South Dakota Solar Rebates And Incentives

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South Dakota Rebates and Incentives Summary

South Dakota

Famous for Mount Rushmore, great farmland, and the Sturgis biker rallies, South Dakota has unfortunately been lagging behind its neighbors in terms of promoting renewable energy. The current political atmosphere favors promoting biofuel and ethanol, which may be great for vehicles, but does not help homeowners much. If solar power is going to flourish in South Dakota, you may have to bring it to the attention of your state’s government. Remember to mention that South Dakota has a solar rating of “Good”, so your state would be an ideal place to watch clean energy grow.

Currently, no official net metering programs are in place in South Dakota, so if you have a solar energy system installed, you may want to contact your local utilities company to see if you can work out an arrangement with them. There are some sales and property tax exemptions available for wind power systems, but for fans of solar power, your only real incentive is the single tax incentive available for photovoltaic and solar heating systems. The increase in your property value from installing a photovoltaic system is tax-exempt, and you can save over $800 a year in utilities, so even with a scarcity of perks, most systems will pay for themselves within 30 years.

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Building Energy Code


Much of the information presented in this summary is drawn from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). For more detailed information about building energy codes, visit the DOE and BCAP websites.

A mandatory energy code is not enforced at the state level. If a local energy code is adopted, it is enforced at the local level. Builders or sellers of new residential buildings (single-family or multifamily residential of four units or less) are required to provide a disclosure form with information regarding the energy

Central Electric Cooperative - Net Metering

CEC members who generate their own electricity using solar, wind, fuel cells, or hydroelectric power may interconnect with CEC’s electric grid by entering into a Net Metering Agreement with CEC. Net Metering means that the Customer-generator will only be billed for the difference in what the customer uses and what they generate during a billing month. The agreement is a formal contract that spells out the responsibilities of Customer-generator and CEC when customers wish to send electricity back onto CEC’s grid.

High-Performance Building Requirements for State Buildings


In March 2008, South Dakota enacted legislation mandating the use of high-performance building standards in new state construction and renovations. This policy requires that new and renovated state buildings achieve the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Silver rating, a two-globe rating under the Green Building Initiative's (GBI) Green Globe rating system, or a comparable numeric rating from another accredited sustainable building certification program. The law applies to all new construction projects and renovations by state agencies, departments, or institutions that cost more than $1,000

Interconnection Standards


South Dakota’s interconnection standards for distributed generation, adopted by the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in May 2009, apply to customers of investor-owned utilities.* The rules provide for four levels of interconnection for systems up to 10 megawatts (MW) in capacity:

  • Tier 1 applies to inverter-based systems up to 10 kilowatts (kW) in capacity that use lab-tested equipment.
  • Tier 2 applies to systems up to 2 MW in capacity that use lab-tested equipment.
  • Tier 3 applies to systems up to 2 MW in capacity that do not export electricity.
  • Tier 4 applies to systems

Large Commercial Wind and Solar Alternative Taxes


In South Dakota, wind facilities constructed after July 1, 2007 and solar facilities, are subject to an alternative taxation calculation in lieu of all taxes on real and personal property levied by the state, counties, municipalities, school districts, and other political subdivisions. The definitions of "wind farm" and "solar facility" include only facilities producing electricity for commercial sale that have a minimum capacity of 5 megawatts (MW). All property used or constructed to interconnect individual wind turbines or solar panels within a renewable energy facility into a common

Montana-Dakota Utilities (Gas) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program


Montana-Dakota Utilities (MDU) offers several residential rebates on energy efficient measures and natural gas equipment. New furnaces and programmable thermostats are eligible for a rebate incentive if the equipment meets program efficiency standards. New furnaces must have Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) at least 95% or greater. The rebate program is available to natural gas customers for existing home natural gas furnace replacement, fuel conversion and new home construction customers. Home builders are eligible to receive a maximum of 25 natural gas heating incentives on a

Montana-Dakota Utilities (Gas) - Residential New Construction Rebate Program


Montana-Dakota Utilities (MDU) offers rebates to customers who install energy efficient natural gas equipment in new construction. New furnaces and water heaters are eligible for incentives through this offering. All new eligible homes with qualifying furnaces will receive a $300 rebate and homes with an efficient natural gas water heater will receive a $50 or $100 rebate. See equipment requirements listed above for eligibility or visit program web site. MDU issues rebate payments in the form of a check, not a utility bill credit.

Application forms must be fully completed with equipment

NorthWestern Energy - Residential Rebate Program (Electric)


NorthWestern Energy offers incentives to residential customers in South Dakota through their Efficiency Plus (E+) program. Incentives are offered for installing energy efficient equipment in eligible homes. Rebates are available for NorthWestern Energy existing residential electric heating customers. Rebate categories include high efficiency lighting, air conditioning equipment, insulation, appliances, and more specialized measures.

