You can go green with a bonus if your utility provider is Xcel Energy. Solar*Rewards provides incentives for customers who install solar power systems and connect them to the grid to sell excess energy to the utility. Through the Xcel Energy Solar Rewards program, payments are extended to the owner of a solar power system in exchange for Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for the energy produced by the solar system.
Essentially, if you produce more solar power than you need, the extra energy is added to the grid and your bill is credited for future power use. This is known as net metering. For Solar*Rewards, Xcel Energy tracks the production over time and issues additional payments or credits for your energy production, on top of what you'd receive for net metering.
Solar*Rewards® is your opportunity to have solar for your home or business, as it can basically help the system pay for itself over time. This program has limited availability and is first come, first served, so it’s worth getting in as soon as you can. Net Energy Metering (NEM) is also available and has some of the same benefits as Solar*Rewards, except that it's non-incentivized.
Recent changes to Xcel Energy Solar*Rewards
It’s important to note that Xcel Energy recently announced an important change to it’s Solar*Rewards program that could impact current, in-progress and near-future residential solar installation projects within the state of Minnesota.
The largest energy utility in the state will no longer accept Xcel Solar*Rewards applications for projects where the subcontractor(s) hold the residential building contractor license. Only applications from the solar installer/developer that contracts directly with the customer (and submits the application on their behalf) will qualify.
Simply, people who are or will be installing solar should work directly with a reputable contractor licensed in Minnesota. The longer a solar company has been working in the state, the better prepared and qualified they are to manage the ins and outs of requirements to fulfill the project to the maximum benefit of the customer.
If you’re not working with a reputable solar installer, you could be missing out on benefits and protections for which you’d otherwise qualify. Full-service companies like All Energy Solar can manage every step of the process, from incentives and financing to permitting and installation.