2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Elk River, MN - Tax Credits & Rebates

In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Elk River.

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 Elk River solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated January 20, 2023

Why you can trust EcoWatch

We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other site has covered renewables as long as us, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites. Our rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Elk River?

Xcel Energy - Solar*Rewards Program

Incentive Type:
Performance-Based Incentive
Systems 0.5 kW - 25 kW: $0.005/kWh
Medium-sized Systems 25.1-500 kW: $0.0375/kWh
Large Systems (>500kW): Determined through competitive bid

Solar Energy Sales Tax Exemption

Incentive Type:
Sales Tax Incentive
100% exemption

Wind and Solar-Electric (PV) Systems Exemption

Incentive Type:
Property Tax Incentive
Solar: 100% exemption from real property taxes
Wind: 100% exemption from real and personal property taxes

Wind Energy Sales Tax Exemption

Incentive Type:
Sales Tax Incentive
100% of sales tax

Xcel Energy (Electric and Gas) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling: $50
Natural Gas Furnace Existing Home: $200-$400
Natural Gas Furnace New Construction: $100-$200
Natural Gas Hot Water Boiler: $100-$400
ECM Furnace: $100
Central AC: $150-$450
Tank Water Heater: $75-$500
Tankless Water Heater: $250
Attic/Wall Insulation: 30% of project cost
Air Sealing: $150-$200
Furnaces: $200-$425
Boilers: $125-$400
ECM Motor Furnace Fan: $125
Programmable Thermostat: $10
Heat Pumps: $175-$475
Water Heating: $100-$250
Clothes Washer: $10
Refrigerator: $15
Ground Source Heat Pump: $150/ton

Brainerd Public Utilities - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Dishwasher: $35
Clothes Washer: $35
Electric Clothes Dryer: $35
Refrigerator: $35
Freezer: $35
Dehumidifier: $20
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
Furnaces: $200-$375
Heat Pump Water Heater: $250
Air Source Heat Pump: $250
Geothermal Heat Pump: $100/ton

Xcel Energy - Renewable Development Fund Grants

Incentive Type:
Grant Program
Varies

Connexus Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Loan Program

Incentive Type:
Loan Program
$7,500
OR
$20,000

Connexus Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
EV Charger Installation: $500
Wi-Fi Thermostat: $125
Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostat: Free, with enrollment in PowerNap Wi-Fi Air Conditioning program
Load Control: Varies
Peak-Time Rebate: $1/kWh saved

Great River Energy (28 Member Cooperatives) - Energy Wise Residential Efficiency Rebates

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Varies by measure and member cooperative offering.

Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Ground Source Heat Pump: up to $1,200
Quick Cash Air-Source Heat Pump: up to $900
Quick Cash Air Conditioning: up to $200
Peak Shave Water Heating: $15/kW
Quick Cash Water Heating: Up to $950
Metered Water Storage: $0.06/kWh
Ductless Air Source Heat Pump: $200
Quick Cash Water Storage: up to $300
Dual Fuel: $5/kW
Electric Thermal Storage (ETS) $5/kW
HVAC Electronically Commutated Motor: $50/motor
Pool Pumps: $200-$400

Home Energy Loan Program

Incentive Type:
Loan Program
$20,000

Fix-Up Loan

Incentive Type:
Loan Program
$15,000. Applicants may be eligible for higher loan and term amounts depending on income

Renewable Energy Production Incentive

Incentive Type:
Performance-Based Incentive
1.5¢/kWh
1.0¢/kWh for certain hydro facilities in need of repair

Elk River Municipal Utilities - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
A/C Tune-Up: $60
Air-Source Heat Pump: $300 - $500
Air Conditioners: $50 - $100 depending on SEER rating
Geothermal Heat Pump: $400/ton
Refrigerator/Freezer: $75 if old unit is recycled
Furnace Fan with ECM: $100
Heat Pump Water Heater: $300 (50 gallon) or $350 (80 gallon)
Pool Pump: $200
Irrigation Tune-Up: $50
Clothes Washer: $25/unit
Dishwasher: $25/unit
WaterSense Faucets: $10/unit
WaterSense Smart Irrigation Controllers: 50% of cost up to $250
WaterSense Toilets: $25/unit

Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

Incentive Type:
Personal Tax Credit
30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.

