Solar-Powered MN Homes:
Quick quiz: which locale has more solar potential?
B. Houston, TX
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.