All installments must meet certain energy efficiency standards to qualify. Receipts must be turned in with the program application in order to qualify for the

NorthWestern Energy - Residential Rebate Program (Gas)


NorthWestern Energy offers incentives to Residential customers in South Dakota through their Efficiency Plus (E+) program. Incentives are offered for installing energy efficient equipment in eligible homes, and are available for NorthWestern Energy existing residential gas heating customers. Rebate categories include high efficiency heating equipment and insulation

All installments must meet certain energy efficiency standards to qualify. Receipts must be turned in with the program application in order to qualify for the rebate.  Other rebates for new construction are available. Visit

Otter Tail Power Company - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program


Otter Tail Power Company offers incentives to all residential customers in South Dakota to install energy efficient equipment in residences. Rebates are available for geothermal and air source heat pumps and electric water heaters. In addition, Otter Tail Power offers rebates for thermal storage technologies and residential demand control units, which help the utility minimize peak time energy use. There are a variety of different standards that must be met in order to qualify for these rebates; customers should check the program website for details. Receipts must be turned in with the

Renewable Energy Facility Sales and Use Tax Reimbursement


South Dakota allows for a reinvestment payment up to the total amount of sales and use taxes paid for certain new or expanded renewable energy systems, equipment upgrades to existing systems, and manufacturing facilities that produce renewable energy equipment. S.B. 235 referred specifically to wind energy facilities, but also allows for "power generation facilities" and facilities defined by the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) as targeted industries. Based on that authority, the GOED chose to extend this incentive to other types of renewable energy. 

To qualify, the

Renewable Energy System Exemption


In March 2010, South Dakota established a new property tax incentive that replaced two existing property tax incentives for renewable energy. Facilities that generate electricity using wind, solar, hydro, hydrogen generated by another eligible resource, or biomass resources are eligible for this incentive, as are facilities that generate other forms of energy using solar or geothermal resources.

For eligible facilities less than 5 megawatts (MW) in capacity, all real property used or constructed for the purpose of producing electricity is assessed in the same manner as other real property.

Residential Energy Efficiency Rebates (Offered by 11 Utilities)


Bright Energy Solutions offers energy efficiency cash incentive programs to residential and business customers of municipal utilities that are members of Missouri River Energy Services. In South Dakota, this includes: 

  • Beresford Municipal Utilities
  • Big Stone City Municipal Utilities
  • Brookings Municipal Utilities
  • Burke Municipal Utilities
  • City of Faith
  • City of Pickstown
  • Flandreau Municipal Utilities
  • Fort Pierre Municipal Utilities
  • Pierre Municipal Utilities
  • Vermillion Light & Power
  • Watertown Municipal Utilities Dept.
  • Winner Municipal Utilities 

Seventhwave (formerly Energy Center of Wisconsin) - Back of the Envelope Calculator

The Back of the Envelope Calculator is a learning tool that allows anyone to interact with a building as an energy system. They can see real-time energy connections between building components, isolate the effects of changing a single energy parameter, or produce concept-level energy and CO2 emissions estimates.

Solar and Wind Easements


Any South Dakota property owner may grant a solar or wind easement with the same effect as a conveyance of an interest in real property. Easements must be established in writing, and must be filed, recorded and indexed in the office of the register of deeds of the county in which they are granted. The maximum term of an easement is 50 years. Any payments associated with an easement must be made on an annual basis to the owner of the real property. An easement must include the following information:

  • A description of the real property subject to the easement and a description of the real

Southeastern Electric Cooperative - Electric Equipment Loan Program


Southeastern Electric Cooperative is a member-owned electric cooperative that serves customers in the southeastern part of South Dakota. Southeastern offers a loan program for customers who want to install energy efficient heating and cooling systems in homes or businesses. Loans are also available for those who want to install weatherization measures, such as storm doors, insulation or caulking.

Loans are available at a 5% interest rate for the following:

  • Geothermal, air-to-air heat pumps, or electric heat up to $10,000 for 7 years.

  • Geothermal, air-to-air heat pumps, or electric

Xcel Energy - Energy Design Assistance

Xcel Energy offers Energy Design Assistance (EDA) to qualified Colorado business customers. EDA gives customers a comprehensive approach to energy and cost savings for businesses considering new construction or renovation projects. EDA services can be tailored to the unique needs of each business. Featured services include: energy consulting services and predictive energy modeling, free to participants; enhanced services, including help toward a green building certification and early analyses in areas such as daylighting, lighting, massing, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC