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Solar Incentives and Rebates in colorado

Peak Sun Hours (PSH): 6.0 - 6.6
Cost of Grid Power: $0.12/kWh
Number Of Installations: 71,257

Data from DSIRE. For more info visit: https://www.dsireusa.org/

Name Implementing Sector Program Type Administrator DSIRE ID
Aspen Electric - Net Metering Utility Net Metering 90
Solar, Wind, and Energy Efficiency Easements and Rights Laws State Solar/Wind Access Policy 259
Mandatory Photovoltaic System Cost Estimate State Line Extension Analysis 260
Net Metering State Net Metering 271
Utility PV Rebate State Rebate Program 273
Denver - Green Power Purchasing Local Green Power Purchasing 305
Aspen - Grid-Tied Micro Hydro Grant Local Grant Program Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE) 500
Fuel Mix Disclosure State Generation Disclosure 650
Colorado Electric Cooperatives - Interconnection Standards Utility Interconnection 1072
Xcel Energy - Interconnection Standards Utility Interconnection 1073
Denver - Solar Access Local Solar/Wind Access Policy 1097
Interconnection Standards State Interconnection 1266
Colorado Springs Utilities - Net Metering Utility Net Metering 1359
Grand Valley Rural Electric Association - Net Metering Utility Net Metering 1482
Mandatory Green Power Option for Large Municipal Utilities State Mandatory Utility Green Power Option 2480
Colorado Clean Energy Fund State Public Benefits Fund 2858
Clean Energy Fund State Public Benefits Fund 2859
Clean Energy Fund State Public Benefits Fund 2864
Property Tax Exemption for Third Party-Owned Residential Photovoltaics State Property Tax Incentive 4208
Property Tax Exemption for Residential Renewable Energy Equipment State Property Tax Incentive Division of Property Taxation / Local Assessors 4210
Energy Efficiency Resource Standard State Energy Efficiency Resource Standard 4489
SourceGas - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program Utility Rebate Program 5234
Xcel Energy - Solar*Rewards Community Program Utility Performance-Based Incentive Xcel Energy 5295
Eagle, Garfield, Gunnison, Lake, and Pitkin Counties - Energy Smart Colorado Loan Program Local Loan Program Energy Smart Colorado 5349
Eagle County - Energy Smart Colorado Energy Efficiency Rebate Program Local Rebate Program Walking Mountains Science Center 5452
Property Tax Exemption for Community Solar Gardens State Property Tax Incentive 5500
Income Tax Credit Carryover State Personal Tax Credit 5502
Adams County - Energy from Community Solar Gardens Local Energy Standards for Public Buildings 5531
Gunnison County - Energy Smart Colorado Energy Efficiency Rebate Program Local Rebate Program 5557
City of Aspen and Pitkin County - Renewable Energy Mitigation Program Grants Local Grant Program Community Office for Resource Efficiency 5558
Summit County - Energy Smart Colorado Energy Efficiency Rebate Program Local Rebate Program High Country Conservation Center 5562
Summit County - Energy Smart Colorado Renewable Energy Rebate Program Local Rebate Program High Country Conservation Center 5563
Lake County - Energy Smart Colorado Energy Efficiency Rebate Program Local Rebate Program Cloud City Conservation Center 5564
Gunnison County - Energy Smart Colorado Energy Efficiency Rebate Program Local Rebate Program Office for Resource Efficiency 5565
Gunnison County - Energy Smart Colorado Renewable Energy Rebate Program Local Rebate Program Office for Resource Efficiency 5566
Lake County - Energy Smart Colorado Renewable Energy Rebate Program Local Rebate Program Cloud City Conservation Center 5569
Xcel Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Financing Utility Loan Program 5627
Xcel Energy - Commercial Energy Efficiency Financing Utility Loan Program 5628
Xcel Energy - Non-Solar REC Program Utility Performance-Based Incentive 5718
Efficiency Works - Commercial New Construction Incentive Program Utility Rebate Program 5797
EZ Investment Tax Credit Refund for Renewable Energy Projects State Corporate Tax Credit 5833
Boulder County - EnergySmart Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Program Local Rebate Program 5876
C-PACE: Colorado Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy State PACE Financing Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, Inc 5878
BOMA International - BEEP (BOMA Energy Efficiency Program) Non-Profit Training and Information BOMA International 14470
Fort Collins Utilities - Integrated Design Assistance Program Utility Energy Analysis Fort Collins Utilities 14482
Fort Morgan Light and Power - ENERGYsmart Commercial Lighting Program Utility Energy Analysis Fort Morgan Light and Power 14485
Holy Cross Energy - Audits Utility Energy Analysis Holy Cross Energy 14492
Xcel Energy - Energy Design Assistance Utility Energy Analysis Xcel Energy 14520
Xcel Energy - Online Energy Assessment Utility Energy Analysis Xcel Energy 14525
Lamar Light and Power - Commercial Energy Audit Utility Energy Analysis Lamar Light and Power 16083
Southeast Colorado Power Association - Audits Utility Energy Analysis Southeast Colorado Power Association 16092
Fort Collins Utilities Light & Power - ElectriConnect Utility Energy Analysis Fort Collins Utilities Light & Power 16231
Xcel Energy - Recommissioning Utility Energy Analysis Xcel Energy 16363
Atmos Energy - Energy Matters Other Training and Information Atmos Energy 16506
Xcel Energy - Small Business Lighting Utility Energy Analysis Xcel Energy 16804
Xcel Energy - Business Energy Advisor Utility Energy Analysis Xcel Energy 16808
Colorado Springs Utilities - First Source Newsletter and Online Resources Other Energy Analysis Colorado Springs Utilities 17513
U.S. Department of Energy - Industrial Assessment Center (IAC): Colorado State University Federal Energy Analysis U.S. Department of Energy 17592
City of Boulder - EnergySmart Local Energy Analysis EnergySmart 17983
Southeast Colorado Power Association - Kill A Watt Loan Program Utility Energy Analysis Southeast Colorado Power Association 18468
Xcel Energy - Business Solutions Utility Energy Analysis Xcel Energy 19014
Fort Morgan Light and Power - Audits Utility Energy Analysis Fort Morgan Light and Power 19119
Sangre De Cristo Electric Association - Business Energy Advisor Utility Other Sangre De Cristo Electric Association 19139
Southwest Energy Efficiency Project - Colorado Industrial Energy Challenge Other Energy Analysis Southwest Energy Efficiency Project 19141
Fort Collins Utilities - Keep Current Program Utility Training and Information Fort Collins Utilities Light & Power 19156
Estes Park Light and Power - Efficiency Works Program Other Energy Analysis Estes Park Light and Power 19389
Xcel Energy - Business New Construction Program Utility Energy Analysis Xcel Energy 19791
Xcel Energy - Commercial Standard Offer Utility Energy Analysis Xcel Energy 19799
Xcel Energy - Energy At Risk Financial Analysis Tool Utility Energy Analysis Xcel Energy 19808
Xcel Energy - Windsource for Business Utility Other Xcel Energy 19809
Southeast Colorado Power Association - Green Power Utility Other Southeast Colorado Power Association 20507
Fort Collins Utilities - Climate Wise Utility Energy Analysis Fort Collins Utilities Light & Power 20709
Xcel Energy - Energy Management Systems Utility Energy Analysis Xcel Energy 21197
Southwest Energy Efficiency Project - Colorado Energy Efficiency Guide Other Training and Information Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) 21563
Residential Energy Upgrade (RENU) Loan Program State Loan Program Colorado Energy Office and Elevations Credit Union 22061
City of Aspen - Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Program Utility Rebate Program City of Aspen 22081
Atmos Energy (Gas) - Commercial and Industrial Energy Efficiency Rebate Program Utility Rebate Program 22082
San Isabel Electric Association - Commercial Lighting Rebate Program Utility Rebate Program San Isabel Electric Association 22083
La Plata Electric Association - Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Program Utility Rebate Program La Plata Electric Association 22084


