State solar incentives

Solar incentives in Colorado for homeowners and businesses

Installing solar panels in Colorado can help you save quite a bit on your electricity bills. With 245 clear days annually, a PV system in Colorado will give a good energy harvest. And to save even more money, install solar panels the smart way and take advantage of solar incentives in Colorado.

Save 30% of your PV system cost with Federal Solar Tax Credit

The US government wants more people to go solar: it’s a modern and green way of getting energy. This is why the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) program was developed. It allows American citizens to claim 30% of the cost of their installation as an income tax deduction. The cost here is not only solar panels but also shipping, installation expenses and more. For example, if your system overall made you spend $10,000, the government returns you $3,000. To claim the ITC, complete all the necessary forms and submit them when filing your taxes.

Gain credits and pay your bills with net metering

Solar laws in Colorado enable customers of all utilities with more than 5,000 customers to join net metering programs. Hence, residential solar owners have the option to send the excess electricity back to the grid instead of storing it with battery banks.

When you sell your solar power to the utility, you receive credits that can be used to offset your next bills. In Colorado, their value is equal to full retail electricity price. If you have unused credits after a 12-month period, you can either choose to roll them over indefinitely or receive a payment at the utility's average hourly incremental cost. Keep in mind that investor-owned utilities require participating systems to be sized below 120% of the customer's annual average consumption.

Save up to $1,000 a year trading RECs

Renewable Energy Credits are certificates granted to any person or entity upon generation of each MWh of clean electricity. Unlike with net metering, you don’t need to sell any electricity to get credits. The value of RECs is always changing, which makes them similar to stock market assets. Based on the available data, selling RECs could mean anywhere from $300 to $1,000 annually for a 10kW solar system. To participate, first you may want to contact the Colorado Energy Office for relevant details. After that, you can create a REC account with the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (WREGIS) to begin storing and selling your credits.

Save up to $2,500 with solar rebates from electric companies in Colorado

To encourage the switch to renewable energy, electric companies in Colorado are willing to help their customers with the purchase of solar equipment. By applying for their solar rebates, Colorado residents can lower the cost of a PV installation. 

One of the examples is the Renewable Energy Rebate Program by San Miguel Power Association. SMPA pays $0.10 per each watt of installed capacity with a maximum rebate amount of $300 for residential installations and $1,000 for commercial systems. Ask the contractor you hired to install the system to apply for rebates on your behalf. All the questions can be addressed to SMPA Member Services at (970) 626-5549 or rebates@smpa.com.

Another electric company that offers rebates to its customers is Colorado Spring Utilities. It is possible to get $0.10 per watt both for residential and commercial systems with their Solar energy program. Home installation capacity must range from 500 W to 15 kW and commercial systems are eligible as long as they are under 100 kW. To apply for the program, complete all the required papers and email them at renewables@csu.org.

Earn more with Xcel Energy’s Solar Rewards Program

Customers of Xcel Energy can participate in its Solar Rewards Program. The electric company sends to their customers monthly or quarterly payments which depend on the size of the installation.

  • Small program is designed for systems under 25kW, and the utility pays $0.005 per kWh with the program's annual capacity limited to 12MW.

  • Medium program applies to systems with a capacity between 25kW and 500kW. Utility pays 0.0375/kWh. Program’s capacity is 24MW with half of it allocated in January and the other half in June.

  • Large program for commercial systems bigger than 500kW doesn’t have a fixed REC price (Bid by request for proposal) and is limited to 26MW per year plus 4MW for systems between 500kW and 1500kW.

Read the instructions for the program carefully and start the application process here.

Property taxes stay the same even after adding solar panels

To make sure that citizens don’t pay for solar panels more than necessary, the state doesn’t raise property taxes after the installation of photovoltaics. According to solar laws in Colorado, the production capacity of an installation should be less than 100kW to be exempted from taxes. While you don’t pay anything to the state, a solar system does increase the value of your home on the market.

4%

this is how much solar panels increase the value of your house

Sales and use tax exemption makes solar panels 3-8% cheaper

Solar systems in Colorado have been exempted from sales and use taxes since 2006. It allows retailers to put up their products for sale at a lower price. Some cities and counties have their own taxes, but overall this incentive makes panels 3-8% cheaper than in other states. The prices for photovoltaics dropped by 45% over the last 5 years, so buying solar panels in Colorado is usually a good deal.

Buy your first solar system with solar loans from Elevation Credit Union

Elevations Credit Union offers loans for Colorado citizens that are specifically aimed to help people to go solar. The minimum size of a loan for residential customers is $500 and for businesses it’s $1,000. The loan term can range from 36 to 180 months with an annual percentage rate from 2.75% to 8.125%. Learn more about energy loan rates and apply on union’s website.

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SHOP SOLAR PANELS

Years of experience in translation and a love of nature help Julia find the right words to encourage going solar. She joined the team in 2023 and is happy to make her contribution to a greener future.

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