Solar Panel Cost Guide in Forest Lake, MN (Sep 2022)

  • Forest Lake Solar Installation Cost: $14,353
  • 25-Year Savings: $23,256
  • Payback Period: 9.5 Years

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EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 9/16/2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Forest Lake

We break down average solar pricing in Forest Lake.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Forest Lake, the average cost of solar panels is $3 per watt. The average Forest Lake homeowner needs a 7.2-kilowatt system, which would cost about $14,353, or $10,621 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

Keep in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average energy use of Forest Lake homeowners. The price of a solar system for your home may be different depending on factors unique to you, like your household energy use and solar contractor. Many homeowners find adopting solar power is a fruitful investment. The average homeowner in Forest Lake can save about $20,000 on their power bills over 20 years.

For a personalized quote from a local solar company that has been pre-vetted by EcoWatch, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Forest Lake

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-12,849
3 years $-9,840
5 years $-6,832
7 years $-3,823
9 years $-814
11 years $2,195
13 years $5,203
15 years $8,212
17 years $11,221
19 years $14,229
21 years $17,238
23 years $20,247
25 years $23,256

Top Solar Installers in Forest Lake

When making the switch to solar, many homeowners decide to hire a solar company since overseeing your solar installation yourself can be a time-consuming project. Also, companies with a high reputation that are more expensive upfront could actually save you money in the long run because of their warranties, repair services and expert design.

If you'd like to make the switch to solar but still aren't sure which solar system company to go with, here are our suggestions for providers nearby:

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

The Green Panel

★★★★★
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

See all of the solar companies in Forest Lake

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Forest Lake

The cost of installing a solar system in Forest Lake can vary by more than $10,000 from home to home. Your actual cost is dependent on several factors. The most significant one is your system size, and other factors include equipment choices, financing options and the solar installer you choose.

Solar Equipment Size

Size is one of the largest factors that determines the overall cost of installing solar panels. For that reason, it's a priority to accurately gauge the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your typical energy use. There are several different solar panel brands and the one you choose also changes the cost. In general, the brands that offer higher efficiency tend to also cost more. Plus, the type of equipment you choose can affect your total cost. If you just need panels, your system will be much less expensive than if you also need solar batteries or an electric vehicle charger.

Solar Financing Terms

Most solar installers in Forest Lake offer solar loans, which reduce your upfront costs of installing a solar system. However, the interest on solar loans also adds to your overall costs, so it's important to keep that in mind as well. You can always reduce the total you pay in interest and in some cases even your APR by making a larger down payment.

Solar Panel Installation Company

A final consideration when trying to figure out the cost of solar for your home or business in Forest Lake is the company you get to install your solar panel system. Similar to choosing a company to install new cabinets, for instance, there's no shortage of solar installers that provide a range of services for different budgets. Some companies only sell products with high efficiency and therefore a higher price point — like Maxeon solar panels from SunPower or Tesla Powerwall batteries — so choosing those installers will generally cost more. It's best to do some research and decide on the company that offers the products, warranties and services you want and also fit into your budget.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $2.95 $12,405 $18,845 9.9 years
8 kW $2.90 $16,222 $25,445 9.7 years
10 kW $2.84 $19,880 $32,204 9.5 years
12 kW $2.78 $23,379 $39,122 9.4 years
14 kW $2.73 $26,719 $46,199 9.2 years
16 kW $2.67 $29,900 $53,435 9.0 years
18 kW $2.61 $32,921 $60,830 8.8 years
20 kW $2.56 $35,784 $68,384 8.6 years

Solar Incentives in Forest Lake

Name Solar Energy Sales Tax Exemption
Incentive Amount 100% exemption
More Info Click here

Name Wind and Solar-Electric (PV) Systems Exemption
More Info Click here

Name Xcel Energy - Solar*Rewards Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Wind Energy Sales Tax Exemption
Incentive Amount 100% of sales tax
More Info Click here

Name Xcel Energy (Electric and Gas) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Brainerd Public Utilities - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Xcel Energy - Renewable Development Fund Grants
Incentive Amount Varies
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Connexus Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Loan Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Connexus Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Great River Energy (28 Member Cooperatives) - Energy Wise Residential Efficiency Rebates
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name East Central Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Home Energy Loan Program
Incentive Amount $20,000
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Fix-Up Loan
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Renewable Energy Production Incentive
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

How to Save on Solar Panels

The solar company you opt for will affect not only your total costs, but also the kinds of solar panel brands, warranties, and other equipment you can get. When choosing a solar company, there are some important things you should keep in mind, such as:

  • Solar Panel Brands: Homeowners will have different preferences for panels depending on their locations and how much efficiency they need. While there are many options for which kind of solar panel you can get, not every company will have access to the exact one you may want or need, so be sure to take a look at their list of offerings before making your decision.
  • Reputation: The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a respected certification organization for sustainable energy professionals. If your solar panel installer is NABCEP-certified, it most likely has a solid reputation and is qualified to install your solar system. Another way you can check your installer's reputation is by reading reviews.
  • Contract: Look through the contract terms thoroughly to make sure you understand the total cost, project completion timeline incentives and warranties.
  • Installation Process: When going solar, it's necessary to keep an open line of communication with your solar company. See to it that you understand how the installation process works and the project completion timeline.

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

The Green Panel

★★★★★
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 Forest Lake, MN Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Forest Lake?

This is a difficult question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on a variety of factors. Broadly speaking, it costs about $14,200 for a 5-kW system and $28,400 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. It will cost more if you want extra solar equipment or higher quality panels, or if you have higher-than-average energy usage. On the flip side, you can spend less if you go with a smaller solar panel system or less efficient solar panels.

Should I lease or buy solar panels in Forest Lake?

Leasing solar panels can be an option if you are unable to pay upfront or secure a solar loan, but since you don't own the system, you can't take advantage of many solar incentives. Also your property value won't increase, so you'll have less savings over time. If you can afford to buy a solar system upfront, then buying is the better option if you want the most savings from going solar.

Can solar panels significantly reduce my electricity bills?

Solar panels can potentially eliminate your electricity bills depending on your location and how much sunlight your home gets. Even if it doesn't get rid of them completely, you can save a lot of money on your bills, about $1,041.68 per year.

How many solar panels do I need to power my home?

The exact number of solar panels you need depends on your household energy usage and the average daily sunlight your roof gets. You can take a look at your energy bills for the past year to get an idea of the solar system size you'll need. The average household has to buy between 20 and 35 panels to account for their typical energy usage.

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.

Company 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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