How to Use the Solar Calculator
The best way to learn about local rebates, your home’s energy potential, and your eventual return on investment is to use our ModSun Solar Cost Calculator (see above). Enter your home address in the box, then click Check My Roof. You’ll get an instant picture of your roof’s productivity, your average energy expenses, and installation costs in your area—whether you decide to buy or loan. We’ll also provide system size recommendations and information about rebates and incentives you may be eligible for. Just select More Info under each purchasing strategy to learn more, and then connect with a solar pro.
Solar Panels for Your Home in St. Paul, MN
Though you may not immediately think of sunny days when you think of St. Paul, MN. The city averages 196 sunny days annually–more than enough to enable you to power your home using nature’s most powerful source of energy, the sun. Residents of St. Paul are prime candidates for cutting their home energy bill practically in half by harnessing energy and powering their homes with solar energy. Additionally, with the price of solar technology at an all time low and numerous federal and state incentives to adopt solar, now is a great time to make the switch to a more eco-friendly, budget-friendly power source.
Is Minnesota Supportive of Solar Innovation?
Solar power is just not the way of the future, it is here. The state of Minnesota has one of the nation’s strongest renewable energy standards, requiring utilities to provide 25 percent of their electrical generation from renewable sources like wind, hydrogen, and solar power by the year 2025. This ambitious commitment will not only support the environment in the land of 10,000 lakes, but it will also help create next-generation industries with high-quality, good-paying jobs in Minnesota.
You don’t have to wait for those jobs to be created. The Twin Cities has plenty of knowledgeable contractors who can install and take care of any maintenance issues on your solar technology system. Experts in the solar industry aren’t hard to come by because solar has made great leaps in accessibility to consumers. In fact, in the U.S. every three minutes a residential solar system is installed. Last year, over half a million homes added solar systems throughout the nation. With the solar market expanding this rapidly, it’s likely to become a primary energy source in the decades to come. Minnesota is ranked 25th of the 50 states for most solar installed. California, North Carolina, and Nevada were the top three states this year.
The monumental increase in the use of solar is due to the fact that it’s clean, reliable, and increasingly affordable. Cumulative U.S. solar PV installations have now topped 25 gigawatts (GW) – a twelve-fold increase from 2 GW in 2010. Additionally, for the very first time installed solar has beat out natural gas capacity additions. In 2015, solar supplied 29.5 percent of all new electric generating capacity in the U.S.
Can Solar Technology Really Withstand the Cold St. Paul Winters?
While St. Paul approximates 34 days of snowfall a year and about 50 inches of snowfall in total, it is still an ideal city for solar panel installation because the area receives more sunlight hours in mid-winter than many other warmer parts of the country, including all of the Great Lakes states, the Pacific Northwest, parts of the South, and almost all of the Northeast. Those sunny to partly cloudy days can transform your household energy into big savings with the added bonus that you are leaving behind a much smaller carbon footprint.
Additionally, in terms of partly sunny days, the Twin Cities experiences approximately 101 days a year. Though your solar panels aren’t as efficient in cloudy conditions as during bright and sunny days, their productivity is only diminished by about 5 to 10 percent. That minimal reduction is a great testament to this amazing technology and why more people are switching to solar energy.
Will Integrating Solar Technology into My St. Paul Home Provide Significant Savings?
Most homeowners spend approximately 7 percent of their annual income on home energy. Today, the average household spends over $100 in home energy costs (a number that has increased by 37 percent in the last three years). Fortunately in St. Paul, you can easily and cost effectively switch to solar energy and completely transform your home from the inside out. Saving you around 40 percent on your overall energy costs. For example, assume your June utility bill for your 1,500 square foot home comes to about $115. In July, you decide to install a photovoltaic (PV) solar system to maximize the efficiency of power and lower your costs. With your home now equipped with a PV installation, your home energy bill runs around $65 a month. That is approximately $600 in savings for the year.
How Much Solar Capacity Do I Need to Power My St. Paul Home?
The average Minnesotan home uses about 810 kilowatt-hours (kwh) of electricity each month. If you were to meet 100% of your energy needs using a solar technology system, you would need to have a system capable of generating about 9,720 kwh of electricity annually. Work with a licensed solar installer to examine your monthly energy usage, as well as your budget for a new solar system, to determine what size system is right for you.
How Does an Average Residential St. Paul Solar System Work?
Typically, a residential solar power system involves installing solar panels on the roof of a home. The panels convert sunlight into DC power, which is channeled into an inverter in the home which converts the DC power into AC current. AC current is used by appliances, lights, and anything plugged into an outlet. Residential solar panels generate electricity whenever sunlight is present, regardless of whether it is used at the time. The sunnier the sky, the more power that is generated.
Are There Additional Financial Incentives to Adopt Solar in St. Paul ?
Yes. Today, homeowners can receive a 30 percent Residential Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The tax incentive is scheduled to end at end of this year (December 31, 2016). It’s anticipated that the Residential Solar Investment Tax Credit will be extended past this deadline, but it will likely have a reduced credit amount.
In St. Paul, you can also take advantage of the Made in Minnesota Solar PV and Solar Thermal Incentive Program. This program is for consumers who install PV and/or solar thermal systems using solar modules and collectors certified as manufactured in Minnesota. The program is administered by the Department of Commerce with an annual budget of up to $15 million for 10 years, including $250,000 per year for solar thermal rebates. Essentially, the Made in Minnesota incentives are 10 year, production based incentives. This means that each and every year, for the next 10 years, you will be financially compensated for every single KWh your PV solar system array produces. The amount you would be paid for your PV solar system is based on the size of your system. For most people, this means a check for approximately a thousand dollars for your production.To receive payment for your energy production, your participating utility must send a production report to the Minnesota Department of Commerce each year. Then, the Made in Minnesota Solar Program administrators will use that amount of energy you created to calculate your production based incentive for the prior year.
By switching to solar energy, you can not only lower your yearly energy costs, but you can also earn money with incentives– all while living in a more environmentally sustainable way.