Calculate how much you can save on your Xcel Energy bill with solar panels

Average 25 year solar savings for a Xcel Energy customer: $48,589

Average solar panel cost: $15,829 - $19,347*

Estimate solar panel cost and savings based on your location, roof and power use.

*Solar panel cost varies by location, solar panel mqanufacturer, system size and the amount of electricity your home uses.

Adding solar panels and switching rate plans can lower your Xcel Energy Colorado electric bill

Updated: October 22, 2020

There are three ways you can reduce your Xcel Energy bill: changing your habits, switching your rate plan, and adding solar panels.

You've probably heard a lot about reducing energy consumption by doing things like switching to LED lightbulbs and adding insulation to your walls, but these fixes are relatively easy compared to the far more impactful step of making changes to your lifestyle.

The second thing you can do is switch your rate plan. Xcel Energy offers time-of-use billing that can help you save money by shifting your usage of energy-intensive appliances to off-peak hours, and there may be other options for you as well.

Finally, you can reduce or even eliminate your electricity bill by installing solar panels on your home.

Solar panel cost calculator

How much can I reduce my Xcel Energy Colorado bill by switching to a different rate plan

For some people, the savings from switching rate plans may only be a few dollars per month, but for many it can be $20-$100 per month. That's between $240 and $1,200 that you may now be paying to Xcel Energy Colorado each year for no reason.

Finding out what's available to you is as simple as a phone call or email to Xcel Energy Colorado. Even a small savings can be worth it.

Are solar panels worth it for Xcel Energy Colorado customers?

Yes! With a hefty $1,000 per kilowatt solar rebate, the Xcel rewards solar payment program, and available sales and property tax exemptions, solar panels make a lot of sense for Xcel Energy customers in Colorado. Xcel's net metering agreement also ensures you get credited on your power bill at full retail rates for the excess solar electricity your panels produce. Your credits are rolled over and applied to your next month’s bill.

Does Xcel Energy Colorado offer full 1 for 1 net metering credits for exported solar power

Yes, Xcel Energy Colorado offers 1 for 1 net metering. This means you are paid the same rate for excess solar energy that you export to the utility grid during the middle of the day as what you pay for power purchased from the grid.

In the case of Xcel Energy Colorado, Time of Use (TOU) pricing applies. You will earn an average of $0.11 for power exported at peak rate times, and an average of $0.06 for power exported at off-peak times.

In addition to net metering, Xcel offers its Colorado customers a program called Solar*Rewards, which pays a small additional amount for every kWh of solar energy your panels generate. The current payment is $.005/kWh for systems under 25.01 kW in size, which isn't a very large amount, but can save the average Colorado solar owner an extra $50 per year.

If you end up with a system larger that 25 kW, the payment goes up to $0.0375/kWh, which is huge. At that rate a 25-kW system would produce an extra $1,500 in income per year. 25 kW is much bigger than most home systems will be, but if you have land or run a business, this can be a very nice way to earn some solar cash.

What incentives, tax credits and rebates are available to Xcel Energy customers for installing solar?

The major financial incentive currently available until the end of 2020 is the 26% federal solar tax credit. The way this works is that the full cost of the system needs to be paid to the installer, and this tax credit can then be claimed back as cash when you next do your taxes.

Many states, local governments and utilities also offer incentives for homeowners who go solar. This help can take the form of state tax credits, rebates, tax breaks, SRECs or even performance-based incentives. The best part is that all of these incentives apply in addition to the federal credit.

Here is every incentive you may be eligible for as a Xcel Energy customer:

Table 1: Incentives
Upfront Incentives Value*
Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit (Federal) -$6,180
Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Equipment (State)

Solar energy equipment fully exempt from state sales tax.

Varies
RENU Loan Program (State)

State funded loan program with loans available from $500 to $50,000 to help finance solar projects.

Varies
Property Tax Exemption for Residential Renewable Energy Equipment (State)

Excludes assessed costs of a solar system from a homeowner's property taxes.

Varies
Net Metering (State)

Investor-owned utilities must offer customers kWh credits on their utility bill.

Varies
Xcel Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Financing (Utility)

Receive loans between $500 to $50,000. No longer appears to be available as of 8/6/2020.

Varies
Xcel Energy - Solar*Rewards Program (Utility)

$0.07 per kWh produced with a cap of 2 MW capacity per month. Utility retains SRECs.

Varies
TOTAL -$6,180

*Based on 9.93 kW system, average installation cost $23,768

How much does installing solar panels save the average Xcel Energy Colorado residential customer?

If you input the details for a Xcel Energy customer with a power bill of $150 per month into the best online solar panels calculator, it tells you that you need a 9.93 kW solar system that will produce 15,086 kWh per year and that this system will return the owner a $48,589 profit after repaying the cost of the system.

The solar savings possible for you as a Xcel Energy customer will depend on the amount of electricity you use and the cost of the solar system you buy. Savings also vary based on the direction of your roof or any shading of your roof that affects output.

Here is a monthly and lifetime solar savings estimate for the same relatively typical Xcel Energy customer with a $150 per month electric bill prior to solar and who installs a 9.93 kW solar system.

How much do residential solar panels cost for Xcel Energy customers?

Solar prices near you

Cost range of local prices

$17,796-$21,751

Net profit (savings less system cost)

$44,298-$54,142

Payback period

7.9-9.7 years

Recommended size for the selected utility bill

10.6kW

Solar panel cost calculator

Detailed information about your estimate

Table 2: Estimate details

System Size (for 100% usage offset)

9.93 kW

Annual Power Generation

15,086 kWh

Pay-back time (assuming Cash purchase)

8.4 Years

Internal Rate of Return (IRR) on Investment

8.2%

Gross cost

$23,768

Total Upfront Incentives and Rebates

-$6,180

Net Cost of System after rebates and incentives

$17,589

Total Cost of Utility Power Avoided over 25 years

$60,144

Please note that the investment return figures do not include the possible increase in property value.

What are the environmental impacts of Xcel Energy Colorado customers installing solar panels?

While most homeowners decide to install solar panels because of financial savings over time, the environmental impacts of this choice are the primary motive for others. Here is a breakdown of the environmental benefits from a Xcel Energy Colorado customer installing a 9.93 kW solar system on their property:

A solar system generating 15,086 kWh per year will save you money AND make the world a nicer place

Saves you

$1,944

on average per year

Reduces CO2 emissions

7.47

tons per year

Equivalent to planting

52 trees

per year

Equivalent to driving

16,520 mi

less per year

CO2 emissions calculation based on the electricity generation and emissions data for your state in 2015 as published by the US Government Energy Information Administration.

What factors affect the price of solar panels for Xcel Energy Colorado customers?

The cost of installing solar panels will vary with brands of solar panels and inverters you choose and also the installation company you choose to install them.

It is common to see really good systems, using quality brands of equipment, being sold for around $2.39 per watt or $17,589 for a standard 9.93 kW solar system after the customer claims the 26% federal solar tax credit.

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