How to Use the Solar Calculator
The best way to learn about local rebates, your home’s energy potential, and your eventual return on investment is to use our ModSun Solar Cost Calculator (see above). Enter your home address in the box, then click Check My Roof. You’ll get an instant picture of your roof’s productivity, your average energy expenses, and installation costs in your area—whether you decide to buy or loan. We’ll also provide system size recommendations and information about rebates and incentives you may be eligible for. Just select More Info under each purchasing strategy to learn more, and then connect with a solar pro.
Solar Buying Guide For Denver, CO
If you’re interested in investing in a solar power system for your home, Colorado is a great place to do it. Regularly ranked in the top 10 for most installed solar per capita, as well as the creation of solar jobs, Colorado also has an aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standard that provides local utilities with tremendous incentives to make adopting solar affordable for homeowners. Additionally, Denver experiences 245 sunny days a year, providing plenty of sunlight to meet your energy demands.
Investing in a solar power system for your home can help significantly reduce your monthly energy bills, so much so that your system begins paying for itself almost immediately. The amount of money you save monthly will depend on your average energy usage and the size of the system you install. Your solar investment may also increase your property value. When you are ready to sell your home, studies show that buyers are willing to pay $15,000 more for a home equipped with solar panels and you can expect your home to sell quickly as millennials interested in homes with energy efficient features begin to enter the housing market.
In addition to making good financial sense, investing in a solar power system will also make your home more environmentally sustainable, decreasing the impact that your household has on the local environment.
Are There Financial Incentives to Adopt Solar in Denver?
Yes. Colorado was the first state in the U.S. to enact a renewable portfolio standard (RPS). The RPS requires that utilities generate or obtain a percentage of their energy from renewable resources by 2020–30% for each investor-owned utility (IOU), 20% for each electric cooperative serving 100,000 meters or more, and 10% for each electric cooperative serving less than 100,000 meters and each municipal utility serving more than 40,000 meters. The RPS helps provide utilities with tremendous incentives to encourage homeowners to adopt solar power systems, making integrating solar technology into your home much more affordable. Some incentives include:
Federal Tax Credit: If you install an Energy Star approved solar-power systems before the end of 2016, you can claim 30% of the cost as a tax credit for the year you installed it.
As a credit, you take the amount directly off your tax payment, rather than as a deduction from your taxable income. You can claim the credit for your primary residence, a vacation home, and for either an existing structure or new construction. Other than the cost of the system, there’s no limit to the dollar amount of the credit.
Property Tax Exemption for Residential Renewable Energy Equipment: Residential photovoltaic installations are 100% exempt from property taxes in Colorado.The system must primarily be used to supply electricity to your home. Property taxation of some other forms of renewable energy like solar space heating may be determined on a local basis. To learn more about whether such systems are exempt locally, discuss it with your solar installer or check with the local municipality or county.
Property-Assessed Clean Energy Financing: PACE Financing effectively allows homeowners to secure the up-front costs for a solar power system. The amount borrowed is repaid via a special assessment on the property over a period of years.
Net Metering: Net metering allows residential customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to feed electricity they do not use back into the grid. That excess energy can be accessed by the homeowner as credits during periods when their solar power system does not meet 100% of their energy needs. Any customer’s net excess generation (NEG) in a given month is applied as a kilowatt-hour (kWh) credit to the customer’s next bill, with each kWh credit of NEG off-setting 1 kWh of electricity consumption in a future month. If in a calendar year a customer’s generation exceeds consumption, or if the customer-generator terminates its retail service, the utility must reimburse the customer for the NEG at the utility’s average hourly incremental cost over the most recent calendar year.
Net metering customers may make a one-time election in writing on or before the end of the calendar year to have their NEG carried forward from month-to-month indefinitely. If the customer chooses this option, they will surrender all their kWh credits when they terminate service with their utility.
Renewable Energy Credits: It may even be possible to create a revenue stream from your solar power system by earning and selling Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to your local utility. A utility may acquire the RECs by purchasing them from the homeowner-generator through a standard offer. All contracts for RECs for solar electric technologies are required to have a minimum term of 20 years if the system is under 100 kW.
In addition to federal and state offered incentives, now is a great time to adopt solar as prices for solar technology are lower than ever. Countries around the world have begun mass producing high-quality solar panels, causing prices to drop dramatically. Prices have dropped 53% since 2010.