2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Brainerd, MN - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Brainerd.
You'll learn about:
- Local & State Solar Incentives
- Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
- Ways to optimize your solar investment
Solar installers are experts in maximizing your solar tax credits and rebates.
Get a free quote from one of our trusted Brainerd solar installers to see how much you can save.
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By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated March 14, 2023
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Brainerd?
Solar Energy Sales Tax Exemption
Wind and Solar-Electric (PV) Systems Exemption
Wind: 100% exemption from real and personal property taxes
Wind Energy Sales Tax Exemption
Brainerd Public Utilities - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Clothes Washer: $35
Electric Clothes Dryer: $35
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
Heat Pump Water Heater: $250
Air Source Heat Pump: $250
Geothermal Heat Pump: $100/ton
Connexus Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Loan Program
Great River Energy (28 Member Cooperatives) - Energy Wise Residential Efficiency Rebates
Home Energy Loan Program
Renewable Energy Production Incentive
1.0¢/kWh for certain hydro facilities in need of repair
Minnesota Power - SolarSense Solar Rebate Program
Minnesota Power - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Central AC: $50
Air Source Heat Pump: $300-$1200
Electronically Commutated Motors: Varies, see program website
Ground Source Heat Pump: $200-$400 per ton plus $200 for ECM motor
Smart Thermostat: $75
Ceiling Fan: $10
Heat Pump Water Heater: $400
Drain Water Heat Recovery: $400
Minnesota Power - Residential New Construction Rebate Program
Central A/C: $50
Drain Water Heat Recovery unit: $400
Air Source Heat Pumps: $50 - $1,000
Drain Water Heat Recovery Unit: $400
Ground Source Heat Pump: $200-$300
Electronically Commutated Motors: $200-$600 (higher incentive levels are in combination with central AC or Air Source Heat Pumps)
ENERGY STAR Appliances:
Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling: $50
Heat Pump Water Heater: $50
LED Bulbs: $3-$5
LED Fixtures: $10 - $15
Crow Wing Power - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Air Source Heat Pump: $300 - $750
Boiler or Plenum Heater: $400
Clothes Washer: $40
Cycled Air Conditioning: $30 - $75
Ductless (Mini-Split) Air Source Heat Pump: $100 per interior head
Electronically Commuted Motor: $50
Fluorescent Bulb Recycling: $2/bulb
Geothermal Heat Pump: $100/ton
Smart Thermostat: $20/unit
Water Heater: $200
Off-Peak Water Heater: $300-$400
Off-Peak (thermal storage) home heating: $50/kW
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are intended to make renewable energy usage more affordable through financial incentives for individuals who install solar panels on their homes. Different types of incentives, like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits, might be available to you. Some incentives may be offered by the state of Minnesota, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while others are federal. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions may come in one of two forms. First, there is sales tax exemption, applied at the time you purchase your solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to ignore the value added by your solar system when calculating property tax for your home.
- Rebates: Solar rebates may be offered by your local utility company, or by your state or county. These rebates work as cash back that is applied after you purchase a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government. (A tax credit is different from a tax deduction.)
- Net Metering: You may be able to sign a net metering contract with your Brainerd utility company, that may apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity that is generated by your solar panels. Your utility company will then deduct this value from your utility bill each month.
Federal Solar Incentives
When people think of solar incentives, federal incentives are likely the first thing that comes to mind. A federal incentive that most people are probably familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC is a tax credit for a predetermined percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. Initially, the credit applied to 30% of the total cost — for panels, accessories, labor and equipment — although that amount may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar system was installed. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.
Curious how the ITC might apply to your specific situation? Reach out to your local Brainerd solar panel installation expert to get more information.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act made revisions to the ITC, now called the Clean Energy Credit. The new Clean Energy Credit now runs until 2035. American homeowners can now receive a 30% credit for solar systems installed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032. The total credit will then be decreased by a few percentage points every year until it expires. Beginning in 2023, it will also be easier to obtain credits for energy storage systems under the new laws.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. To better understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you, talk to your local Brainerd solar installation expert.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Not all solar incentives are federal; rebates, tax credits and more are often offered at the local or state level. Some incentives are ongoing, while others are offered for only a limited time. Local solar incentives may come from your county or municipality, or from the Minnesota government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Brainerd
The variety of solar incentives available has helped tremendously increase the nationwide adoption of solar energy over the past 15 years. You can get solar incentives from the federal government, the Minnesota government or from your local utility company. Talking to your local Brainerd solar panel installer is the right first step towards getting all the incentives you qualify for when you switch to solar energy.
- Price-match guarantee
- Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
- Best solar battery on the market
- Some reported issues with customer service
- Customer service varies by local dealer
Best Social Impact
- Expansive service area
- Makes charitable contributions
- Certified B Corp
- No leases or PPAs
- Quality of installation may vary by location
EcoWatch's Brainerd, MN Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I add solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property? Do I still qualify for incentives?
While we recommend talking to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what solar incentives apply to you, many apply to a second home, so long as that home is in the United States and owned by you. There may be other incentives available for commercial properties specifically, depending on the details.
How do I learn if I qualify for solar incentives?
It's a smart idea to get in touch with your local Brainerd solar installer for a better understanding of which incentives your project may qualify for. Typically, solar incentives apply to new solar panel systems installed on property you own (in the U.S.) within a specified date range. Some incentives, like those provided at the level of the Minnesota government, may have other requirements.
I already have solar panels installed. Does my system qualify for any incentives?
If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you may qualify for the recently increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. If you installed your system between 2006 and 2021, you might qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the date of installation. Speaking with the company that installed your solar system, or any local Brainerd solar installer, can help you learn more about what incentives you can apply for.
How much can I save annually on my electric bill if I add solar panels to my Brainerd home?
After adding solar panels to your house in Brainerd, you can anticipate savings of around $852.87 per year, or around $16,204.58 over the next 20 years.
Can I use solar and another type of renewable energy in combination to power my home?
Yes, you can utilize multiple types of renewable energy to power your home — for example, a combination of wind and solar. You can also combine renewable energy generation with a non-renewable backup source of energy. You should discuss your proposed plan with your local Brainerd solar panel installer, to make sure you know what you'll need and what kinds of incentives you might or might not qualify for.
Our goal is to reach as many people as we can with sensible solutions like solar energy. Our team of full-time local researchers collects solar price and installation data for every city in America then compiles it to create these digestible city guides. If you want to read our solar expert's opinion on the top solar companies featured here, follow this link.
Solar incentive research was conducted by Melissa Smith and Karsten Neumeister. Local data analysis was conducted by James Savino. See something we missed or could do better? Email the editor.