Colorado Solar Rebates And Incentives

Rebates list

Colorado Rebates and Incentive Summary

Colorado Solar Rebates And Incentives

As a state with more than 300 days of sunshine a year, Colorado is a prime location for solar energy.

The state has landed in most top 10 lists regarding solar, from most solar installed per capita to greatest solar job growth.

Colorado has one of the nation’s strongest renewable portfolio standards (RPSs), which requires investor-owned utilities to source 30 percent of their energy from renewable energy by 2020. The RPS also requires IOU utilities, and to a lesser extent rural and municipal utilities to source a certain amount of their power from distributed generation sources like homes and small businesses.

A growing number of homeowners in the state are choosing to install systems on their homes with no up-front costs through power-purchase agreements or leases. Regardless of their choice there are plenty of qualified solar installers in the state that can explain options and costs prior to installing a system.

Colorado is home to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, several small, medium and growing solar manufacturing companies and solar training centers.

All this has culminated in a rich environment for solar thermal and photovoltaic installations throughout the state. As the price of photovoltaics has dropped and solar has become more popular, the incentive programs offered by utilities like Xcel Energy have decreased. But Colorado also is the hotbed for a new type of solar array, the community solar garden, through which residents can buy a part of a local solar array and use that to offset their electricity costs. 

In addition to the utility incentive programs offered in Colorado, the state offers property- and sales-tax exemptions. Combined with federal incentive programs there are plenty of options to save on the cost of your solar equipment and installation.

The has employed an aggressive strategy for reducing the "soft" costs of solar that result from cumbersome permitting processes. Colorado's Solar Friendly Communities is an offshoot of the national Sunshot Initiative that has resulted in several municipalities and county governments developing streamlined application and approval processes. Colorado easily has some of the strongest support in the nation for renewable energy.

Search Federal Programs, Rebates or Incentives

Atmos Energy (Gas) - Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Atmos Energy offers a variety of rebates to its residential and small commercial customers.

This Program offers incentives for:

  • Home Energy Assessment
  • Furnaces
  • Boilers
  • Thermostats
  • Building Insulation 
  • Duct Insulation

Rebates are available for both residential and small commercial customers. All equipment must meet certain energy efficiency standards listed on the program website. Applications must be submitted with a copy of the receipt/invoice and equipment must be purchased in accordance with Atmos Energy guidelines. 
Atmos Energy also offers a custom rebate program for large commercial and industrial customers. Contact the utility for more information on this program
Consult Atmos Energy by

Black Hills Energy (Electric) - Residential Energy Efficiency Program

Black Hills Energy (BHE) offers rebates for residential Colorado customers who purchase energy-efficient residential equipment. This program offers rebates for customers who purchase and install energy efficient HVAC equipment, appliances, insulation measures, and water heating equipment. Individual pieces of equipment have specific efficiency requirements which can be seen on the program application form at the web site listed above. Customers should contact BHE or visit the program website for more information on these rebates. Program may not be available in all Colorado service areas.

Black Hills Energy (Gas) - Residential Energy Efficiency Program

Black Hills Energy (BHE) offers a variety of rebates for residential Colorado customers who purchase and install energy efficient natural gas appliances, heating equipment and insulation materials. This program offers rebates for customers who purchase and install energy efficient furnaces, insulation, integrated space and water heaters, and programmable thermostats. Individual pieces of equipment have specific requirements which can be seen on the program application form. Forms may be found on the program web site listed above. 

Additionally, builders of energy efficient new homes may also be eligible for incentives through Black Hills Energy. For more information on incentives for builders,

Black Hills Energy - Solar Power Program

Note: As of December 15, 2015, the previous 5 kW cap for small systems (10 kW or less) has been removed. The change effects only reservations made on or after that date. Reservations in place now or in a queue as of December 15, 2015 are still subject to the limit on incentives up to 5 kW. 

Black Hills Energy has a performance-based incentive (PBI) for photovoltaic (PV) systems up to 100 kilowatts (kW) in capacity. In exchange for a PBI, Black Hills Energy earns the renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with the PV-generated electricity for a period of time.

Boulder County - Elevations Energy Loans

The Elevations Energy Loan can be used to finance a wide variety of efficiency and renewable energy projects in homes and businesses. Homes and businesses located in Boulder County or the City and County of Denver are eligible for the low-cost financing. Loan applicants receive assistance from an Energy Advisor through EnergySmart and Denver Energy Challenge, respectively. Homeowners must select from a qualified pool of contractors. All borrowers will be required to pay a $25 processing fee and become members of Elevations Credit Union.

Elevations Credit Union has partnered with Boulder County and the City/County of Denver to offer

Boulder County - EnergySmart Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Note: Funds provided by Boulder County for rebates have been fully expended for 2016. However, utilities and some cities continue to offer rebates on a first-come, first-serve basis.

EnergySmart services are available to all businesses within Boulder County.

EnergySmart offers a full suite of energy efficiency services. EnergySmart helps businesses (and homeowners) identify and implement energy efficiency improvements. The “One Stop Shop” aims to reduce the hassles and hurdles associated with improving the energy efficiency and comfort of a home or business by providing an expert Energy Advisor to each participant. The Advisor assists with scheduling an energy assessment,

Boulder County - EnergySmart Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

EnergySmart for Boulder County helps residents identify, finance, and schedule energy improvements in their homes. This “One Stop Shop” aims to reduce the hassles and hurdles associated with improving a home’s energy efficiency by providing an energy advisor to each participant at no cost. The advisor serves as a guide and advocate by scheduling a home energy assessment, installing free energy conservation materials, identifying and applying for all applicable incentives, and coordinating work through an approved list of contractors. 

Homeowners can receive rebates through EnergySmart on selected efficiency improvements. EnergySmart rebates can be combined with local utility rebates. Multi-Family Units

Building Energy Code

Much of the information presented in this summary is drawn from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). For more detailed information about building energy codes, visit the DOE and BCAP websites.

