Solar Panel Cost Guide in Rochester, MN (Feb 2023)

  • Rochester Solar Installation Cost: $14,333
  • 25-Year Savings: $22,736
  • Payback Period: 9.7 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

Why you can trust EcoWatch

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 Rochester

Let's have a look at the average cost of solar panels in Rochester.

The average cost of solar panels in Rochester is $3 per watt. To cover the typical energy needs of the average home in Rochester, most homeowners require a 7.2-kilowatt system. Using the per-watt figure above, a solar installation costs around $14,333, or $10,606 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

The prices above are just estimates to give you an idea of the cost of a solar energy system. The exact cost of going solar can vary based on several factors, such as how many panels you need, your energy consumption and what installation company you go with. Many homeowners find installing solar panels is a fruitful investment. The average homeowner in Rochester can save about $20,000 on their power bills over 20 years.

To calculate your potential savings and connect with a local solar expert, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Rochester

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-12,851
3 years $-9,885
5 years $-6,920
7 years $-3,954
9 years $-988
11 years $1,977
13 years $4,943
15 years $7,908
17 years $10,874
19 years $13,840
21 years $16,805
23 years $19,771
25 years $22,736

Top Solar Installers in Rochester

When making the switch to solar, many homeowners prefer to hire a solar company since installing solar panels yourself can be a challenging project. Also, if you'd like to maximize your investment in solar, opting for a solar installer can help with that too. Different providers can offer repairs, expertise on how to install solar panels and sometimes even information on local incentives and net metering programs.

Working with a licensed solar installer can help your solar project go smoothly. 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 Rochester

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Rochester

Though the average cost of a solar system in Rochester is $14,333, your final cost may be above or below the average. There are many factors that can have a significant impact on the cost of a solar panel installation. Below are some of the more important things to keep in mind.

Solar Equipment

The cost of solar panels varies by thousands of dollars due to a variety of factors. One of the key factors is the system size, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). Solar power systems that have greater efficiency or power generation use better technology and/or more equipment, both of which can increase costs. For each additional kilowatt you need, your cost can go up by about $2,840. The brand and type of equipment you get for your solar system can increase or decrease the price quite significantly. If you prefer a brand name like Tesla or SunPower, these often come at a higher price than other brands. Efficiency also matters. Whether you're opting for high efficiency because you have a small roof or just want maximum energy production, you can expect a higher equipment cost, but this can typically lead to greater savings over time. Plus, if you want extra equipment like an electric vehicle charger or solar batteries, this will also raise the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

Solar panels can save you money on power bills over time, but they can also be a big investment. That's why many Rochester homeowners opt to finance their solar panel systems to offset upfront costs. When trying to figure out your overall cost, you should also calculate the interest you'll pay if you opt for a solar loan. Also, paying more on your down payment can lower the total interest paid over time.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar installer you pick will play a role in your total cost to go solar. Different companies will charge different amounts for the equipment and labor. Additionally, some companies in Rochester know more about local solar incentives and can help you take advantage of additional rebates or tax exemptions. Though, they may charge more for that service. Even if they cost more upfront, they could end up saving you more money in the long run.

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 $18,439 10.1 years
8 kW $2.90 $16,222 $24,904 9.9 years
10 kW $2.84 $19,880 $31,527 9.7 years
12 kW $2.78 $23,379 $38,310 9.5 years
14 kW $2.73 $26,719 $45,252 9.3 years
16 kW $2.67 $29,900 $52,352 9.1 years
18 kW $2.61 $32,921 $59,612 8.9 years
20 kW $2.56 $35,784 $67,031 8.7 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:

  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and kind has varying levels of quality, longevity and energy efficiency. They will come at different price points as well. The company you choose affects which solar panel brands you have access to.
  • Warranty: A high-quality company stands out from other companies by offering the gold standard warranty — a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty covering parts, labor and performance.
  • Reputation: Make sure your solar panel installer has a good reputation by verifying it has certifications and licenses, checking how long it's been in business and reading reviews by previous customers and solar experts like EcoWatch.
  • Contract: Before signing a contract with a solar installer, be sure to read it through carefully so you understand the terms. Also, ask questions if you aren't sure about some of the terms, such as what to do if a component breaks or malfunctions and if there are any guarantees about energy production.

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 Rochester, MN Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Rochester?

The average cost of solar panels in Rochester is about $14,200 for a 5-kW system and $28,400 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the actual cost will depend on things like the model of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you consume.

Is it better to lease or buy solar panels in Rochester?

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 home 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 bang for your buck from going solar.

Is it worth going solar in Rochester?

Whether or not solar panels are worth it depends on some different factors like local electricity rates and the amount of direct sunlight your roof gets.

How many solar panels should I get to power my home?

The exact number of solar panels you need depends on your household energy consumption and the amount of sunlight your roof gets. You can 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 install 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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