Source: https://www.dsireusa.org/


The term "solar incentives" broadly refers to financial incentives that are in place to encourage the use of renewable energy by making the installation and use of solar panels more affordable. Solar incentives can include cash back, upfront discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are handled by the federal government, some by the Minnesota government and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:

  • Net Metering: Don't forget to speak with your Elk River utility company about signing a net metering agreement. This will allow you to receive credit towards your utility bill every month for the value of excess energy generated by your solar panels. You may receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
  • Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are applied at the time of purchase for your solar system. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the value added by your solar system when calculating how much property tax you need to pay.
  • Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in the amount of tax that you owe the federal government.
  • Rebates: Solar rebates may be provided by your state or county, or by your local utility company. These rebates work as cash back that is applied after you pay for solar panels and before tax credits are calculated.

Federal Solar Incentives

Federal solar incentives are likely the first thing that you think of when you think about solar incentives. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is probably the most well-known federal solar incentive. The ITC provides a tax credit for a set percentage of the cost of your solar system.

The ITC applies to the total cost of solar panel installation, including the panels themselves as well as accessories, equipment and labor. This credit can be claimed for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own and that is located in the United States. From its original value of 30% of the total cost, the credit has fluctuated slightly between 26-30%, and you may qualify for varying percentages depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum claim amount.

To best understand how the ITC might apply to you, speak to your local Elk River solar panel installer and request more information.

The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, added more provisions to the ITC (as well as retitling it the Clean Energy Credit). Under the new program, solar installation projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed by the end of 2032 may be eligible for a 30% tax credit. This percentage will then see a slight annual decrease until the current Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. The program expansion also makes it easier to get credit for energy storage systems, beginning in 2023.

Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. The best way to fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you is to speak with your local Elk River solar panel company directly.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Federal solar incentives are not your only option; tax credits, rebates and more are often offered at the local or state level. Certain incentives are ongoing, while others are available for a limited time. Solar incentives may be provided by the Minnesota government, or by your county or municipality.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Elk River

The large number of solar incentives available has helped tremendously increase the use of solar power nationwide over the past 15 years. You can get solar incentives from the federal government, the Minnesota government or from your local utility company. Speaking with your local Elk River solar panel installation company is an excellent first step towards getting the most money possible when you switch to solar energy.

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
4.5

  • 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

Palmetto Solar

★★★★★
4.0

  • Expansive service area
  • Makes charitable contributions
  • Certified B Corp
  • No leases or PPAs
  • Quality of installation may vary by location

EcoWatch's Elk River, MN Solar Incentives FAQs

How can I find out if I qualify for different solar incentives?

Generally, solar incentives apply to:

  1. a new solar panel system
  2. installed on property that you own
  3. within the U.S.
  4. between the dates specified by a particular incentive.

Specific incentives, including those run by the Minnesota government or by your county/municipality, could have additional qualifications. Get in touch with your local Elk River solar installer to learn more about what incentives your project will qualify for.

If I installed solar panels on my house a few years ago, can I still claim incentives?

If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you may qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. If your system was installed between 2006 and 2021, you might qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the date of installation. Reaching out to the company that installed your solar system, or any local Elk River solar installer, can help you understand what incentives you qualify for.

How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?

The federal solar tax credit, formerly known as the ITC and now called the Clean Energy Credit, is slated to end on January 1, 2035. The current 30% credit will end in 2032, replaced by a 26% credit in 2033 and a 22% credit in 2034.

Can I apply for incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?

Yes, you can receive both rebates and tax credits towards the cost of solar panels. Depending on precisely which incentives you are claiming, they may apply in a different order. Make sure that you talk to your solar installer or a local tax professional to confirm that you are claiming incentives correctly and getting the most money possible.

Can I use a combination of solar and another type of renewable energy to power my home?

You can power your home with multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy. Be sure to talk through your plan with your local Elk River solar installation expert. They can help you as you plan for your project and give you an understanding of various incentives that 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.

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