Colorado is a home rule state, so no statewide energy code exists, although state government buildings do have specific requirements. Voluntary adoption of energy codes is encouraged and efforts through grants are directed toward informing local jurisdictions of the benefits of energy efficiency standards and providing materials and training to support code implementation.

C-PACE: Colorado Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy

Colorado has created a statewide PACE program that allows property owners to finance 100% of the up-front costs of an energy efficiency, renewable energy, or water conservation improvement. Property owners repay the financing as a special assessment on their property tax bill over the financing term, up to 20 years. Typically, the annual energy savings exceed annual assessments, making PACE projects cash flow positive from the first year. C-PACE funding is available to commercial, industrial, agricultural, non-profit and multifamily properties. New construction may use PACE financing for up to 20% of the total construction costs when designing and building energy

City and County of Denver - Elevations Energy Loans

The Elevations Energy Loan can be used to finance a wide variety of efficiency and renewable energy projects in homes and businesses. Homes and businesses located in Boulder County or the City and County of Denver are eligible for the low-cost financing. Loan applicants receive assistance from an Energy Advisor through EnergySmart and Denver Energy Challenge, respectively. Homeowners must select from a qualified pool of contractors. All borrowers will be required to pay a $25 processing fee and become members of Elevations Credit Union.

Elevations Credit Union has partnered with Boulder County and the City/County of Denver to offer

City and County of Denver - Solar Panel Permitting

The City and County of Denver was designated the first "Solar Friendly Community" in the nation based upon its streamlined permitting process.

Denver provides same-day permit review for most solar panel projects. Electrical, Plumbing, and Zoning Permits* are required for photovoltaic (PV) systems installed in the city of Denver, although more complex engineering projects may still be required to go through the Plan Review process.

Permitting Process

To obtain Zoning Permits for flush mounted solar panels, applicants must have roof plan showing that the solar panels are installed parallel and within one foot of the roof surface they are placed

City of Aspen - Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

The City of Aspen offers a variety of incentives to its commercial customers to encourage the use of energy efficient products. Rebates are available for water heaters, low flow fixtures, toilets, solar photovoltaics, geothermal heat pumps, and custom projects.

For water efficiency rebates, contact the City of Aspen Climate Action Office at climate@cityofaspen.com or 970-920-5039.

For custom rebates, schedule a custom rebate consultation by calling at 970-925-9775.

For more information on any of these programs, visit the program website.

City of Aspen - Renewable Energy Goal

Note: As of September 2015, Aspen obtains 100% of its electricity from renewable sources (46% hydroelectric, 53% wind, 1% landfill gas).

In 2005, the City of Aspen set a renewable portfolio goal that has since been increased to 100% renewable energy by 2015. In 2013, 75% of Aspen’s electricity was generated using renewable resources, predominantly hydro and wind.

Approximately 27% of the electricity used by the City of Aspen comes from wind turbines located in Kimball, Nebraska. An additional 45% of the City's electricity comes from hydroelectric plants.  

City of Aspen - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

The City of Aspen encourages interested residents and businesses to increase the energy efficiency of homes and offices through rebates and incentives for both single-family and multi-family dwellings. Rebates are available for geothermal heat pumps, solar photovoltaics, air sealing, insulation, water heaters, lighting, and refrigerators. Custom rebates are available for incentives not specifically offered by the utility, but require pre-approval.

City of Aspen and Pitkin County - Renewable Energy Mitigation Program

Building Codes

The City of Aspen and Pitkin County have adopted both the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)—with some amendments—and an Efficient Building Code. 

The Efficient Building ordinance was adopted in 2003 with the intent to encourage cost-effective and sustainable building methods that, among other goals, conserve energy. The code applies to new, remodeled, or additions to one- and two-family dwellings and multiple family dwellings not more than 3 stories in height. These dwellings are required to earn a specific number of points by completing sustainable building practices that can include energy efficiency measures, including installing ENERGY STAR appliances,

City of Boulder - Climate Action Plan Fund

Note: As of 2015, the Climate Action Plan is now referred to as the Climate Commitment. In November 2015, Boulder voters approved an extension of the  Climate Action Plan tax through 2020, with rates remaining the same.

In 2002, the Boulder City Council passed Resolution 906, committing the community to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to the target established by the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement adopted in 1997 to combat global climate change. In November 2006, citizens of Boulder, Colorado, voted to approve Ballot Issue No. 202, authorizing the city council to levy and collect an excise tax from

City of Boulder - Green Points Building Program

Residential

The Boulder Green Points Building Program is a mandatory residential green building program that requires a builder or homeowner to include a minimum amount of sustainable building components based on the size of the proposed structure. Similar to the US Green Building Council's LEED program, the Boulder Green Points program awards points for a menu of sustainable building practices. Renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies are among the optional components a builder can use to earn points.

New construction projects also must show energy efficiency compliance through the Home Energy Rating System (HERS). The required HERS index varies according

City of Boulder - Green Power Purchasing

As of October 1, 2014, the City of Boulder has 2,084 kilowatts of solar photovoltaics (PV) installed at city facilities with an additional 1 megawatt (MW) being developed. In addition to the PV, each of the three city-owned recreation center pools is partially heated with solar thermal systems generating 32,000 therms annually. For more information visit the city website.

City of Boulder - Solar Access Ordinance

The City of Boulder enacted an ordinance in 1982 to guarantee access to sunlight for homeowners and renters.

Solar Access

Solar access is guaranteed setting limits on the amount of permitted shading by new construction. The degree of solar access protection is defined by either a 12 foot or 25 foot hypothetical "solar fence" on the property lines of the protected buildings. The ordinance is designed to protect access for a 4-hour period on December 21st. Under most circumstances, new structures will not be allowed to shade adjacent lots to a greater extent than the applicable solar fence.

