MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Lots of things have changed at Brian Anderson’s Plymouth home. He had to quickly set up an in-home office for his work with Medtronic.

On the outside, he decided to install solar panels and use the sun to energize his home. He can make his own energy, and share any extra.

“Actually sold 16 kilowatt hours back to the power plant, so that’s kinda cool,” Anderson said.

He’s far from alone with more people working from home and paying higher bills, more people are making the solar switch.

“We’ve seen really booming interest across all sectors for solar,” said Griffin Dooling, the CEO of Blue Horizon Energy and president of Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association.

Dooling’s company has worked on several different solar projects for individuals and communities.

“You are reducing the amount of energy that you have to buy from the utility company, so you are saving money on your expenses in that respect,” Dooling said. “Also, you’re creating clean energy that doesn’t require fossil fuels, that doesn’t require miles of distribution cable to reach your home so you’re reducing your environmental footprint of your engergy as well.”

He says on average it cost between $15,000 and $25,000 to outfit a home with solar panels. To get a return on solar, homeowners will need to stay put for a while – as it takes from five to 15 years to recoup that investment.

But there are incentives and credits from the state.

As Dooling explains: “If you did a project on your home today, you’d get a 26% federal investment tax credit, and it’s important to note that that tax credit is a reduction in your tax obligation.”

If you would like to find out more about going solar, there is a list of installers and incentive information here.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield