Minnesota solar is possible with net metering and a great installer

EnergySage Customer
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What You Need to Know


Rec 405AA, Enphase IQ8A. The system has 5 south facing panels, and 31 West facing panels due to the orientation of my roof.

Other Benefits:

My state/utility offers 1:1 net metering. This means that my energy usage is almost irrelevant, and why a battery system really isn't necessary (outside of emergency power). The energy produced is the same value whether I use it or not. The utility essentially acts like a battery for me.

Maintenance Requirements:

I do not foresee any maintained. Minnesota gets enough rain/snow, that I don't expect the panels to get very dirty over time. The benefits of washing panels really isn't worth it for the amount of energy saved. Same goes for snow removal. The snow slides off during any increase in temperature, or very sunny day. The sun is so low in the winter, that the risk of damage to panels is too high given the few bucks you would get in production.

Efficiency or Sustainability Improvements:

The solar was installed on a new roof. Installing on an old roof is too large of a risk, needing to remove/reinstall the system to replace the roof is wasted time and money.

My Motivation:

The rise in energy costs, and just general curiosity in the technology were my main motivations. There are likely slightly better investments out there, but I think it's a pretty safe bet energy costs are only going up from here. Knowing the majority of the energy I use is produced from the sun rather than burning coal is just the cherry on top.


Get a lot of quotes! Energysage was great for this, but I also contacted the popular companies in my area. Once you have gotten a few it becomes easier to weed out who is really just trying to sell you, vs who is designing the best system for your needs. It can be an intimidating market when you don't know anything going in, so do a bit of research and ask a ton of questions. Be picky about the equipment that is chosen. You expect this to be on your roof for 20+ years, so put in the little bit of research work it takes to understand the system you are being quoted a bit better. I used energysage, youtube, reddit, and some local facebook groups. The local groups were great to get a local perspective on price and production expectations. Stay away from leases, do what you can to own your system.

Experience with Installer:

Solar can be a SKETCHY industry, similar to roofing in my experience. Be very careful who you are trusting. Just because they are a large company does not mean they will be around for years and/or are not ripping you off. I was terrified of this, but getting a ton of quotes really eased my concerns. After each quote I learned a bit more about how the industry worked, and this armed me with more information to bring to the installers I was considering. Price was a big driver since you want the quickest roi as possible. However, I actually found a smaller company that won out. The reasons for this was they are still a REC protrust installer, the "sales" guy was also an electrician/installer himself so he really knew what he was talking about, and they were incredibly responsive. The large companies in the area were hard to get a hold of, overbooked, and just ran through the same old sales pitch they run through with everyone.

Additional Notes:

I didn't realize that solar could be installed in the winter. I was originally hesitant about this idea, but found that it is incredibly popular in this industry. It really was nothing to worry about, and they did an awesome job.

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