There are

City of Boulder - Solar Grant Program

The Solar Grant Program provides grants for PV and solar water heating installations on income-qualified homes, site-based non-profit organizations, and low- to moderate-income housing owned and/or developed by a non-profit organization. Individual grant amounts are determined on a case-by-case basis but generally will not exceed 50% of the total out-of-pocket costs for the project after all rebates, tax credits, and other incentives are subtracted. There are two grant cycles each year. Submissions are due by April 30 and October 31. Additional information and grant applications can be found on the website listed above.

The Solar Grant Program is funded out

City of Boulder - Solar Sales and Use Tax Rebate

In 2006, the City of Boulder established a solar sales and use tax rebate for photovoltaic (PV) and solar water heating installations. Solar system owners may receive a rebate (essentially a tax refund) drawn from the unrestricted tax revenues collected from solar energy sales.

Out of the sales and use taxes paid to the City of Boulder for solar projects, approximately 55% of revenues go to restricted funds. Within one year of the city’s final inspection, solar project owners can apply to receive a refund of 35% from the amount paid to unrestricted (general) funds, making the value of the

City of Denver - Green Building Requirement for City-Owned Buildings

Executive Order 123, first signed in October 2007, established the Greenprint Denver Office and the sustainability policy for the city. In March 2013, Executive Order 123 was updated to create the Office of Sustainability—the successor to the Greenprint Denver Office—and establish key sustainability policies for the City and County of Denver.

The updated Executive Order 123 states that “all buildings constructed, renovated, or maintained with City funds or using City bonding capacity are to be designed, constructed, operated, and maintained according to the principles outlined in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, the

Colorado Natural Gas - Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Colorado Natural Gas offers the Excess is Out Program for residential and commercial customers in Colorado. Incentives are available for purchasing and installing energy efficient furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters, programmable thermostats, and building insulation. Under this offering, home energy evaluations, insulation rebates and air sealing rebates are only available to residential customers. All equipment must meet certain energy efficiency standards listed on the program web site.  Applications must be submitted (with a copy of the receipt/invoice) within 60 days of product purchase date. Rebates apply to purchases made after January 1 of the program year and extend until funding

Colorado Springs Utilities - Renewable Energy Rebate Program

Through its Renewable Energy Rebate Program, Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) offers a rebate to customers who install grid-connected solar-electric (photovoltaic, or PV) systems. To calculate the PV system’s AC output, a de-rating factor is used to account for shading and suboptimal orientation or tilt.

All Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) generated from systems installed under this program are transferred to CSU for compliance with Colorado’s renewable portfolio standard.

The application, interconnection agreement, and other documents are available at the program website above. Qualifying PV modules and inverters must be included in the California Energy Commission's (CEC) lists of eligible equipment.

Delta-Montrose Electric Association - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) offers a variety of rebates for customers who buy energy efficient appliances and equipment. Rebates are available for water heaters, clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, heat pumps, LED lighting, refrigerant disposal, and split system air conditioners. In order to qualify for the rebates, customers must submit an application, which is located on the program website. Applications must be accompanied by a receipt and/or other proof of purchase with the brand, model, and serial number included. Participating customers must submit these to the DMEA office. Contact DMEA for more information on this program.

Eagle County - Energy Smart Colorado Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Energy Smart Colorado is the first rural multi-jurisdictional consortium in the U.S. to implement a comprehensive residential energy efficiency program.

Residents of Roaring Fork Valley and Eagle, Gunnison, Lake, and Summit Counties are eligible for energy efficiency and renewable energy assistance, rebates, and financing through the Energy Smart Colorado program. The program helps homeowners identify, finance, and complete energy improvements in their homes.

Each participating county operates an Energy Resource Center (ERC), providing homeowners and contractors with a local, reliable one-stop-shop for information and service. Each ERC is staffed with a Building Performance Institute certified Home Energy Advisor who provides

Eagle County - Energy Smart Colorado Renewable Energy Rebate Program

Energy Smart Colorado is the first rural multi-jurisdictional consortium in the U.S. to implement a comprehensive residential energy efficiency program.

Residents of Roaring Fork Valley and Eagle, Gunnison, Lake, and Summit Counties are eligible for energy efficiency and renewable energy assistance, rebates, and financing through the Energy Smart Colorado program. The program helps homeowners identify, finance, and complete energy improvements in their homes.

Each participating county operates an Energy Resource Center (ERC), providing homeowners and contractors with a local, reliable one-stop-shop for information and service. Each ERC is staffed with a Building Performance Institute certified Home Energy Advisor who provides

Eagle, Garfield, Gunnison, Lake, and Pitkin Counties - Energy Smart Colorado Loan Program

Energy Smart Colorado is the first rural multi-jurisdictional consortium in the U.S. to implement a comprehensive residential energy efficiency program.

Residents of Roaring Fork Valley and Eagle, Gunnison, Lake, and Summit Counties are eligible for energy efficiency and renewable energy assistance, rebates, and financing through the Energy Smart Colorado program. The program helps homeowners identify, finance, and complete energy improvements in their homes.

Each participating county operates an Energy Resource Center (ERC), providing homeowners and contractors with a local, reliable one-stop-shop for information and service. Each ERC is staffed with a Building Performance Institute certified Home Energy Advisor who provides

Efficiency Works - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program (Offered by 4 Utilities)

Efficiency Works for Homes is a residential energy efficiency rebate program offered by four utilities through the Platte River Power Authority: 

  • Estes Park Light & Power
  • Fort Collins Utilities
  • Longmont Power & Communications
  • Loveland Water & Power

Visit the program website for more information on rebates or rebate amounts.