What’s the Cost of Solar in Colorado?

Cost of Grid Power

Colorado's electricity prices average $0.12/kWh, below the national average of $0.14/kWh.

From 2010 to 2019, the state's renewable power generation has doubled to about ¼ of net generation. In 2019 small-scale solar, including rooftop solar, accounted for more than ⅓ of total solar generation in the state. Colorado is a national leader in community solar projects or "solar gardens," with nearly 70 active installs generating over 50mW to-date.

Cost of a Solar Install

Cost of a typical 5kW PV install in Colorado from 2006-2017

A graph of falling prices for a typical 5kW PV install in Colorado from 2006-2017.
Figures include design costs. Data from Berkeley Lab, courtesy of Xcel Energy.

The average cost of a 5kW (equivalent to saving over 100 trees a year) solar power system starts around $17,500 in Colorado. Before any incentives, in the first year you’d save about $900, compared to if you had been paying the normal rates for the energy you used. These savings can continue for well over 25 years, improving with inflation.




Just How Much Can I Save With Solar in Colorado?

This depends on may factors such as your system size, power output, and financing. Here are the main ways you can finance your home solar power system, and the kinds of returns you may expect to see:

Out-of-Pocket

From our example above, the homeowner purchased a 5kW system to offset their energy bill. Overhead cost was $17,500, with a significant proportion returned in the first year through incentives, rebates, and savings, then paying itself in full over 11 years.

Most solar power systems have a warranty lifetime of 25 years. In that time, between incentives and paying lower rates you could make a profit of around $18,000 - equivalent to the up-front cost of the system!

Even with occasional maintenance or part replacement, that is a massive savings. Solar panel power output falls on average 0.8% per year, so with a little TLC and load management you can extend the life of your system well beyond the warranty’s expiration date, continuing to save indefinitely.

Solar Loan

Whether or not you can afford the up-front cost of the install, you may want to consider a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). With equity in your home, or good credit, you may qualify for a 15-year solar HELOC with fixed rate of 4% or lower.

Starting with that same 5kW system costing $17,500 but with zero up-front cost, accounting for incentives, credits, rebates, and annual energy savings starting around $900, you could see a revenue surplus of about $5,000 at the end of the first year.

Save that money though. Your loan payments will likely exceed your power savings by about $50/month for the 15-year term. Once the loan is paid off, you can expect to save about $1,200 a year. Over 25 years you could expect to make about $13,000.

Power Purchase Agreement

With a Power-Purchase Agreement (PPA) the homeowner leases their roof to an outside party, usually a power company. Generally PPAs feature a fixed price per kWh, with either a fixed term or an annual escalator.

With a PPA, the cost of installation, repair, and maintenance to the homeowner is usually $0.00. For that 5kW system, with a PPA you could expect to save about $11/month on energy. Over a 20 years contract, you could see over $4,500 in revenue. That’s technically an infinite return!

PPA’s can be complicated, as you are effectively ceding at least some control of your home to the third party, but they are an excellent way to get into solar because they have no overhead.




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