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  • Solar Home
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Solar Grant Evaluation Criteria

Solar Grant Evaluation Criteria

Eligibility Requirements

Homeowners: please confirm your home is structurally suitable for rooftop solar installation and eligible for grid linkage prior to applying.

  • Solar (electric or thermal) systems installed on the following structures are eligible:
    • facilities of site-based nonprofit entities operating in Boulder; or
    • income-qualified housing that is owned and operated by a nonprofit in the City of Boulder; or
    • income-qualified individually owned housing units in the City of Boulder, determined by the following maximum income levels:

 Household Members  

 1 Person

 2 People

 3 People

 4 People

 5 People

 Maximum Gross Income*  






*Net income for self-employed people

  • Applicants intending to use other financing mechanisms as alternatives to purchasing and owning the system, such as leases or power purchase agreements (PPAs), will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Grant Amount

  • There is no maximum grant amount; however, no more than 50 percent of the total project cost after rebates, incentives and tax credits are subtracted will be awarded.
  • Grant amounts vary based on the amount of funding available. Funding is generated by sales and use tax on solar installations throughout the community. The total funding available to grant is announced approximately one month before the application deadline.
  • In recent years, individual grants for nonprofits and residential buildings have ranged from $2,000 to $40,000.
  • Any tax consequences will be paid on the grant amount for the year received. Consult the IRS or your tax professional for details.

Grant Requirements

  • Grants will not be awarded for systems already installed or in-progress.
  • Grant money for each award will be dispersed after the system has been installed and the final installation invoice and passing inspection documentation has been submitted to the grant coordinator.
  • Award recipients will be asked to sign an agreement stating the terms of receiving the funds. This includes a performance reporting provision that requires recipients to inform the city annually on the proper functioning and output of the system.
  • Grants must be used within one year of the date of the agreement.
  • Barring unforeseeable circumstances, awarded grant amounts are final. If the system size, type or price changes after the grant has been awarded, additional funding will not be available in most cases.

Application Requirements

  • Fully completed application form (homeowner or nonprofit).
  • Applications including additional installation proposals are favored, but not required.
  • Two most recent federal tax returns (homeowners).
  • Two months of recent income verification for all employed household members (homeowners).

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria and preference will be given to the most efficient systems. Preference will also be given to homeowner applicants who have utilized EnergySmart services. Please see EnergySmart Home Energy Advising for details.

  • Does the applicant show a demonstrated interest and investment in maximizing the energy efficiency of the building(s) that the solar installation will serve?
    • For existing buildings, this is demonstrated by an energy audit and a list of energy efficiency measures that have been installed. For new buildings, this is demonstrated by the building's energy rating.
  • How efficient and cost effective is the system?
  • What is the projected effect on the building's energy costs?
  • How much of the total project cost will be funded by sources other than the City of Boulder Solar Grant?
    • A minimum of 50 percent of the project cost must come from other sources; a higher percentage is better. 
  • How does the proposed project increase public awareness of renewable energy, the City of Boulder Solar Grant and other Climate Initiatives programs?
  • Does the proposed project provide additional environmental, social or economic benefits for the community?

Notice: the City of Boulder Solar Grant Program application cycle frequency and time of year is changing. There will not be a fall 2019 application cycle and starting in 2020, there will be one application cycle annually, opening in late spring/early summmer.

There are two versions of the Solar Grant application - one for homeowners and one for nonprofits. Please make sure you use the appropriate version for your situation.

Applications are not currently being accepted. Links will appear here when a new grant application cycle opens.


Contact Solar Grant Program Coordinator Sandy Briggs at [email protected] or 303-441-1931.

For one-on-one technical assistance with completing your application, please visit the Boulder Public Library's e-services section. There are also public computers available for use at the West Senior Center, if needed.