Empire Electric Association - Residential Energy Efficiency Credit Program

Empire Electric Association provides financial incentives to its residential consumers who upgrade to energy efficient appliances and HVAC equipment.  These rebates are offered in conjunction with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, with Empire Electric generally matching the incentive amounts provided by Tri-State for equipment and appliances.  In many cases, additional rebates are available for HVAC and water heating equipment that exceeds the minimum efficiency or technology requirements of the program. For specific details on rebate amounts, equipment requirements, and additional incentives available, review the Energy Efficiency Credit Program Worksheet located Empire Electric's website.

EZ Investment Tax Credit Refund for Renewable Energy Projects

Colorado's Enterprise Zone (EZ) program provides tax incentives to encourage businesses to locate and expand in designated economically distressed areas of the state -- those having a high unemployment rate, low per capita income, or a low population growth rate.  A taxpayer may claim an EZ investment tax credit for qualified investments located in an enterprise zone. The income tax credit is equal to 3% of the investment. A taxpayer can claim up to $750,000 during any tax year for eligible renewable energy. 

Refund in Lieu of a Tax Credit

A taxpayer who places a new renewable energy investment

Fort Collins - Green Building Requirement for City-Owned Buildings

The City Council of Fort Collins passed a resolution in September 2006 establishing green building goals for new city-owned buildings of 5,000 square feet or more. New buildings must be designed and constructed to achieve US Green Building Council LEED Gold certification, and existing buildings are to use the LEED standard as a guide for sustainable operation and maintenance, though no specific requirements are established.

To control the construction and design costs associated with new buildings meeting this standard, the goal of Gold can be reduced to Silver for projects where the payback period for earning Gold certification is ten

Fort Collins Utilities - Home Efficiency Loan Program

Fort Collins Utilities offers its residential customers low-interest loans that may be used to finance up to 100% of the cost of eligible energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at existing homes. This loan program offers no-money-down financing for up to 15 years. Contact Fort Collins Utilities or Funding Partners (who administers the loans) for more information on this program. 

Fort Collins Utilities - Integrated Design Assistance Program

Financial incentives for building owners and design teams are available for participating in the Integrated Design Assistance Program. The program is based on the Architecture 2030 Challenge® and provides design, construction, and performance incentives. New construction and major renovation projects can participate. Participating project teams set a Target Energy Usage Index (EUI) early in the project using Energy Star® Target Finder and then design and build to that target. A year's worth of post-occupancy EUI data is collected to confirm the Target EUI is achieved.

Fort Collins Utilities - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Fort Collins Utilities offers a number of appliance and recycling rebates to residential and small commercial customers. Applications for equipment rebates are available on the Fort Collins web site as well as at select local manufacturers and retailers. Fort Collins Utilities has also partnered with local retailers to bring you energy efficient lighting at a discounted rate.

Additional rebates are available for Fort Collins Utilities customers through Efficiency Works. Contact the utility or visit the program website for more information.

Green Colorado Credit Reserve

The Green Colorado Credit Reserve (GCCR) is a loan loss reserve that was created by the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) to incentivize private lenders in Colorado to make small commercial loans up to $250,000 for capital improvements that promote energy efficiency and renewable energy. The GCCR is administered by the Colorado Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) on behalf of the CEO.

How the Loan Loss Reserve Works

For each loan made by a participating lender, the GCCR will provide a loan loss reserve equal to 15% of the amount of the loan. For example, if a participating lender makes a loan

Greening of State Government

Colorado has established mandatory sustainability requirements for the design and construction of state-owned buildings (including schools), state-assisted buildings, and publicly-assisted housing projects buildings. In July 2005, Colorado’s governor signed Executive Order D005 05, mandating that state agencies and departments evaluate business operations and implement new programs “to promote environmentally sustainable and economically efficient practices.” The order also created the Colorado Greening Government Coordinating Council (CGGCC), made up of representatives from each state agency and department, to develop and implement new conservation policies and augment existing ones.

Green Goals

In April 2007, Colorado's governor signed S.B. 51 and the Greening

Gunnison County - Energy Smart Colorado Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Energy Smart Colorado is the first rural multi-jurisdictional consortium in the U.S. to implement a comprehensive residential energy efficiency program.

Residents of Roaring Fork Valley and Eagle, Gunnison, Lake, and Summit Counties are eligible for energy efficiency and renewable energy assistance, rebates, and financing through the Energy Smart Colorado program. The program helps homeowners identify, finance, and complete energy improvements in their homes.

Each participating county operates an Energy Resource Center (ERC), providing homeowners and contractors with a local, reliable one-stop-shop for information and service. Each ERC is staffed with a Building Performance Institute certified Home Energy Advisor who provides

Gunnison County Electric - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Gunnison County Electric Association (GCEA), a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, has a residential rebate program for eligible Energy Star appliances including clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, water heaters, ground source heat pumps, electric thermal storage systems. All efficiency requirements set forth by GCEA must be met in order to receive rebates.

Rebates must be requested within 120 days of installation. Rebates are offered in conjunction with Tri-State Generation and Transmission; therefore, the amounts listed above represent the combined rebate provided by both GCEA and Tri-State. See GCEA’s website for additional information on residential and commercial rebates, program details, and to access

Holy Cross Energy - Renewable Energy Rebate Program

Holy Cross Energy's WE CARE (With Efficiency, Conservation And Renewable Energy) Program offers an incentive for customers who install renewable energy generation for net metering at their premises. Eligible renewable energy technologies include wind, hydroelectric, photovoltaic, biomass, and geothermal sources.

Incentive

The incentive offered varies by the size of the renewable energy system as follows:

  • $750 per kW for the first 6 kW of a system,
  • $500 per kW for the next 6 kW of a system, and
  • $200 per kW for the next 13 kW of a system.

For example, a 15 kW system is eligible for a $8,100

Holy Cross Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Holy Cross Energy, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, has developed a voluntary carbon reduction strategy designed to slow the growth of carbon dioxide emissions created in the generation of electricity used by consumers. Eligible equipment includes CFL and LED bulbs, programmable thermostats, heat pumps and insulation. A home energy audit may also be available to participating customers. See the program web site for full details, an application, and important contact information.

