Solar Power Rebates, Tax Credits and Solar Panel Incentives in Colorado; 2012 Update September 2012 update;
Black Hills Energy has reached its budget cap on incentives for third-party-owned systems between 3 kW and 10 kW and for all systems between 60 kW and 100 kW. Colorado has a very good overall package of solar power incentives and rebates. The Colorado legislature should be congratulated for implementing its Renewable Portfolio Standard as there are other states that have done nothing or next to nothing.
Colorado's RPS or Renewable Portfolio Standard
Under Colorado's Renewable Portfolio Standard Act (RPS); targets have been set at 30% of electricity production to come from renewable energy by 2020. This is the reason why rebates and incentives are being offered by utilities companies, and why the government has funded the rebates available under the Colorado Solar Initiative, to ensure that these targets are met. To help your understanding we distinguish the rebates and incentives available for solar electricity panels into incentives that reduce the up-front cost and incentives that increase the income and savings from the system over time.
Federal Tax Credit
A significant financial incentive for your solar power system in Colorado is the same Federal Tax Credit that applies right across the USA. This gives you a credit on your Federal Tax bill equivalent to 30% of the cost of your solar system For more information on this visit out page "The 30% federal tax credit for residential solar power systems" Because this is a tax credit you get the benefit of this when you do your next federal tax return, rather than getting a cheque on the day of installation. Still, it has a real value if you are in a position where you are paying annual federal income tax equivalent to 30% or more of the value of your solar system.
Colorado's State Rebates
Colorado has a range of rebates on offer via the electricity Utilities . The amount you get varies on the size of the system you install (it is expressed as a $ amount per kilowatt of peak capacity of your solar panels ), the Utility company you are with, and how close that utility company is to achieving their goals for solar power system installations in their area. The closer they get to their goals the lower the incentive becomes. It is further complicated by the fact that incentives can be taken up front or over time,( but most people will choose to take their incentive up front). The best way to get the most up to date information on the rebate levels is to use the facility hereto get 3, free quotes from installers who service your area and know the state of play with your local utility. Local Incentives
- The Solar Grant Program provides grants for PV and solar water heating installations on housing enrolled in the city's affordable housing program, site-based non-profit organizations, and low- to moderate-income housing owned and/or developed by a non-profit organization.
- Eagle County has incentives for solar power systems to be installed on new and existing homes. Rebates of $1 per watt, up to $2,000, are available for photovoltaic (PV) systems.
- The Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE), a nonprofit organization promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency in western Colorado, offers residential and commercial rebates within the Roaring Fork Valley for the installation of photovoltaic. Solar energy systems must be installed or signed off by a COSEIA or NABCEP certified contractor.
Sales Tax and Property Tax Exemptions. Yes the good news is that there sure are exemptions on property tax and state sales tax. There are also local incentives; the best way to know if you are eligible in your area is to get in contact with your local solar experts. Web sites for many Colorado cities can be found at the Colorado Municipal League website, www.cml.org. Web sites for Colorado counties can be found at the Colorado Counties, Inc. web site, www.ccionline.org.
Utility Rebate Program
- Black Hills Energy - On-Site Solar PV Rebate Program
- Colorado Springs Utilities - Renewable Energy Rebate Program
- Holy Cross Energy - WE CARE Rebates
- La Plata Electric Association - Renewable Generation Rebate Program
- Poudre Valley REA - Photovoltaic Rebate Program
- San Miguel Power Association - Renewable Energy Rebate Program
- Southeast Colorado Power Association - Renewable Energy Rebate
- United Power - Renewable Energy Rebate Program
- Xcel Energy - Solar*Rewards Program
Along with the Federal Government 30% tax break the Net Metering regulations are the next best solar incentive that is available to those who reside in Colorado. In essence Net Metering means that your Utility is able to monitor how much energy you consume from the grid and how much electricity you put back into the grid via your solar electric power plant. Along with quite a few other States your system needs to be designed so that you don't produce more than 120% of the power your house or property generally consumes. They bought this in to stop householders from making money from their solar power systems, but at least you have Net Metering and that is a good thing, there are some more technicalities below.
Colorado Solar Incentives and investment case: Summary April 2012
Good work Colorado your state has a very good overall package of incentives and rebates that make solar power a viable option for those wishing to get involved. Payback times for systems are now well under 10 years in most residential type situations. As always the best way to find out about all the options available to you is to get some quotes from local installers, click here to get the ball rolling.