2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Forest Lake, MN - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Forest Lake.
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 Forest Lake solar installers to see how much you can save.
Please enter a valid 5-digit zip code!
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 Forest Lake?
Xcel Energy - Solar*Rewards Program
Medium-sized Systems 25.1-500 kW: $0.0375/kWh
Large Systems (>500kW): Determined through competitive bid
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
Xcel Energy (Electric and Gas) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
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
ECM Motor Furnace Fan: $125
Programmable Thermostat: $10
Heat Pumps: $175-$475
Water Heating: $100-$250
Clothes Washer: $10
Ground Source Heat Pump: $150/ton
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
Xcel Energy - Renewable Development Fund Grants
Connexus Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Loan Program
Connexus Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
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
Home Energy Loan Program
Renewable Energy Production Incentive
1.0¢/kWh for certain hydro facilities in need of repair
East Central Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Heat Pump/AC Tune Up: $25
Air-Source Heat Pumps: $300 - $630
Geothermal Heat Pump: $400/ton
Freezer/refrigerator with recycling: $25
Wi-Fi Enabled Thermostat: $25
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are designed to encourage homeowners to switch their home over to renewable energy by providing financial incentives that lower the burden of solar panel installation and use. Incentives can include things like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits. Some incentives are offered by the federal government, while others are provided by the Minnesota government or your specific utility company, county or municipality. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get once your solar panels are up and running. If you have a net metering agreement in place with your Forest Lake utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your monthly utility bill. In some areas, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other areas you may make back a percentage of the value.
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund after the purchase of your solar system. These might be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The discount that rebates offer is normally applied to the price of solar panels before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Exemptions: These can come in the form of property tax exemptions, which can let you exclude the value of your solar system when paying property tax on your home. You may also qualify for an exemption on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Tax Credits: Unlike tax deductions, tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the government.
Federal Solar Incentives
When you think about solar incentives, you probably think of federal incentives first. One of the incentives many people are likely to be familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This incentive is a tax credit for a specific percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC applies to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. Originally, the tax credit was for 30% of the total cost — for panels, labor, equipment and accessories — although the percentage may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar project was undertaken. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.
Your local Forest Lake solar panel installation expert can provide you with more information about the ITC and how it applies to your situation.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, added more provisions to the ITC (as well as retitling it the Clean Energy Credit). Homeowners can now qualify for a credit equal to 30% of the total costs of solar system installation for projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed before the end of 2032. This percentage will then begin to decrease yearly until the Clean Energy Credit ends in 2035. The program expansion also makes claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before, beginning in 2023.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you, talk to your local Forest Lake solar installers.
State & Local Solar Incentives
In addition to federal solar incentives, there are often also state ones. Rebates, tax credits and more may be available at a more local level. Certain incentives are ongoing, while others might only be available for a limited time. Solar incentives might be offered by your county or municipality, or by the Minnesota government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Forest Lake
Solar incentives can be provided by the federal government, the Minnesota government or your local utility company. The large number of solar incentives available has contributed to a large increase in solar energy use in the last 15 years. Your local Forest Lake solar panel installer can help you learn more about which incentives you may qualify for, and get you started on the path to switching to renewable energy today.
- 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 Forest Lake, MN Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I am planning to add a solar system to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property? Can I still qualify for incentives?
Many solar incentives are intended to apply to a property you own that is located within the United States; most secondary residences fall into this category. Other solar incentives may be available for commercial properties, depending on the details. We recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to better understand what incentives will apply to your specific situation.
How do I know if I qualify for solar incentives?
It's a smart idea to get in touch with your local Forest Lake solar installer for a better understanding of which incentives your project may qualify for. Generally, solar incentives apply to new solar systems installed on a property you own (in the U.S.) within a specified date range. Some incentives, like those provided at the level of the Minnesota government, might have additional requirements.
I want to change out my appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any credits I can get?
With the passage of the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are several new financial incentives that are available when you make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details on these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.
Can I receive incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
Yes, you can receive both tax credits and rebates towards the cost of solar panels. Depending on precisely which incentives you are applying for, they may apply in a different order. Make sure that you talk to your solar installer or a local tax professional to verify that you are claiming incentives correctly and that you're getting the most money you can.
Can I use multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?
Yes, you can use multiple types of renewable energy to power your home, such as a combination of solar and wind power. You can also use both renewable energy sources and a non-renewable backup source of energy. You should discuss your plan with your local Forest Lake solar installation expert, so that you understand what you'll need and what incentives you may or may 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.