Interconnection Standards

In December 2005 the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) adopted standards for net metering and interconnection, as required by Amendment 37, a renewable energy ballot initiative approved by Colorado voters in November 2004.

The PUC standards generally apply to investor-owned utilities (IOUs) with 40,000 or more customers and all electric cooperatives. Municipal utilities with 5,000 customers or more are required to adopt interconnection rules that are functionally similar to the PUC's standards (see H.B. 1160). Electric cooperatives and municipal utilities may reduce or waive any insurance requirements that apply to IOUs.

Colorado’s interconnection rules are based on the Federal Energy

La Plata Electric Association - Renewable Generation Rebate Program

La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) offers an incentive, not to exceed the cost of the system, to residential and small commercial customers who install a photovoltaic (PV), wind, or hydropower facility. To be eligible for the rebate, the system must be grid-tied and located in LPEA's service territory. Systems 10 kilowatts (kW) or less are eligible for an upfront incentive based on the nameplate capacity and other factors. Systems greater than 10 kW are eligible for a performance-based incentive.

Payments are made every 6 months for the first 10 years of operation.

Customers interested in installing wind or hydro systems

La Plata Electric Association - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Note that the LED light bulb program is ending in 2019.

La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) offers a variety of rebates for its residential members to improve the efficiency of their homes. Rebates are available for a variety of Energy Star appliances, the recycling of a refrigerator or freezer, electric water heaters, heat pumps, and LED light bulbs.


Customers have 120 days from date of purchase to apply for the rebate. Following purchase, customers must submit an original proof-of-purchase along with the completed rebate form to the LPEA office in either Durango or Pagosa Springs. The rebates will be credited

Lake County - Energy Smart Colorado Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Energy Smart Colorado is the first rural multi-jurisdictional consortium in the U.S. to implement a comprehensive residential energy efficiency program.

Residents of Roaring Fork Valley and Eagle, Gunnison, Lake, and Summit Counties are eligible for energy efficiency and renewable energy assistance, rebates, and financing through the Energy Smart Colorado program. The program helps homeowners identify, finance, and complete energy improvements in their homes.

Each participating county operates an Energy Resource Center (ERC), providing homeowners and contractors with a local, reliable one-stop-shop for information and service. Each ERC is staffed with a Building Performance Institute certified Home Energy Advisor who provides

Lake County - Energy Smart Colorado Renewable Energy Rebate Program

Energy Smart Colorado is the first rural multi-jurisdictional consortium in the U.S. to implement a comprehensive residential energy efficiency program.

Residents of Roaring Fork Valley and Eagle, Gunnison, Lake, and Summit Counties are eligible for energy efficiency and renewable energy assistance, rebates, and financing through the Energy Smart Colorado program. The program helps homeowners identify, finance, and complete energy improvements in their homes.

Each participating county operates an Energy Resource Center (ERC), providing homeowners and contractors with a local, reliable one-stop-shop for information and service. Each ERC is staffed with a Building Performance Institute certified Home Energy Advisor who provides

Local Option - Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems

Colorado enacted S.B. 07-145 in April 2007, authorizing counties and municipalities to offer property or sales tax rebates or credits to residential and commercial property owners who install renewable energy systems on their property. 

Eligible renewable energy property is defined as "any fixture, product, system, device or interacting group of devices that produce electricity from renewable resources, including, but not limited to, photovoltaic systems, solar thermal systems, small wind systems, biomass systems, or geothermal systems."

The incentive is administered at the local level by individual cities and counties. Individuals should contact the cities or counties where their property is located

Local Option - Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems

Colorado enacted S.B. 07-145 in April 2007, authorizing counties and municipalities to offer property or sales tax rebates or credits to residential and commercial property owners who install renewable energy systems on their property. 

Eligible renewable energy property is defined as "any fixture, product, system, device or interacting group of devices that produce electricity from renewable resources, including, but not limited to, photovoltaic systems, solar thermal systems, small wind systems, biomass systems, or geothermal systems."

The incentive is administered at the local level by individual cities and counties. Individuals should contact the city and county where their property is

Longmont Power & Communications - Residential and Commercial Appliance Rebate Program

Longmont Power & Communications offers incentives to residential and commercial customers on a first-come, first-served basis. Currently, Longmont Power & Communications offers incentives for ENERGY STAR dual flush and low flow toilets. To qualify for the rebate, you will need: a receipt for the new toilet(s), a completed and signed Affidavit of Lawful Presence in the US and a copy of an acceptable form of identification, and a copy of your City of Longmont utility bill. Visit the program website for more information.

Loveland Water & Power - Home Energy Audit Rebate Program

Loveland Water & Power (LWP) is providing an incentive for customers living in single-family detached homes or attached townhouses that wish to upgrade the energy efficiency of eligible homes. Customers can schedule a $60 energy audit through LWP, to identify a variety of inefficient household features and measures. Based on audit findings and recommendations, LWP will contact three contractors on behalf of the customer and begin a bid process. Customers will select a contractor and choose from a range of potential upgrade measures which match the budget and savings goals of customers.

    More details on this offering can be found

    Loveland Water & Power - Refrigerator Recycling Program

    Loveland Water & Power is providing an incentive for customers to recycle older, working refrigerators. Interested customers can call the utility to arrange a time to pick up the old refrigerator. The old refrigerator should be brought outside but remain plugged in so the utility can make sure it is in working condition. The utility will then take the refrigerator to a recycling facility and issue a $35 bill credit.

    Mandatory Green Power Option for Large Municipal Utilities

    Municipal electric utilities serving more than 40,000 customers in Colorado must offer an optional green-power program that allows retail customers the choice of supporting emerging renewable technologies. The renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the resources are retired upon their sale to a customer, and may not be used for compliance with Colorado's renewable portfolio standard.

