The Homeowner’s Guide to Solar Energy in Colorado
September 25, 2023
Colorado’s certainly famous for many things, like its towering mountains, crystal-clear alpine lakes and outdoor enthusiasts looking to take on the terrain. But don’t forget about its abundant sunshine and commitment to clean energy!
All of these factors (and then some) make the Centennial State an ideal place for homeowners to start harnessing the sun’s power. It’s not just beneficial for the environment — it helps your wallet, too.
So if you’re considering harnessing solar energy in Colorado, this homeowner’s guide is your spark to get started. We’ll explore the fundamentals:
How to make the absolute most of your solar investment
Why Go Solar in Colorado?
The average price of solar equipment in Colorado is also lower than in most other states. Solar installations in Colorado have an average price of about $20,175, or $14,122 once the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) goes into effect.
These reasons are yet another nudge to start benefiting from that Rocky Mountain sunshine.
The Solar Installation Process
Now that you’ve decided you want to make the jump to solar, let’s explore the steps you have to take during the installation process. This is what happens after you complete your initial consultation with your chosen solar provider.
Before you commission a solar panel installation, you need to assess your property’s solar potential. You can do this in a couple of ways. For example, you can consult with your local solar provider for Colorado solar panels, or use an online tool, such as Freedom Solar Power’s free solar potential calculator.
If you end up talking to energy consultants and solar installers, they’ll evaluate a few things:
2. System Design
Once solar experts assess your property, they create a solar system design to maximize energy production. This design doesn’t mean creating entirely new panel technology for your specific home! The system design includes aspects like these:
- The solar panel size you need
- How many solar panels you need
- Where the panels will go (like wall-, ground- or roof-mounted panels)
[Related: A Beginner’s Guide to Solar Panels]
3. Permitting and Inspection
Now that your assessment and design phases are complete, you need to get the necessary permits from your local government before installation happens.
Luckily for you, the Colorado Legislature passed a bill that streamlines the solar permitting and inspection process. So it doesn’t take nearly as long to hit the ground running when buying solar equipment and actually benefiting from it. This is just one of many positive Colorado solar laws!
Congrats! You’ve passed your initial inspection and gotten a permit to install solar panels on your property. This usually takes a few days to complete from start to finish, granted hiccups or hurdles don’t arise along the way.
Once professionals properly install your panels and associated equipment, your system needs to undergo a final inspection. That way, you know it meets safety and performance standards.
5. Connection to the Grid
After installation, professionals connect your solar system to the grid!
This step officially allows you to benefit from utility programs like net metering, which credits you for the excess energy your system generates.
It’s always smarter to connect your system to the grid rather than pursue an off-grid lifestyle. Grid-connected systems give you greater energy security. For example, you can source energy from the grid if your panels don’t produce enough energy during the day to power your home, and you don’t own a solar battery to use stored energy.
Note: Freedom Solar offers SunPower® solar panels, which are hybrid panels. This means they connect to the grid, giving you the option to source and use energy from either your panels or the local electric grid.
Colorado Solar Incentives and Rebates
You might wonder about the cost of solar panels in Colorado. Well, you can expect many incentives and rebates to offset your total cost. Here are some top Colorado solar programs to help you save money.
Federal Solar ITC
Biden passed the Inflation Reduction Act in 2022, so that ITC extension is locked in.
Colorado Renewable Energy Standard (RES) Compliance Payments
Some Colorado utilities offer compliance payments to homeowners who generate excess alternative energy — in this case, solar power.
These payments provide an additional source of income from Colorado solar panels! Pretty great, if you ask us.
Property Tax Exemption
This is a top-notch perk that you shouldn’t overlook.
Solar installations are exempt from property taxes in Colorado (another of those positive Colorado solar laws we mentioned). So although your property value technically increases, this exemption prevents you from paying more in taxes.
Essentially, Colorado officials don’t want to sway you from going solar. They want it to be desirable, accessible and the opposite of a financial burden.
Note: There are many solar programs in Colorado that will help you save. But the ones most you’re eligible for (and most suited for) depend on where you live. On that note, Freedom Solar has a few current offers for customers in our respective service areas. In Colorado, we serve and provide panels for both Denver and Colorado Springs.
Benefits of Solar Energy in Colorado
If the reasons above aren’t enough of a push to go solar, here are a few more perks:
- Reduced energy costs. Solar panels reduce or even eliminate your electricity bills, saving you substantial money in the long run.
- Environmental impact. Solar energy (in Colorado, especially) is abundant, clean and renewable, and it helps combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Energy independence. By generating your own electricity, you become less dependent on fossil fuels and volatile utility prices.
- Increased home value. Solar panels increase the value of homes between 3% and 4%, and they also increase a home’s future sale price.
Contact Freedom Solar To Generate Solar Energy in Colorado
Going solar in Colorado is not only an environmentally responsible choice but also a financially savvy move. With loads of sunshine, great incentives and a clear commitment to clean energy, Colorado is a fantastic place for homeowners to embrace solar power.
If you’re considering making the switch, start by contacting Freedom Solar. We’ll make sure your house and wallet are ready before jumping in too quickly — we want you to enjoy the experience!
If so, give us a call at (800) 504-2337 or complete our online inquiry form. One of our energy consultants will be in touch!
Featured image via Pixabay