Choosing to go solar is a great way to help solve the climate crisis. There are lots of options for you to consider.
Which Type of Solar is Right for Me?
Ground-Mount and Rooftop Systems
Traditional rooftop and ground-mounted solar systems are best for residents open to purchasing and owning solar panels. These systems can have higher upfront costs, and maintenance usually is up to the owners.
Shares in a Solar Garden
In Colorado, Xcel Energy customers have access to community solar gardens. These often provide similar bill credits to roof-top or ground-mount systems, but don't require roof space on your home. This is a great option for people who rent, live in multi-family buildings or who don't want to own solar.
Leased Solar Panels
Residents also have the option to lease solar panels from a third-party in a longer-term contract. This is a great option for folks who don't want to pay for solar panels up-front and don't want to be responsible for solar panel maintenance.
Get Solar on Your Roof
Be efficient first
If you are interested in solar, first look for ways to increase your current energy efficiency. The more efficient you are, the less energy you'll need to generate with solar panels. The EnergySmart program provides residents and businesses with information and rebates.
Explore Your Solar Potential
Google's rooftop solar tool can help you: determine how much electricity you can produce on your rooftop; estimate system cost and payback time; and connect with solar contractors and financial rebates and incentives.
Find a Solar Contractor
There are many qualified local contractors. The Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA) offers a Member Directory. Qualified contractors can help you make decisions about the size of a solar system, whether to lease or buy, and how to obtain permits and funding.
Explore Financing Options
- Solar Grant Program : Residents in affordable housing and nonprofits may be eligible to receive a solar grant to install rooftop solar systems.
- Solar Tax Rebates : Residents and businesses that pay city sales tax when they install solar systems may be eligible for partial sales tax rebates.
- Energy Loans from Elevations Credit Union have partnered to provide Energy Loans for homes and businesses pursuing energy efficiency upgrades and solar photovoltaics.
- Energy loans from Clean Energy Credit Union: Low-interest loans to make energy upgrades for your home or business through EnergySmart
- Solar*Rewards Program: Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards program offers payments for renewable energy credits (RECs) for solar production.
- Solar*Rewards Community Program: Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards Community program allows developers to create solar gardens that customers can buy into.
- The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) lists solar incentives and regulations throughout Colorado.
- Low-income residents may qualify for assistance from GRID Alternatives , a nonprofit solar installer.
Apply for a City Permit
All solar installations are required to obtain an electrical permit (for photovoltaics) or a mechanical permit (for solar thermal). With a properly prepared application, small, roof-mounted solar systems (<10 kW) are typically eligible for over-the-counter processing and issuance. Use the checklist to see if your system may qualify. Please visit the Planning & Development Services Service Center to discuss your proposed installation with a Project Specialist. They are able to assist you and identify any items of concern and that your application package is complete.
- Permit Submittal Checklist
- Permit application process map
- FAQs on the permit process
- Inspection Questions
- Xcel Energy's interconnection procedures for residents and businesses
Frequent and established solar installers may present a letter bearing the seal and signature of a Colorado licensed engineer confirming that the installation will comply with all standard engineering calculations based on the community's wind and snow loads.
In most cases, solar systems equal to or less than 10kW only require final inspections.