Is Colorado a Good State for Solar Energy?
Colorado is a state that is focused on the advancement of solar power. State legislation has been implemented to provide favorable solar laws, incentives, and more. The state also provides a supportive environment for solar energy with several large solar projects in the state and much more in development. Solar power systems can be deployed on many different scales. From utility-sized operations that feed multiple homes and businesses, to small-scale operations that power localized devices. Here’s why solar panels are good for Colorado and you.
Colorado Solar Statistics
Below are Colorado’s solar statistics compiled by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA):
- Solar Installed: 940.3 MW (373.8 MW in 2016)
- National Ranking: 11th (11th in 2016)
- State Homes Powered by Solar: 189,000
- Percentage of State’s Electricity from Solar: 2.01%
- Solar Jobs and Ranking: 6,004 (10th in 2016)
- Solar Companies in State: 433 companies total; 46 Manufacturers, 219 Installers/Developers, 159 Others
- Total Solar Investment in State: $2,738.08 million ($509.04 million in 2016)
- Price Declines: 64% over last five years
- Growth Projections and Ranking: 1,681 MW over next five years (ranks 16th)
- The cost of solar panels has reduced 80% over the last five years because of advances in technology making solar more affordable
Colorado is one of a few states in the US that has a well established solar capacity. In fact, most experts believe the state has the potential for much more.
The Benefits of Solar Panels in Colorado
Colorado is an extremely sunny state that has nearly 300 days of sunshine every year. Colorado will typically get 3,204 hours of sunshine every year, which allows for an optimal amount of sunlight to power a residential solar panel system.
Solar energy is versatile. The energy that is generated from solar panels can be converted into thermal (heat) energy or electrical energy. Thermal energy created by the sun can be used to heat the water and spaces within your home. Solar panels also convert light from the sun directly into electricity to power appliances in your home. Photovoltaic solar systems are interactive with the grid and are commonly the systems which are installed on homes throughout Colorado. Overall, solar panels:
- Generate infinitely renewable energy
- Have little impact on the environment
- Reduce utility costs
- Instantly increase the value of your home.
Favorable Laws and Policies
Colorado has excellent solar access laws and also offers significant financial incentives for those who utilize solar energy systems. Several of Colorado’s utility companies provide attractive rebates to customers.
Unfortunately, Colorado does not offer state tax credits for installing solar power systems. However, Colorado residents can take advantage of a 30% federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit through 2017.
Colorado offers 100% tax exemptions for property tax, as well as sales tax. With the sales tax exemption, you won’t have to pay any sales taxes on top of your solar power system purchase. Homeowners will be able to add to the value of their home without having to pay taxes on that added value due to the property tax exemption policy.
Colorado has wonderful net metering policies for solar energy. Net metering will track how much solar energy a homeowner produces, and how much they utilize. Any excess energy that is fed back into the grid will be credited to monthly bills. Homeowners can also receive a check for the extra power that their system has been contributed to the grid.
In all, Colorado has more than 100 different financial incentives for renewable energy. You can get rebates, tax breaks, grants, loans, and much more for your solar power system installation in Colorado.
Are There Financing Options for Solar Panels?
Many people are concerned about the scary upfront costs of installing a solar energy system on their home. The truth is, solar panels have never been more affordable and accessible than they are today. In fact, according to the US Energy Information Administration, “solar is projected to fall to half the price of electricity from coal or natural gas within a decade or two.” 2016 was the first year that solar panels became cheaper than fossil fuels and prices are expected to drop even further in 2017.
Colorado’s RENU Loan Program
This fall, the Colorado RENU Loan Program will launch, offering Colorado homeowners easy and affordable financing for energy efficiency improvements. Homeowners will be able to finance:
- HVAC systems
- Insulation and air sealing equipment
- Energy efficient windows
- ENERGY STAR appliances
- Solar panels and solar systems
Colorado’s RENU program offers homeowners workable loan terms for the life of their equipment. Colorado’s RENU loan terms include:
- Loans of $500 to $35,000
- Financing of up to 100% of upgrade cost
- Highly comparable interest rates
- $0-money down financing for up to 15 years
For more information on Colorado’s Residential Energy Upgrade (RENU) program click here.
Who can Install Solar Panels?
Anyone can choose to install a solar energy system. Colorado has always stood for protecting homeowners’ rights to solar energy access. In 1979, Colorado put a law in place that prohibited the restriction of solar access to its residents. This meant that municipalities and homeowners associations could not prevent a person from installing a solar panel system on their home. There are aesthetic exceptions are in place, but a homeowner can not be barred from installing solar panels. Homeowners can also place themselves into a solar easement. This will guarantee their ability to use the sun for power for a more extended period.
Save Money and Energy, Install Solar Panels
Get ready to save money and the environment by installing solar panels on your home in Colorado! Take the first step by contacting REenergizeCO today! We can inform homeowners about requirements, incentives, installation, and the cost of a solar power system in Colorado.