordable.
Can an HOA prevent solar panels in Minnesota?
Unfortunately, Minnesota has no laws preventing homeowners associations (HOAs) from blocking solar panel installations. However, lawmakers are proposing a new bill that protects homeowners’ solar rights from HOA restrictions.
Do solar panels work in Minnesota winters?
Yes, solar panels work even during harsh Minnesota winters. In fact, solar panels work better in cooler temperatures. Your panels may produce less energy during winter due to reduced sunlight and impacted snow, but that doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from solar power during this time.
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for solar providers is on a 100-point system based on five factors:
- Payment options (40 points): Options include purchase, loan, lease, and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). Companies receive points for each of the four options they provide.
- Solar services (30 points): Does the company provide in-house installation of solar panels and battery backups? Can the company also monitor energy production and perform energy-efficiency audits to ensure system performance? The more options available, the higher the score.
- Warranty options (10 points): The success of a residential solar system depends on the workmanship, performance guarantees, and length of product coverage. The more warranties a company offers, the higher the score it receives.
- State availability (10 points): We award the most points to companies with the broadest service area and state availability.
- Reputation (10 points): We factor in how the Business Better Bureau (BBB) scores each company. We deduct points for any alerts or pending lawsuits.
Total scores are divided by 20 for a final 5-point rating scale.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at email@example.com.