2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Watertown, MN - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Watertown.
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 May 04, 2023
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Watertown?
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
Great River Energy (28 Member Cooperatives) - Energy Wise Residential Efficiency Rebates
Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
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
Renewable Energy Production Incentive
1.0¢/kWh for certain hydro facilities in need of repair
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are designed to make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives to help people install solar panels on their homes. Incentives may include things like discounts, cash back or credit on your utility bill each month. Some incentives are offered by the federal government, while others are handled by the state of Minnesota or your utility company, county or municipality. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar system might qualify for exemptions on both sales and property tax. Sales tax exemptions are applied at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions allow you to ignore the value added by your solar panels when you are calculating property taxes on your home.
- Tax Credits: Different from tax deductions, tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax that you owe the government.
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund credited to your account after you've paid for your solar panels. These could be offered by your local utility company, your state or your county. The cash back that you get from the rebates is normally applied before tax credits are calculated.
- Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get once your solar system is up and running. If you have in place a net metering agreement with your Watertown utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your utility bill each month. In some places, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other areas you may receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the type of incentives that you are most likely to have some familiarity with. An incentive that most people are likely to be familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This incentive is a tax credit for a given percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC is applied to the total cost of solar system installation, including the panels themselves as well as equipment, labor and accessories. This credit can be claimed for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence located in the United States that you own. The tax credit ranges from 26-30% of total costs depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum amount you can claim.
To find out exactly how much the ITC could save you, contact your local Watertown solar panel installer.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, made some changes to the ITC (as well as renaming it to the Clean Energy Credit). Homeowners can now receive a credit equal to 30% of the total solar system installation costs for projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed before the end of 2032. The percentage will then begin to decrease yearly until the Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to obtain credits for energy storage systems under this new program.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To better understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, speak with your local Watertown solar installation company.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Tax credits, rebates and more can be provided at multiple levels. On top of federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones as well. Some incentives are ongoing, while others are available for a limited time. These incentives may be offered by the Minnesota government, or by your county or municipality.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Watertown
There are a number of different solar incentives: those offered by local utility companies, those offered by the federal government and those offered by the Minnesota government, to name a few. Solar energy utilization has grown tremendously in the last 15 years, partially due to these incentives. Talking to your local Watertown solar panel installation expert is a great first step towards getting all the incentives you qualify for when you switch to solar energy.
Best Social Impact
- Expansive service area
- Makes charitable contributions
- Certified B Corp
- No leases or PPAs
- Quality of installation may vary by location
- 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
EcoWatch's Watertown, MN Solar Incentives FAQs
How can I learn if I qualify for certain solar incentives?
Broadly, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar system
- installed on property that you own
- within the U.S.
- within the date range specified by a particular incentive.
Specific incentives, including those given out by the Minnesota government or by your county/municipality, sometimes have additional qualifications. Talk to your local Watertown solar installer to discover what incentives your project may qualify for.
If I already have solar panels, can I still claim incentives?
You should plan to talk to a representative from the company that installed your solar system — or get in touch with a local Watertown solar installer — to clarify which incentives you might qualify for. If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Solar systems installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.
What are the top solar panel installation companies near me?
To find the right solar panel installer for you, check out our guide to the top solar companies in Watertown.
How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?
The federal solar tax credit, formerly called the ITC and now called the Clean Energy Credit, is slated to end January 1, 2035. The current 30% credit will end in 2032, replaced by a 26% credit in 2033 and a 22% credit in 2034.
If I switch my appliances out for ones that can utilize solar energy, are there any benefits I can claim?
The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act introduces several incentives meant to reward homeowners for making eco-friendly upgrades. Some incentives include tax credits and rebates for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives 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.