Solar-Powered MN Homes:
How Cost-Effective?

Quick quiz: which locale has more solar potential?

A. Florida
B. Houston, TX
C. Minnesota.

Answer: 3-way tie

Unfortunately, solar potential is only one piece of the solar equation; the other two are local electricity costs, and the cost of a solar panel system.

Ironically, at least in Minnesota, it’s the (relatively) low cost of electricity that’s the deal-breaker.

Even assuming a relatively high electric bill of $200 per month (average), you’d still only spend $2,400 annually, or $24,000 in a decade.

That same amount, $24,000, would purchase only a relatively modest solar installation that would defray — but not eliminate — your regular electric bill.

Mix everything together, and the payback period can be as long as 20 years.

A 30% federal tax credit makes the numbers much better — but still likely not compelling enough for most Minnesota homeowners.

What could change that equation?

Some combination of rising (conventional) electricity costs, falling cost of solar panels and/or fatter government incentives.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

Leave a Reply