Guide to Going Solar with Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU)

Thinking about going solar in Colorado Springs? Colorado’s solar incentives are some of the best in the nation, making it one of the leading states in encouraging residents to adopt solar energy solutions. With over 300 sunny days per year, the state offers excellent conditions for a homeowner investment in a solar (PV) system. 

In 1924, Colorado Springs voted to create a four-service public utility. Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) is a municipally owned utility company that provides electricity, natural gas, water, and wastewater services to local residents. 

If you are a resident of the Pikes Peak region, this is what you need to know about going solar with CSU.

Does Colorado Springs Utilities Offer Net Metering?

Net metering in Colorado is a popular option to help reduce your monthly utility bill. Net metering enables you to store surplus solar energy for later use. Colorado Springs net metering is a bit different than other programs. 

CSU does not provide a one-to-one net metering system. Instead, it credits solar energy fed back into the grid at a the current cogeneration rate, which is approximately $0.02 per kWh.1

What is Net Metering?

On bright days when your electricity consumption is low, your solar panel system might generate more power than you currently need.

This additional solar power is first utilized by your household appliances, and any leftover energy is then fed back into the electrical grid through the billing, or net, meter. 

There will be instances when your home’s energy demand exceeds what your solar panels can produce. During these periods, your household will draw power from the grid. Depending on the availability, your home may use a combination of solar energy and grid power or rely entirely on grid power.

By designing your system to generate an amount of energy that matches 100% of your yearly consumption, the months with longer daylight hours (and consequently higher energy production) will produce credits. These credits can then be applied to offset your energy usage in months with shorter days, where production naturally decreases.

How to Join the CSU Net Metering Program

  1. Select an Installer: The installer is responsible for providing updates to you for application status, permits, and installation.
  2. Submit Application: Your installer submits the application to CSU. The application is then reviewed for safety and standards.
  3. Approval: If approved, they will send an approval by email to the installer and the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department (PPRBD).
  4. Meters Installed: CSU will install two meters. The billing meter will be upgraded to a net meter, and they will install a new production meter.
  5. PTO Provided: CSU will issue a Permission To Operate (PTO) after your new solar energy system onto the grid.

What Solar Incentives Can CSU Customers Take Advantage Of?

Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Equipment 

The state of Colorado offers an exemption from sales and use taxes for all components used in the production of alternating current electricity from renewable energy sources. This exemption applies to the state’s sales and use taxes as well as certain special district taxes. 

Eligible components for the Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Equipment include solar modules, trackers, supporting structures or racks, inverters, towers, and foundations, plus the balance of system components such as wiring, control systems, switch gears, and generator step-up transformers. 2

RENU Loan Program

The Residential Energy Upgrade Loan Program (RENU) is a state initiative designed to help homeowners finance energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements to their homes. Through a partnership with the Colorado Energy Office and the Elevations Credit Union, the program aims to make it easier for residents to invest in energy-saving upgrades. 3

The program covers a variety of projects, including but not limited to solar PV installations, energy-efficient HVAC systems, insulation, windows, and doors, as well as water heating systems.

Homeowners can borrow up to $75,000 for up to 20 years with no money down for eligible projects. This makes it possible to fund a wide range of improvements, from small upgrades to more significant renovations, with a lower interest rate.

Property Tax Exemption for Residential Renewable Energy Equipment

In Colorado, homeowners are offered a property tax exemption for installations of renewable energy systems. This means that if you install a solar panel system on your home, any increase in your home’s value resulting from this addition won’t be subject to additional property taxes by your local government.

For example, if your home is valued at $350,000 in Colorado, in an area where the property tax rate is 0.6%, you would normally be paying $2,100 in property taxes. If you decide to install a solar system and it boosts your home’s value to $375,000, your property taxes would still only be $2,100 due to the exemption.4

Finding a Solar Installer in Colorado Springs

Whether you’re looking for an installer in Colorado Springs, Gleneagle, or Pueblo, Freedom Solar Power has you covered. We help you live more powerfullyTM . Freedom Solar Power works for you to get solar power into your home the right way.

Contact Freedom Solar Power today for a free consultation.