South Dakota ranks #47 in America for savings from installing solar panels on your home

Solar power in South Dakota

Last fact checked on July 31, 2019 by Catherine Lane

There is quite a bit of room for improvement when it comes to solar power in South Dakota. There are hardly any state-based or utility-based incentives for installing solar. Also, there is no net metering policy in place, so utilities are not required to compensate customers for the excess energy their solar systems produce. 

The bright side is that South Dakota does offer a property tax exemption for renewable energy systems. This can save homeowners a lot of money when it comes to their property taxes. 

Additionally, South Dakota residents can take advantage of the 30% federal tax credit.  



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Solar power in South Dakota

South Dakota solar power facts


Average cost of a 5kw solar power system in 2020
Price shown before incentives

8 Years 8 Months

Average payback time


Average lifetime savings
Price shown after repayments of capital


levelized cost of solar energy


If you don't get solar
The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years


Annual power production

Cash flow graph based on cash purchase of a 10.39kW system

This 10.39kW system would offset 100% of your energy usage if your typical monthly bill in South Dakota is $124, however your situation may vary so try our solar calculator to get a result tailored to you.

Best solar offers currently available in South Dakota

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How much do solar panels cost in South Dakota

$2.56 per watt

Cash purchased solar system
Before 26% solar tax credit

$4.06 per watt

Financed solar system
Before 26% solar tax credit

N/A cents/kWh

Av. 15 year term, 2.5% price escalator

What are the pros and cons of buying solar panels for your home in South Dakota

The advantage of installing solar panels in South Dakota is the state’s property tax exemption. Also, since there are no other rebates available, the amount that homeowners will receive from the federal tax credit will be greater, as the federal tax credit is based on the price of the system after other incentives are applied. 

SolarPowerRocks provides a great breakdown of solar incentives and policy for each state within the US.

The disadvantage of installing solar panels in South Dakota is that there are little to no state or utility-based incentives. There is no net metering policy, so utilities are not required to provide compensation for excess energy a solar system produces. 

However, the combination of the property tax exemption and the 30% federal tax credit still creates the opportunity for great savings. The federal tax credit decreases starting in 2020, so the best time to make the switch to solar in South Dakota is now!

Enter your details to calculate the cost and savings you are likely to get from installing solar panels for your home.

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Best brands of solar panels

To find the best brands of solar panels you can use America's most trusted solar panel comparison and reviews website, SolarReviews.

However, reviews of solar panels can be a bit meaningless because most consumer owners have not had any issues and so while solar company reviews are very important when choosing solar installers they are of less use when choosing solar panels.

For more information to help you make an informed decision about this topic, I would recommend this article about buying solar panels.


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How much electricity will solar panels produce in South Dakota

Solar panels produce different amounts of energy in different locations.

Around the Pierre area solar panels installed on a south facing 30 degree pitch roof will typically produce:

1,451kWh per year per 1kw of peak DC (direct current) capacity

For more information about how your location, roof direction and roof tilt affects solar power production use the solar panels calculator and enter your zipcode below.


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I want to buy a solar panel kit and install it myself

What rebates, solar tax credits, and other solar incentives are available in South Dakota?

Renewable Energy System Exemption

South Dakota homeowners have the opportunity to save on their property taxes when they install a solar system on their home, thanks to the Renewable Energy System Exemption legislation. When a solar system is installed on a home, the value of the home increases, and so do the property taxes. With this statewide policy, the renewable energy system installed will be assessed, and then the first $50,000 or 70% of the assessed system cost, whichever is greater, is exempt from property taxes.  



Renewable, Recycled and Conserved Energy Objective

South Dakota’s renewable portfolio standard was enacted in February 2008. The legislation established a voluntary goal stating that 10% of all retail electricity sales in the state should be obtained from renewable energy sources. This standard is out of date and not very ambitious. Not to mention, the standard is voluntary, so utilities are not required to meet it. Because of the weak renewable portfolio standard, utilities are not pressured to create rebates to incentivize their customers to go solar. 

South Dakota Solar Calculator

Regardless of what you want to know about the economics of installing solar panels for your home or business in South Dakota we have a solar calculator that can show you exactly the information your require.



What you can find out about installing solar panels in South Dakota using our full monthly solar calculator

This solar calculator requires you to input your address, utility company, your average monthly power spend - It tells you:

If you want to see all of the above but also see live pricing, the three best solar deals available in your city and get binding quotes from each of these solar companies then use this South Dakota solar panels calculator. This calculator requires you to also input your name and contact details because most of our 200+ installer partners will only authorize the sharing of their live solar pricing where we have validated that you are a real homeowner with a home in their service area. We respect the privacy of your data and only share your contact details with the solar companies you ask us to get binding quotes from.


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Going solar in South Dakota

Check out all of the ways energy providers of South Dakota can help you be more energy efficient and save money.

The following programs are available:
Incentive Name Eligibility Type
Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit Federal Personal Tax Credit
Renewable Energy System Exemption State Property Tax Incentive
Find your local rebates and incentives

Your city may have further incentives to offer. Please keep in mind that the best source of up-to-date information on incentives are the solar installers who specialize in your area.