Being the fourth coldest state in the US, Minnesota doesn’t offer as much sun capacity as California or Florida. But that hasn’t stopped homeowners from switching to solar power. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that Minnesota takes 15th place on Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) top solar state list. The reason? Solar panels can turn sunlight into electricity even in freezing weather conditions.
For those wondering, “Is solar worth it in Minnesota?” you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll explain solar power investments in Minnesota and assess whether they’re worth the money.
Is Solar Worth It in Minnesota?
It’s a common misconception that solar panels are only effective in sunny regions. The fact is that solar panels work by absorbing sunlight, not the heat that it generates. On the other hand, solar panels will create more power during summer, since the days last longer. But this doesn’t mean that they aren’t effective in winter. On the contrary, cold weather is optimal for solar panel productivity. Not only that, but rain and snow won’t prevent solar panels from generating electricity either.
If you’re still wondering “Is solar worth it in Minnesota?”, let’s take a look at the many advantages of going solar in this state.
No matter where you live, switching to a solar panel system can save you a lot of money in the long run. At first glance, solar system installation is definitely an investment. However, the money you will save by not having to pay utility bills makes it worthwhile. Aside from lower energy costs, you can expect your home to increase in value. In fact, homes with solar power systems are worth 41% more than homes that run on standard electricity.
Once you install them at your residence, they can last for up to 25 years, which is two to three times longer than it will take you to get back on your investment. What’s more, solar panels don’t require a lot of maintenance. All you need to do is keep them clean and remove accumulated snow during cold seasons.
One of the most important aspects of going solar is being environmentally friendly by reducing your carbon footprint. Solar energy is renewable and it isn’t harmful to the environment in any way.
Average Price of Solar in Minnesota
Now that we answered the question “Is solar worth it in Minnesota?”, let’s see how much installing solar panels costs. There are many factors that influence the price of solar panels, such as the average amount of energy consumption per household, the size and the location of the residence, and more.
Since the average price of a solar panel per watt is $2.62 to $3.54 in Minnesota, the overall average price of solar system installation amounts to $13,090 to $17,710.
While these numbers certainly are daunting at first glance, note that the Federal Solar Tax Credit incentive, or any other programs, aren’t included. If we were to add the 26% tax credit deduction, it would shave off at least a few thousand dollars off the total amount.
More importantly, you’d be able to get a return on your investment in what’s called a “solar payback” period. It refers to the amount of time required to offset your initial investment by saving money on electricity. In Minnesota, the average solar payback period lasts for seven to nine years. While this may seem like a long time, remember that you could potentially save $25,015 to $33,844, which accounts for a 75% to 101% electricity bill offset.
According to Electricity Local, Minnesota has residential electricity rates of 11.35 cents per kilowatt-hour on average, ranking the state 26th in the nation. What’s more, the average residential electricity bill in Minnesota is about $90 per month, amounting to $1,080 on a yearly basis. If you switch to solar power, you can say goodbye to spending a thousand dollars a year on electricity.
Avera Price of Solar Panels per Wattage Usage in Minnesota
Below, you’ll see a list of the average prices of solar panels per system size in Minnesota:
- 4 kW – $11,960
- 5 kW – $14,320
- 6 kW – $16,428
- 7 kW – $18,977
- 8 kW – $22,080
- 9 kW – $23,913
- 10 kW – $26,300
Note that these prices may be subject to change in the future. They’re also not 100% accurate, since the total amount can vary, depending on certain factors, like the location and size of the residence, the solar capacity, and the quality of the solar panels.
Also, state and local solar incentives and rebates aren’t included in these prices. If you were to apply the 26% Federal Solar Tax Credit deduction, you would have to pay a significantly reduced amount. For instance, a 6-kW solar system typically costs $16,428. However, if you were to claim the tax credit, it would be reduced to $12,157. In other words, you would have to pay $4,271 less, which is a great deal.
There are a lot of other solar incentives and programs that would help you deal with your investment.
Solar Incentives in Minnesota
Minnesota is becoming famous for some of its excellent solar incentives and rebates. One of the most profitable ones is the Federal Solar Tax Credit, or the Incentive Tax Credit (ITC). It allows you to deduct 26% of the total amount of your solar power installation. Keep in mind that this incentive can be used until the end of 2022. After that, you’ll only be able to deduct 22% of the total payment.
What’s also important to mention is that only those who pay federal tax, and who buy their PV system outright (either with a cash purchase or a solar loan) are eligible for the ITC incentive.
Another great aspect of solar energy system installation in Minnesota is that you’re not required to pay any sales tax on your investment. This saves you at least 7% of the total amount. One more top-rated solar incentive program in Minnesota is net metering. This method allows solar homeowners to receive extra credit from their utility company for the electricity that their solar panels generate but that’s not being used.
What to Consider Before Going Solar in Minnesota
Before you invest in solar power in Minnesota, there are a few things you need to be mindful of. Firstly, the overall price of the solar panel installation depends on many things. The average amount of energy consumption of your home, as well as the location of your home, are two very important factors.
Since it snows a lot in Minnesota, snow tends to accumulate on your roof. While cold weather conditions actually enhance the solar panels’ performance, they won’t be able to absorb sunlight if they’re covered in snow. That’s why you need to clean them regularly. The good news is that if your solar panels are installed on a sloped roof, the snow may well fall off of its own accord.
No matter your location, solar panels are the most efficient on roofs that are facing south, with angles from 15 to 40 degrees. The type of solar panels you choose also matters. Remember, the more money you invest in solar power, the more it will pay off in the future.
Don’t Let the Cold Weather Stop You From Going Solar
The fact that Minnesota is the fourth coldest state in the US leaves many homeowners wondering – is solar worth it in Minnesota? The good news is that solar panels work even better in a cold climate, so there’s no reason for you not to switch to solar energy. With the numerous advantages of solar panel installations, it would definitely be a decision well made.