Solar Panel Cost Guide in St Cloud, MN (Feb 2023)

  • St Cloud Solar Installation Cost: $14,194
  • 25-Year Savings: $20,332
  • Payback Period: 10.3 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 St Cloud

We break down average solar pricing in St Cloud.

While the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in St Cloud generally cost about $3. Using this figure, a typical 7.1 would cost about $14,194 before the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

Keep in mind that the numbers above are only averages. The price you'll end up paying for solar will differ based on your household energy needs, the type of equipment you choose, your solar contractor and more. For many homeowners, the upfront cost of solar power is worth paying. On average St Cloud homeowners see about $18,000 in savings on electricity bills over 20 years.

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

Solar savings over time in St Cloud

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-12,813
3 years $-10,051
5 years $-7,289
7 years $-4,527
9 years $-1,765
11 years $997
13 years $3,759
15 years $6,521
17 years $9,283
19 years $12,045
21 years $14,808
23 years $17,570
25 years $20,332

Top Solar Installers in St Cloud

DIY solar panel installation is a way to cut costs, but it's an undertaking that can be a pain. Hiring a solar panel installer can make converting to solar power much easier. The expertise that solar installers provide can be valuable as well, particularly if you aren't sure what type of solar equipment you need.

Working with a vetted 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 St Cloud

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in St Cloud

Although the average cost of a solar system in St Cloud is $14,194, your final cost may be above or below the average. There are several factors that can have a significant impact on the cost of a solar panel installation. Below are some of the more important things to take into consideration.

Solar Equipment

When it comes to estimating the cost of solar panels in St Cloud, one of the most crucial 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 usage, which you can determine by looking at past energy bills. Your total cost can increase by around $2,840 for each additional kilowatt you need. Some solar brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — are more expensive upfront but also tend to offer higher efficiency. In a city like St Cloud, where sunlight isn't as abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. Plus, if you have a small roof or limited space for your panels, higher efficiency options will be more impactful. Additional equipment like electric vehicle chargers and solar batteries will also increase the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

Most solar companies in St Cloud provide solar loans, which reduce the initial cost of installing solar panels. However, the interest on solar loans also adds to your overall costs, so it's vital 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

The remaining major cost factor you should take into consideration is the installer you choose. Given the growing popularity of green energy solutions in St Cloud, you'll have lots of options to choose from, but each comes at different price points for labor and equipment. Larger national companies typically have lower costs, but some local companies undercut them by promoting sales and discounts. While the smaller companies might not have specific equipment options like Tesla Powerwall batteries or extra services like electric car charger installation, they might be cheaper overall.

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 $16,621 10.7 years
8 kW $2.90 $16,222 $22,480 10.5 years
10 kW $2.84 $19,880 $28,497 10.3 years
12 kW $2.78 $23,379 $34,674 10.1 years
14 kW $2.73 $26,719 $41,009 9.9 years
16 kW $2.67 $29,900 $47,504 9.7 years
18 kW $2.61 $32,921 $54,158 9.5 years
20 kW $2.56 $35,784 $60,970 9.2 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

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

  • Contract: It's important to read your solar installer's contract fully to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what you can expect about your solar system's energy production.
  • Installation Process: Homeowners should make sure they know how exactly the installation process will be carried out, as well as important factors like the project timeline.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Homeowners will have different preferences for panels based on their locations and how much efficiency they need. While there are many options for which model of solar panel you can get, not every company will have access to the exact one you may want or need, so make sure you peruse their list of offerings before deciding.
  • Warranty: A quality company rises above other companies by offering the gold standard warranty — a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty covering parts, labor and performance.

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 St Cloud, MN Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in St Cloud?

This is a tough question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on a few different factors. Generally 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 additional solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have above-average energy usage. On the other hand, you can spend less if you choose a smaller solar panel system or cheaper solar panels.

Should I lease or buy solar panels in St Cloud?

Leasing solar panels can be an appealing choice, as it typically comes with low or $0 upfront payments. The downside is that you won't be able to save as much. If you lease, you don't own the system, so you can't claim any tax rebates and credits and your home value won't increase. Buying solar panels is a better option if you want to get the most savings.

Do solar panels increase the value of your 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 St Cloud is currently $171,779, so you can look forward to a value of about $7,043 more than houses without a solar system. The specific figures will vary, but most experts agree that installing solar panels in St Cloud is a worthwhile investment.

How long do solar panels last in St Cloud?

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