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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 must be installed on:
    • facilities of site-based nonprofit entities operating in Boulder;
    • 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*  

  $82,010  

  $93,690  

  $105,370  

  $117,050  

 $126,470

*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, in most cases, no more than 50 percent of the total project cost after rebates, incentives and tax credits will be granted.
  • 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 in each grant cycle is announced approximately one month before grant applications are due.
  • 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

  • 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 administrator.
  • Grants must be used within one year of the date of the agreement.
  • 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.
  • If the system size, type or price changes after the grant has been awarded, the grant administrator must be notified and the grant committee may re-evaluate the award. In most cases an amendment to the original agreement will be necessary.

Application Requirements

  • Fully completed application form (homeowner or nonprofit).
  • Proposals from at least two separate solar installers.
  • Two most recent federal tax returns (homeowners).
  • Two months of most recent pay stubs for all employed household members (homeowners).

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • 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. Please see the EnergySmart Residential Energy Assessment page for home energy auditing assistance.
  • How efficient and cost effective is the solar 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% 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 + Sustainability programs?
  • Does the proposed project provide additional environmental, social or economic benefits for the community?

There are usually two grant cycles each year and applications must be received by 5 pm on April 30 or October 31. If the deadline falls on a weekend, it will be moved to the following Monday.

Recipients will be notified by the end of May and the end of November, respectively.

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.

Questions?

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.

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