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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

Why Investing in Solar Power is a Smart Investment in Denver

Written by Posted On Friday, 18 May 2018 18:55

Denver, with a population of over 600,000, is the largest city in Colorado and in the Front Range that totals over 4.8 million.

It may not initially seem like it, but the Mile-High city sees beautiful blue skies year-round and gets plenty of sunlight (+300 days/year average), making it a perfect city for harnessing the Sun’s energy.

It’s for that very reason that many homeowners in Denver are switching to solar power. With rising electricity costs and falling costs of solar panel systems, now is a great time to make the switch to 100% clean, sustainable solar power in Colorado.

 

Initial Costs of Solar and Return on Investment in Denver

Solar panel installation costs are getting cheaper every day.

Since 1998, solar install expenses have steadily fallen on average 6-8% every year, a trend that is predicted to continue.

The cost of a solar PV array is at about $4.00/Watt for installation. For a 5 KW solar system, that means you’d be charged roughly $20,000.

This may seem a pretty steep, however, this price can be cut in half to about $12,000 after applying all available rebates and tax breaks Federally and on a state level.

With the combined savings from incentive programs and the monthly savings off your monthly electric bill, solar install projects can pay for themselves entirely after less than 10 years.

Keep in mind, this is an example of what your average potential savings could be for a household in Denver. Your actual savings will depend on several key factors that can vary.

 

Apply for Tax Incentives

Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

The federal government has showed much interest in solar energy in the past which is why in 2006 the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) came to fruition.

The ITC is a 30% federal tax credit that applies to new installs of solar systems on residential and commercial properties. The tax credit supplies a reduction on income taxes that a person or company would otherwise pay to the federal government.

Many Denverites have applied for the ITC for their solar power installs and has helped increase annual solar installations as a nation since 2006 by over 1,600%!

Colorado-Xcel Energy Solar Rewards Program

Colorado is one of the leading states for promoting renewable energy. That is why Colorado has teamed up with Xcel Energy to offer the Xcel Solar Rewards Program for the installation of a solar PV system for commercial, industrial, and residential uses.

The Xcel website states, “The program will pay $0.02 per kWh for the first 10 years of energy production for any customer-owned system below 25kW and will pay $0.01 per kWh for the first 20 years for any third-party owned system below 25 kW.

For larger commercial, or industrial systems above 25kW, the rate is $0.05 per kWh.”

$0.02 per kWh may not seem like much, but the average home in the US uses about 1000 kWh of electricity per month, so this comes out to a total savings around $240 per year.

 

Solar Power Permits in Denver

The City of Denver has great options that make switching to solar an easy process.

For this reason, the City and County of Denver was designated as the first “Solar Friendly Community” in the US in merit of its simple and streamlined permitting process.

You can apply for same-day permit reviews for most types of solar panel installs in Denver. Often in other cities the permitting process can take weeks or even months (not to mention the intense amount of paperwork). In Denver you can apply and have a solar permit approved same day!

This will leave you with more time to worry about other more important stuff (like how you might spend all the extra money you’re saving!)

 

Denver Net Metering with Xcel

Net Metering is the greatest thing about having a solar PV system on your home that enable you to really save on power bills.

Net metering is the process of tying your solar system with Xcel’s power grid and earning money back for any excess energy produced during the heat of the day. All extra electricity produced that you do not use will feed back into the grid and the best part is, your power company will pay you for the electricity you feed back into the system!

This comes in the form of a solar energy credit that will show on your electricity bill every month. So, while you are at work during the day the house is empty and using very little electricity, your electric meter wil be spinning in the opposite direction, counting down instead of up! It is via this method that many solar PV systems pay for themselves in relatively short amounts of time.

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Now that you’ve heard a lot about how awesome solar panels are and how it can save you year-over-year, take the next step and seek out local solar installers for a quote on your new system!

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