Like many states, Minnesota has invested heavily in home solar panels over the years, and those investments have paid off. The state has seen its solar energy production continue to increase in recent years, and it now ranks 14th in the nation in the generation of solar energy.
Ready to learn more about solar power in Minnesota? Keep reading to learn how much solar panels cost, the benefits of solar power, and how to decide if solar is right for you.
Minnesota solar panel cost
The cost of a residential solar system depends on several factors, including the size, component, and configuration of your system. In 2021, solar systems cost between $3 and $5 per watt, with an average system price tag ranging from $15,000 to $25,000 before tax credits. After credits, the cost ranges from $11,700 to $19,500.
And thanks to the cost savings that solar panels provide, you’d be surprised how quickly you can recover your investment. The average time it takes to make your initial solar investment back ranges from six to nine months.
Why choose Minnesota solar power?
Wondering whether solar panels are right for your home? Here are just a few of the major benefits of investing in solar power.
Lower energy costs
One of the greatest benefits of installing solar panels on your home is the financial payoff. First, solar panels can increase the value of your home, allowing you to recover your initial investment if you decide to sell your home. Solar panels also allow you to power your home with solar energy that your panels generate rather than relying on the traditional energy grid. Because you are powering your home with electricity generated by the solar panels, you don’t need to pay for electricity from the grid.
Establish energy independence
Another benefit of installing solar panels on your home is that you have the potential to become more energy independent, meaning you’re not reliant on the traditional electricity system to power your home. First, energy independence protects you from price hikes when electricity demand — and therefore prices — are high. Additionally, energy independence protects you from power outages during storms and other electrical emergencies.
Traditional electricity generation emits greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which pollute the air and water and contribute to climate change. Luckily, that doesn’t apply to solar energy generation. Not only is solar a renewable resource, but it can also reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
Minnesota solar panel incentives or rebates
There’s no doubt that solar panels are expensive, but there are plenty of initiatives in place to help you save money. First, the federal government offers a 26 percent tax credit to homeowners who install solar panels in 2021. The credit is scheduled to be reduced in upcoming years, so purchasing your system sooner rather than later can allow you to save more.
There are also incentives at the state level to help you save money on your solar panels. For example, Minnesota offers a sales tax exemption, meaning you won’t have to pay sales taxes on your solar panel purchase. The state also has a net metering program, meaning Minnesota residents can receive a credit for any excess electricity they send back to the grid.
Should I buy or lease my solar panels?
When you decide to install solar panels on your home, you’ll have the choice to either buy or lease your system. While both come with benefits, buying your panels provides the greatest long-term savings.
First, installing solar panels on your home can increase your home’s resale value by $15,000. If you eventually sell your home, you have the potential to recover your entire solar panel investment. But this benefit doesn’t apply to those who lease their systems. Buying solar panels is also the only way to ensure you’re eligible for the tax credits that make residential solar systems more affordable.
While leasing solar panels may not have the best long-term cost savings, it can be an excellent option for some people. Solar leases make solar panels more accessible to those who don’t own a home to install a permanent system. It also provides access to solar panels for those who can’t — or don’t want to — pay the upfront cost. Solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) offer many of the same benefits of solar leases.
Buying and leasing aren’t the only options in Minnesota. There are also community solar programs, which allow residents to enjoy the perks of solar energy without the investment required to buy or lease panels. Community solar programs have grown dramatically in recent years, making them more accessible than ever.
Minnesota solar panel companies
Residents in Minnesota have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to solar panel providers. You’re sure to find a provider that meets your needs. Before choosing an installer, be sure to visit some of the solar energy resources available on SaveOnEnergy. You’ll learn everything you need to know about solar power and feel confident that you’re making the right choice.
The history of solar power in Minnesota
Solar power policy in Minnesota dates back to 1978 when the state passed its Solar Easement and Rights Laws. Since then, the state has passed other initiatives such as net metering, the state’s sales tax exemption, and its Renewable Development Fund.
All of these investments have paid off, and the state now ranks 14th in the nation for solar generation, with roughly 3.4 percent of the state’s electricity coming from solar power. Not only is the state a leader in solar power, but solar has also become an important part of the state’s economy. There are more than 150 solar companies in Minnesota creating nearly 4,000 jobs.
Important solar installation factors to consider
Solar power can be an excellent investment, but according to the Department of Energy, there are a few factors to consider when deciding if it’s right for you.
- Solar panels work best on south-facing roofs with angles from 15 to 40 degrees. They’re also best for roofs in good condition that won’t need to be replaced in the near future. Following these guidelines will ensure you get the best results.
- Solar panels power your home using the sun, meaning they’re most effective when they get plenty of direct sunlight. Certain parts of the country get more sunshine than others, and some people may have things in their yard that block direct sunlight.
- Some homeowners associations and other neighborhood organizations may have restrictions around the use of solar panels. Check with your neighborhood to see if approval is required before installation.
Solar power FAQs
How much would solar cost in Minnesota?
Solar panel systems cost an average of $15,000 to $25,000, but the cost will be several thousand dollars lower after you account for tax credits.
Is solar power a good investment in Minnesota?
Solar panels can be an excellent investment, but it’s important to consider whether they’re right for your home. Some factors to consider include your location, the weather patterns near you, and your energy usage habits.
How much could I save by investing in solar?
Minnesota residents pay an average bill of $102.84 per month for electricity. The average homeowner could see $1,200 or more in savings each year. Of course, the cost savings from solar will vary from home to home, but solar panels can be an excellent investment in Minnesota if you’ve done your research ahead of time.
Where can I find a good solar panel installer in Minnesota?
Minnesota residents have plenty of options when it comes to choosing a solar panel provider. Be sure to do thorough research before signing a solar contract. Remember to ask for customer testimonials, read about the business’s history, and ask about solar panel warranties before making your decision.
How does solar power help the environment?
Unlike traditional electricity generation, solar energy generation doesn’t emit greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide into the air. By switching to solar power, you can enjoy the perks of renewable energy and reduce your home’s carbon footprint.