Solar Space Heating Rebate Program

January 03, 2012


The Minnesota Office of Energy Security (OES) offers rebates for single family residential, multi-family residential and small business solar air heating systems installed within the state. Small businesses are defined as having 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees. Systems may be designed and used to provide supplemental hot water heating during the summer months, but the primary purpose must be space heating. Systems that integrate solar water heating into a hot tub or pool are not eligible for rebates. The OES requires that all participating residences be properly air-sealed as a prerequisite for receiving a program incentive. A comprehensive professional energy audit is recommended, but only air sealing is required.

Rebate Structure
The general rebate level is set at $25 per square foot of net aperture, as measured by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC). Below is a listing of the limitations set on each category of rebate:

  • Single Family Residential: lesser of 25% of system cost or $2,000
  • Multi-Family Residential (2-3 units): lesser of 25% of system cost or $4,000
  • Small Businesses and Qualifying Multi-Family Residential (4+ units): lesser of 25% of system cost or $25,000

Rebate amounts may not exceed the total cost of the system minus federal, utility, or other incentives.

The program has numerous equipment, warranty, and installation requirements for rebated systems (some detailed above). Home-built systems are not eligible for rebates. All systems must be installed by a Minnesota licensed contractor with at least $50,000 in liability insurance; self-installed systems are not eligible under this program. The OES has the right to inspect and monitor systems to make sure they meet rebate guidelines. In addition, the OES may monitor household energy use before and after system installation in order to evaluate program energy savings.

The program will cease accepting applications when funding is exhausted. Participants must complete several preliminary steps before applying for a rebate. The application must be approved prior to any installation work in order to remain eligible for a rebate and systems must be installed within nine months of the receipt of rebate confirmation. It is important to note that because the current program is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), participants may be subject to additional terms and conditions governing the use of ARRA funds. The program website and application contain step-by-step instructions on how residents should proceed with installing a rebated system under the program rules.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Minnesota
Incentive Type: Rebate Program
Web Site:
Administrator: Minnesota Department of Commerce
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar Space Heat
Incentive Amount: $25 per square foot of net aperture
Maximum Incentive: Single Family: lesser of 25% or $2,000
Multi-Family (2-3 units): lesser of 25% or $4,000
Multi-Family (4+ units): lesser of 25% or $25,000
Small Business: lesser of 25% or $25,000
Eligible System Size: Not specified, but rebates are limited
Equipment Requirements: Collectors must be SRCC OG-100 rated and have a five-year warranty; other components must have a one-year warranty and the systems must have a two-year installation warranty; automated (i.e., thermostat) and manual controls required; other technical requirements exist for some components and configurations.
Installation Requirements: Installer must be a licensed Minnesota contractor; back-up heating system required; collectors must be oriented vertically and within 10 degrees of due South unless system is also used for summer water heating; system must be 85% shade free from September - May.
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits: Remains with project owner


Name: Energy Information Center
Organization: Minnesota Department of Commerce
Address: 85 7th Place East
St. Paul MN 55101-2198
Phone: (800) 657-3710

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.