    Mandatory Photovoltaic System Cost Estimate

    At the request of a customer or a potential customer, Colorado electric utilities are required to conduct a cost comparison of a photovoltaic (PV) system to any proposed distribution line extension if the customer or potential customer provides the utility with load data (estimated monthly kilowatt-hour usage) requested by the utility to conduct the comparison, and if the customer's or potential customer's peak demand is estimated to be less than 25 kilowatts (kW). In performing the comparison analysis, the utility must consider line-extension distance, overhead or underground construction, terrain, other variable construction costs, and the probability of additions to the

    Morgan County REA - Efficiency Credit/Rebate Programs

    Morgan County REA (MCREA), in conjunction with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, provides financial incentives for all ratepayers to improve the energy efficiency of homes and facilities. Upon request, MCREA will perform a free energy audit, in which they will recommend energy saving improvements, rebates and provide some free energy saving devices. Incentives are available from both MCREA and Tri-State a variety of equipment and appliances. Accordingly, the amounts listed above represent the combined rebate from both sources. Equipment efficiency requirements, which can be found on the program website, must be met in order to receive rebates under this offering.

    Mountain View Electric Association, Inc - Energy Efficiency Rebates Program

    Mountain View Electric Association, Inc. (MVEA) and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc., MVEA’s power supplier, offers rebates to MVEA customers who install qualifying energy efficiency equipment and appliances, or pursue large scale facility lighting upgrades.  Both residential and business customers are eligible for rebates. All equipment requirements must be met in order to receive these credits.  The LED street lighting and commercial lighting replacement programs require pre-approval by Tri-State.  For more information on applying, eligibility, and incentive payments, contact MVEA, or review the program web site.

    Net Metering

    NET METERING

    Eligibility and Availability

    In December 2005 the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) adopted standards for net metering and interconnection, as required by Amendment 37, a renewable energy ballot initiative approved by Colorado voters in November 2004.

    Customer-generators are eligible for net metering in Colorado for retail renewable distributed generation. The following sections describe the rules that apply to investor-owned utilities (IOUs), with last section detailing net metering for municipal utilities and electric cooperatives. All utilities subject to the below net metering rules are required to provide net metering service at non-discriminatory rates to customer-generators.

    Systems sized

    Poudre Valley REA - Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

    Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association (PVREA), a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, offers a variety of lighting rebates to commercial and residential customers. Rebates are available on commercial lighting upgrades, residential LED lighting, refrigerators/freezers, clothes washers, dishwashers, water heaters, motors, VFDs, and air conditioners. 

    Visit the program website for more information.

    Poudre Valley REA - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

    Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association (PVREA), a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, offers residential energy efficiency rebate programs for qualified residential heat pumps, air conditioners refrigerators/freezers, dishwashers, clothes washers, residential water heaters, and LED lighting. Incentive amounts vary by the size and efficiency of the system; specific details are listed on the program web site.

    PVREA is also offering rebates to qualifying existing homeowners for the installation of insulation and air sealing measures. The program provides a rebate to homeowners that insulate and air-seal their attics and exterior walls to the recommended R-Values presented in the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code. For

    Property Tax Exemption for Community Solar Gardens

    Community solar gardens are classified as locally assessed properties for the purpose of property taxation. H.B. 1101 exempts from property tax the percentage of electricity capacity (AC) of a community solar garden that is attributed to residential subscribers, governmental subscribers, or organizations that already have been granted property tax-exempt status. The property tax exemption is for the tax years beginning on January 1, 2015 and ending before January 1, 2021. 

    Property Tax Exemption for Residential Renewable Energy Equipment

    Property Tax Exemption

    Renewable energy personal property that is located on a residential classified property, owned by the residential property owner, and produces energy that is used by the residential property is exempt from Colorado property taxation.

    Independently owned residential solar electric generation facilities that meet the criteria listed in § 39-1-102 (6.8), C.R.S. are exempt from Colorado property taxation under § 39-3-102, C.R.S. To qualify for the exemption the solar electric generation facility must be located on residential real property, used to produce electricity from solar energy primarily for use in the residential improvements, and have a production capacity

    Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency for Schools Loan

    The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency for Schools (REEES) Loan Program was created in 2009 to provide low-interest loans to school districts for the purpose of installing renewable energy systems and purchasing energy efficient school buses. The program was amended in May 2014 via S.B. 14-202 to broaden the scope of eligible energy efficiency projects to include all projects that result in a more efficient use of energy or resources, including water conservation projects. Eligible types of renewable energy include wind, solar, biomass, small hydro, and “other sources of renewable energy.”

    Renewable energy project loans are provided to qualified school

    Renewable Energy Property Tax Assessment

    Locally Assessed Renewable Energy Property

    Solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind energy facilities with a capacity of 2 megawatts (MW) AC or less are assessed locally for property taxes. Additionally, low impact hydro, geothermal, and biomass facilities with a capacity of 2 MW or less and which were placed in service prior to January 1, 2010, are also assessed locally for property taxes. In assigning value to renewable energy property, local assessors are required to use the cost approach outlined in the Assessors' Reference Library. Assessors must also examine the sales comparison and income approaches, both described in the Assessor's Reference Library. 

    Renewable Energy Standard

    Notes: In July 2015, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality Colorado's renewable energy standard (Energy & Environment Legal, et al v. Epel, et al, case number 14-1216). 

    Enacted May 2015, S.B. 15-254 extends the 3.0 credit multiplier for municipal utilities to systems under contract for development by August 1, 2015, and producing electricity before December 31, 2015.

    Colorado became the first state in the U.S. to enact a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) by ballot initiative (i.e., via an initiated state statute) when voters approved the Colorado Renewable Energy Requirement Initiative, also known as Amendment 37,

    Residential Energy Upgrade (RENU) Loan Program

    The Colorado Energy Office has partnered with Elevations Credit Union to provide loans for home energy upgrades through the Residential Energy Upgrade (RENU) Loan Program. Participants must work with a RENU-approved contractor to identify energy improvements and receive a cost estimate. Customers must then apply for the loan through Elevations Credit Union.  See website above for more information.

