The Solar Bonus Cost Share program is a new edition to St. Louis Park’s successful efforts to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions
The new program is aimed to encourage city residents to think about maximizing their energy efficiencies, which will overall help to reach their Climate Action Plan goals of being carbon neutral by 2040. If you are interested in qualifying, there are specific requirements that must be met.
The first step in applying for Saint Louis Park’s Solar Bonus Cost Share program is participating in their Climate Champions program. To do this, an energy audit is required, which is available for free or reduced costs for properties in St. Louis Park. A Home Energy audit (residential properties) or an Energy Smart audit (commercial properties) will help to determine how energy efficient the property currently is and will identify ways to improve energy efficiency.
For residential properties, after your audit, you must receive a rebate from Xcel Energy or CenterPoint Energy OR complete an eligible project that increases your property’s energy efficiency. Improvements to the home’s air sealing and insulation are among the easier options for these projects, but installing heat pump projects can qualify you for additional rebates from the city.
For commercial properties, after the audit, you will be notified of grant and rebate opportunities for businesses. You will also get a list of what improvements are recommended. These include efficient lighting, refrigeration, HVAC, controls, air sealing, and insulation improvements. These projects are eligible for partial reimbursement from the city.
After the prerequisite of becoming a Climate Champion in the city of St. Louis Park, you can apply for the Solar Bonus Cost Share program. The amount received from the program is based on the greenhouse gas emissions savings for the property after energy efficiency projects have been completed to achieve Climate Champion status.
Residential properties can receive a five, ten, or 15 percent cost share depending on the increase of your Home Energy Score. Increasing your score by five to 15 points results in receiving a ten percent solar cost share. Projects increasing your score by more than 15 points or the property is in an environmental justice priority are eligible for a 15 percent solar cost share. If your home receives a score of 95 points or greater on your home energy audit, and the city provides you with no suggested improvements, you can receive a five percent solar cost share.
For businesses, projects that reduce greenhouse gas consumption by five to 15 percent are eligible for a ten percent cost share bonus. Commercial properties that are located in specific areas of the city or undertake energy efficiency projects with a 15 percent or higher greenhouse gas reduction can qualify for a 15 percent solar cost share.
In addition to the incentives in Saint Louis Park, there are other financial incentives that you might qualify for. Many utility companies offer rebates for going solar in Minnesota. The federal government has a 30 percent tax credit for property owners who install solar. These offerings can be used together for increased savings on your solar panel system.
Want to know if you could qualify to be a Climate Champion and participate in the St. Louis Park Solar Cost Share program or other solar incentives? Contact All Energy Solar for a free consultation; so a solar expert can help you find rebates you might qualify for.
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