Solar Panel Cost Guide in Lake Elmo, MN (Jan 2023)

  • Lake Elmo Solar Installation Cost: $14,353
  • 25-Year Savings: $22,062
  • Payback Period: 9.9 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated January 20, 2023

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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.

Average Cost of Solar Panels in Lake Elmo

Let's take a look at the average cost of solar in Lake Elmo.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Lake Elmo, the typical cost of a solar system is $3 per watt. Because a 7.2-kW system is needed to cover the energy needs of a typical home in Lake Elmo, the average price of going solar will be about $14,353 before claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

Bear in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average energy use of Lake Elmo 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. But, once you've paid the initial cost of installation, the return on investment for most homeowners is typically good, with a net average savings of about $19,000 over 20 years on power bills.

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

Solar savings over time in Lake Elmo

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-12,897
3 years $-9,984
5 years $-7,070
7 years $-4,157
9 years $-1,244
11 years $1,669
13 years $4,583
15 years $7,496
17 years $10,409
19 years $13,322
21 years $16,236
23 years $19,149
25 years $22,062

Top Solar Installers in Lake Elmo

When switching to solar energy, many homeowners opt to use a solar installation company since putting up solar panels yourself can be a challenging project. Also, companies with a good reputation that cost more upfront could actually save you money in the long run because of their warranties, repair services and expert design.

Working with a professional solar company can make going solar easier. Here are our recommendations:

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

See all of the solar companies in Lake Elmo

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Lake Elmo

Cost is often one of the most important factors for homeowners considering investing in solar. There are a few primary factors that affect your total cost in Lake Elmo: solar equipment and system size, financing options and the solar installation company you choose. We'll cover each of these briefly below.

Solar Equipment

When it comes to estimating the price of solar panels in Lake Elmo, one of the most important factors is the size of the system you need. Solar systems are sized by kilowatts (kW) and are mainly based on your home's energy consumption, which you can gauge by looking at past electricity bills. Your total cost can increase by around $2,840 for each additional kilowatt you need. The model of solar panels and equipment you want is another factor that will significantly influence costs. Solar panels that have higher efficiency, like monocrystalline panels, tend to be more pricey. Moreover, solar equipment goes beyond just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to decide on the kind of racks used to mount the panels, inverters, solar batteries, etc. It's important to take all of this into consideration when looking for a solar system that's in your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

Many homeowners find the average cost of solar in Lake Elmo to be too expensive, even if the investment pays off over time. Thankfully, nearly every solar installer in the area provides access to financing options. Solar loans substantially decrease upfront costs in most cases, but they also result in higher prices over time due to interest. It's wise to include the interest you'll pay in your final cost estimate. If you can afford to put more money down upfront, you can reduce your total costs and the amount of time it'll take to pay off the loan.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar panel installation company you pick will affect your total cost to adopt solar energy. Different companies will charge different amounts for the equipment and labor. The company's size can sometimes play the most considerable role in the installation costs. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower pricing due to more resources and bulk pricing. Smaller local companies might be more costly, but they can sometimes have better customer service and more customization options, and the occasional sale or discount can bring their pricing lower to compete with bigger names.

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 $17,854 10.2 years
8 kW $2.90 $16,222 $24,123 10.1 years
10 kW $2.84 $19,880 $30,551 9.9 years
12 kW $2.78 $23,379 $37,139 9.7 years
14 kW $2.73 $26,719 $43,885 9.5 years
16 kW $2.67 $29,900 $50,791 9.3 years
18 kW $2.61 $32,921 $57,855 9.1 years
20 kW $2.56 $35,784 $65,079 8.9 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

There are many solar installers to choose from, all of which offer different warranties, solar panel brands and price points. To help you decide on the right company for you, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Reputation: The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a well-established certification organization for clean energy professionals. If your solar panel installer is NABCEP-certified, it most likely has a solid reputation and is qualified to do the job well. Another way you can check your installer's reputation is by reading reviews.
  • Warranty: A quality company rises above other companies by providing the gold standard warranty — a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty covering parts, labor and performance.
  • Contract: When looking over your solar installer's contract, ask for clarification about any terms you're not sure of and be sure you understand what happens in scenarios such as a system part breaking or the company going out of business.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Homeowners will have different preferences for panels depending on their locations and energy needs. While there are many options for which brand 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 peruse their list of offerings before making your decision.

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 Lake Elmo, MN Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a tough question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on many 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 be more expensive if you want extra solar equipment or higher quality panels, or if you have above-average energy consumption. Conversely, you can spend less if you opt for a smaller solar panel system or cheaper solar panels.

What other factors should I consider aside from cost when buying solar panels?

The initial cost is a very important factor to consider, but whether it's the most important for you depends on why you decided to go solar. In places where rooftop space is limited, efficiency can be more important than the cost. Other factors that are important to think about are the quality and durability of your solar panels.

How will installing solar panels impact the value of my home?

Buying or financing solar panels for your home can increase the value of your property by about 4%, according to research done by Zillow. The average home value in Lake Elmo is currently $311,520, so you can expect a value of about $12,772 more than houses without a solar system. The exact figures will vary, but most experts agree that installing solar panels in Lake Elmo is a worthwhile investment.

How often do you have to replace solar panels?

On average, solar panels can last about 25 to 30 years. Some even last up to 50 years, but their efficiency goes down by about 0.8% each year. You can choose to replace them sooner if you want to maintain a larger amount of energy production.

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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