    Roaring Fork Valley - Energy Smart Colorado Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

    Energy Smart Colorado is the first rural multi-jurisdictional consortium in the U.S. to implement a comprehensive residential energy efficiency program.

    Residents of Roaring Fork Valley and Eagle, Gunnison, Lake, and Summit Counties are eligible for energy efficiency and renewable energy assistance, rebates, and financing through the Energy Smart Colorado program. The program helps homeowners identify, finance, and complete energy improvements in their homes.

    Each participating county operates an Energy Resource Center (ERC), providing homeowners and contractors with a local, reliable one-stop-shop for information and service. Each ERC is staffed with a Building Performance Institute certified Home Energy Advisor who provides

    Roaring Fork Valley - Energy Smart Colorado Renewable Energy Rebate Program

    Energy Smart Colorado is the first rural multi-jurisdictional consortium in the U.S. to implement a comprehensive residential energy efficiency program.

    Residents of Roaring Fork Valley and Eagle, Gunnison, Lake, and Summit Counties are eligible for energy efficiency and renewable energy assistance, rebates, and financing through the Energy Smart Colorado program. The program helps homeowners identify, finance, and complete energy improvements in their homes.

    Each participating county operates an Energy Resource Center (ERC), providing homeowners and contractors with a local, reliable one-stop-shop for information and service. Each ERC is staffed with a Building Performance Institute certified Home Energy Advisor who provides

    Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Equipment

    Colorado exempts from the state's sales and use tax all sales, storage, and use of components used in the production of alternating current electricity from a renewable energy source for fiscal years beginning on or after July 1, 2006. The exemption for systems which produce electricity from a renewable resource includes, but is not limited to, photovoltaic (PV) systems, solar thermal-electric systems, small wind systems, biomass systems, or geothermal systems.

    Effective July 1, 2009, through July 1, 2017, all sales, storage, and use of components used in solar thermal systems are exempt from the state's sales and use tax.  Effective

    San Isabel Electric Association - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

    San Isabel Electric Association (SIEA) provides incentives for its residential customers to install energy efficient equipment. Rebates are available for certain water heaters, washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers,  air conditioners, heat pumps, lighting units, insulation, ETS room units, and ETS furnaces that meet the program requirements. Contact the utility or view the website above for complete details.

    San Miguel Power Association - Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

    San Miguel Power Association (SMPA) offers a variety of rebates to customers for the purchase and installation of energy efficient equipment and appliances. Both residential and commercial customers are eligible to participate in this program. Eligible equipment includes geothermal heat pumps, central air conditioners, air source heat pumps, water heaters, refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dishwashers, electric motors, lighting, and weatherization measures. All purchased appliances must be ENERGY STAR rated in order to qualify. To participate, fill out the Energy Efficiency Credit Application within 180 days of the installation and provide proof of purchase for specified equipment. Rebates will be dispensed

    San Miguel Power Association - Renewable Energy Rebate Program

    San Miguel Power Association (SMPA) is providing rebates to its residential and commercial customers for installing photovoltaic (PV), small wind, and solar water heating systems systems as well as other renewable energy systems (e.g., micro-hydro, biomass) on a case-by-case basis. Applicants must own the system to qualify for the rebate. Systems leased from a third party are ineligible. 

    See website above for more information.

    Sangre De Cristo Electric Association - Energy Efficiency Credit Program

    The Sangre De Cristo Electric Association (SDCEA) offers the Energy Efficiency Credit Program, a rebate program which offers incentives for heat pumps, water heaters, appliances, and LED lighting.

    Contact SDCEA for heat pump rebate requirements and amounts.

    New and replacement water heaters are also eligible for rebates under this program. Water heaters are eligible for a $30-$50/unit rebate.

    The ENERGY STAR Appliance Program provides rebates on refrigerators/freezers, clothes washers, and dishwashers. Customers must submit a receipt and an application signed by an SDCEA representative within 180 days of the equipment purchase. 

     SDCEA also offers rebates for commercial LED lighting. Contact

    Solar Construction Permitting Standards

    Owners of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and solar water heating systems in Colorado are required to obtain a building permit before their systems may be installed. Permits are handled at the local level and awarded by counties and municipalities.

    In May 2008, the legislature enacted a statewide cap for permit fees for active solar energy devices. For systems up to 2 MW-DC, counties and municipalities can charge no more than the lesser of the local government's actual cost to issue a permit or $500 for a residential application and $1,000 for a nonresidential application. For systems 2 MW-DC or larger,

    Solar, Wind, and Energy Efficiency Easements and Rights Laws

    Note: Enacted March 2015, H.B. 15-1121 clarified rights and duties of parties entering into a agreements between landowners and wind energy developers and how to record such an agreement in county land records.
    Colorado's solar access laws, which date back to 1979, prohibit any residential covenants that restrict solar access. In 2008, H.B. 1270 extended the law to protect installations of wind turbines that meet the state's interconnection standards and certain energy efficiency measures including awnings, shutters, and other shade structures; garage fans; energy-efficient outdoor lighting; retractable clotheslines; and evaporative coolers. Some exceptions are made to allow for aesthetic requirements

    SourceGas - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

    SourceGas offers the Excess is Out Program for residential customers in Colorado. The Excess is Out Program offers various rebates for the installation of energy efficient equipment. The Program offers incentives for energy efficient furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters, equipment tune-ups, equipment insulation, and home insulation. All equipment must meet certain energy efficiency standards listed on the program website. 

    Applications may be submitted via an online web form. All purchase and installation requirements must be met. Further instructions are available on the program website listed above. Consult Source Gas by phone or visit the program website for more information.

