2023 Solar Incentives Guide for St Cloud, MN - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in St Cloud.
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.
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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 St Cloud?
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
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
Stearns Electric Association - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Ductless Air Source Heat Pump: $300
Freezer (with recycling of your old unit): $50
Pool Air Source Heat Pump: $400
Refrigerator (with recycling of your old unit): $50
Variable Speed Pool Pump: $200
Heating & Cooling
Air Source Heat Pump: $550-$700
Dual Fuel Heating: $200
Electronically Commuted Motor: $25
Electric Water Heater: $100
Geothermal Heat Pump: $150/ton
Heat Pump Water Heater: $200
Marathon or HTP Water Heater: $100 (50 gal.) - $300 (85 gallons or more)
Peak Shave Water Heating & Dual Fuel: $5 monthly bill credit
Storage Space Heating: $50/kW
Stored Water Heating: $7.50 monthly bill credit
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 make renewable energy usage more affordable through financial incentives for individuals who install solar panels on their homes. The incentives can include upfront discounts, cash back 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. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Net Metering: Don't forget to speak with your St Cloud utility company about signing a net metering contract. This allows you to get a credit towards your utility bill every month for the value of excess energy your solar panels generate. You may receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Tax Credits: These credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in the amount of tax that you owe the federal government.
- Rebates: Solar rebates can be provided by your county or state, or by your local utility company. These rebates are essentially partial refunds that are applied after you purchase a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions can come in one of two forms. The first is sales tax exemption, which is applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to exclude the value added by your solar system when calculating property tax for your house.
Federal Solar Incentives
When you hear the term "solar incentives," federal incentives may be the first thing that comes to mind. One of the incentives many people are probably familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC is a tax credit for a specific percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC applies to a solar system installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar system has to have been installed on a property you own after January 1, 2006 for you to claim the credit. Originally, the ITC covered 30% of all system installation costs (panels, equipment, accessories and labor), although this amount has fluctuated over the last few years between 26-30%. The amount you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.
Wondering how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Contact your local St Cloud solar panel installation expert to get more information.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act expanded and extended the ITC, now titled the Clean Energy Credit. The new Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. You can now apply for a 30% credit for solar systems that began installation on or after January 1, 2022 and will be done by December 31, 2032. The credit will then decrease annually until the date of expiration. Starting in 2023, the program expansion will also make credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local St Cloud solar panel company is the best resource for answering your questions about the new Clean Energy Credit and how it applies to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Not all solar incentives are federal; rebates, tax credits and more are often offered at the state and local level. The incentives — which may be provided by the state of Minnesota, or by your county or municipality — might be offered on an ongoing basis, or for only a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in St Cloud
There are many types of solar incentives: those offered by the federal government, those offered by the Minnesota government and those offered by local utility companies, to name a few. The use of solar energy has grown enormously in the last 15 years, partially thanks to these incentives. Your local St Cloud solar panel installation company can help you learn more about which incentives you might qualify for, and get you on track to switch 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 St Cloud, MN Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I receive any incentives when I add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property?
Many solar incentives apply to a property you own that is located within the United States, and most secondary residences fall under this distinction. Other solar incentives may be available for commercial properties, depending on the specifics. We recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to best understand what incentives apply to your specific situation.
If my house already has solar panels, can I still claim incentives?
If your solar system was 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 exact installation date. Speaking with the company that installed your system, or any local St Cloud solar installer, can help you understand what incentives you might want to apply for.
How much can I save annually on my electric bill if I install solar panels on my house in St Cloud?
On average, homeowners in St Cloud who install solar panels save about $967.54 per year, or about $18,383.32 over 20 years after making the switch.
What are some environmental benefits of installing solar panels on my home?
Solar energy is renewable — by changing where you get your energy, you help lessen the strain on our planet's resources. You can also reduce your home's CO2 emissions by 450 pounds a year, or roughly 9,000 pounds over 20 years.
I want to switch my appliances out for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any benefits I can get?
Under the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are a variety of new financial incentives to encourage you to make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details on these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.
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.