    Southeast Colorado Power Association - Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

    Southeast Colorado Power Association (SECPA) offers a variety of rebates to customers who purchase and install energy efficient appliances, motors and HVAC equipment. This equipment includes water heaters, air-source, water-source and geothermal heat pumps, air conditioners, motors, ETS units, dishwashers, clothes washers, refrigerators and freezers, and variable speed drives. Commercial and residential customers are eligible for these rebates. All efficiency requirements and program procedures must be met in order to be eligible for rebate payment. Some rebates on pieces of equipment vary by size, capacity, or efficiency. Note that the rebates listed here are a combination of those offered by

    Summit County - Energy Smart Colorado Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

    Energy Smart Colorado is the first rural multi-jurisdictional consortium in the U.S. to implement a comprehensive residential energy efficiency program.

    Residents of Roaring Fork Valley and Eagle, Gunnison, Lake, and Summit Counties are eligible for energy efficiency and renewable energy assistance, rebates, and financing through the Energy Smart Colorado program. The program helps homeowners identify, finance, and complete energy improvements in their homes.

    Each participating county operates an Energy Resource Center (ERC), providing homeowners and contractors with a local, reliable one-stop-shop for information and service. Each ERC is staffed with a Building Performance Institute certified Home Energy Advisor who provides

    United Power - Renewable Energy Rebate Program

    United Power is providing rebates to their customers for the purchase of photovoltaic (PV), wind, and solar water heating systems. These incentives are separate from the rebates provided by the Colorado Governor's Energy Office and require separate applications. PV and wind systems must be grid-connected. Systems up to 25 kW in capacity may be installed, but United Power will only provide a rebate for the first 3 kW. Systems installed as part of new construction or residential development properties are not eligible for this program.

    United Power - Residential Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program

    United Power, together with Tri-State Generation and Transmission (TSGT), offers rebates for the installation of a variety of energy efficient appliances, including electric water heaters, heat pumps, LED light bulbs, and more. Customers should contact a United Power Member Services representative prior to purchasing HVAC equipment to ensure efficiency requirements are met. All credits must be requested within 120 days of installation. An inspection report signed by a United Power Energy Management Specialist is required to qualify for any of these credits.  Visit the program website for more information.

    Xcel Energy (Gas) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

    Xcel Energy residential natural gas customers in Colorado can qualify for cash incentives on a variety of energy efficient products. Standard rebates are available for furnaces, boilers, water heaters, insulation, and air sealing that meet the program requirements. Rebate program expiration dates may vary depending on the technology. Consult the program website for details.

    Xcel Energy - Energy Design Assistance

    Xcel Energy offers Energy Design Assistance (EDA) to qualified Colorado business customers. EDA gives customers a comprehensive approach to energy and cost savings for businesses considering new construction or renovation projects. EDA services can be tailored to the unique needs of each business. Featured services include: energy consulting services and predictive energy modeling, free to participants; enhanced services, including help toward a green building certification and early analyses in areas such as daylighting, lighting, massing, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); construction rebates for a package of whole building energy opportunities from envelope, lighting, and cooling to unique opportunities

    Xcel Energy - Home Performance with ENERGY STAR

    The Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program pays incentives for existing homes receiving gas and electric service from Xcel to take a whole-house approach to energy savings. Customers must complete all improvements before they are eligible to receive rebates. After a Home Energy Audit, participating contractors install the customer's recommended improvements, collect receipts, and submit rebate paperwork. 

    To take advantage of these rebates, you must complete a Home Energy Audit first, and then perform a total of three improvements from the table above. If your auditor recommends attic insulation and bypass sealing or air sealing and weather stripping these specific improvements

    Xcel Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Financing

    Xcel Energy connects residential customers with third-party lending partners, Elevations Credit Union and Lendkey, to provide qualifying residential customers with access to loan products for home energy efficiency improvements. Loans for qualifying home energy efficiency projects can be combined with rebates to make projects even more affordable (loans are also available for non-rebated measures).

    LendKey Home Energy Efficiency Loan: The LendKey Home Energy Efficiency Loan is available to residential customers throughout Xcel Energy’s Colorado service territory. This loan features a field of highly vetted contractors and an instant-approval process.

    Elevations Energy Loans: In City and County of Denver and Boulder

    Xcel Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

    Xcel Energy residential customers in Colorado can qualify for cash incentives on a variety of energy efficient products and home improvements. Standard rebates are available for heat pumps, evaporative coolers, central A/C systems, ground source heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, and insulation that meet the program requirements. Consult the program website for more specific information on the rebate structure. Only equipment which meets minimum efficiency standards will be included in rebate program. Measures may require installation by pre-qualified contractors and are subject to Xcel Energy installation verification. 

    Customers interested in comprehensive home energy efficiency improvements may alternatively receive rebates

    Xcel Energy - Solar*Rewards Community Program

    Note: In December 2014, the Public Utilities Commission approved Xcel Energy to acquire between 6.5 MW and 30 MW per year through the Solar*Rewards Community Program in 2014-2016. Xcel Energy is currently soliciting bids through a 2016 RFP to develop projects up to 2 MW . Submissions are due April 4.

    Legislation approved in 2010 allowed for the development of "community solar gardens" in Colorado. Under the rules of traditional net metering, a utility customer may offset their electricity consumption with electricity produced by a renewable energy system located on their property. Community solar gardens allow for multiple utility customers to

    Xcel Energy - Solar*Rewards Program

    Note: The Solar*Rewards Program has capacity limits that are allocated on a monthly basis for the Small Program and quarterly for the Medium Program. These allocations typically fill quickly when the application windows open. Check the program website for the latest information on available capacity remaining and other program updates.

    Xcel Energy's Solar*Rewards Program provides incentives for customers who install grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems sized up to 120% of the average annual load of their homes and facilities. Xcel purchases the renewable energy credits (RECs) produced by the systems for a period of 20 years (unless other legal provision supersedes).