Solar energy is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. Currently, there are over 1.47 million solar panels in use across the US, a number which is expected to rise sharply in the coming years.
If you’re a Colorado resident, you could save a lot by installing solar panels at your home. From state and federal taxes to lifelong savings, here’s what you need to know about solar panels in Colorado.
Local Laws and Regulations on Residential Solar
First, installing solar panels is obviously quite beneficial, as we mentioned in great detail. However, it is still optional. Currently, there are no state requirements for getting solar panels within a certain period.
Still, there are currently the best incentives to do so now. If Colorado or the federal government enacts a requirement, these incentives will likely diminish, meaning that now is the best time to maximize the benefits.
Beyond that, there are some important laws to understand, including your rights as a Colorado resident. For example, Colorado has solar access laws dating back to 1979 which render void any covenants, restrictions, or conditions that prohibit “renewable energy generation devices” or “energy efficiency measures.” This effectively guarantees your rights to have solar panels on your property, so you won’t have to worry about your investment in the long run.
If you’re concerned about local laws and regulations, contact your local municipality government and ask to speak to the housing authority. They will have the most relevant information about your specific town or city.
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Why Solar Panels Are a Great Fit For Colorado Homeowners
Before we discuss how to add solar panels to your home, let’s first talk about why it’s so important. Here are some of the key benefits of adding solar panels to your Colorado home or building!
The Benefits of Going Solar in Colorado
Colorado is one of the sunnier states in the country. While many in Denver and the surrounding areas like to say that they get 300 days of sun each year, that’s technically not true. Still, some cities can get 285 days of sunny or partly sunny conditions.
Relative to some major cities in the country, that’s quite a lot. Seattle notoriously only gets 152, and Boston only sees 200 at the most. Still, solar panels are commonly used in both regions.
Therefore, Colorado has no excuse! If it’s economically viable for cities with just over half or two-thirds of our sunshine, then why wouldn’t it be viable here? Also, the high altitude in Colorado helps with the intensity of the sunshine!
At the federal, state, and local levels, you can receive enormous tax benefits for installing solar panels. This can quickly offset the costs of home solar energy systems while maximizing the long-term benefits. We’ll talk more about these specific benefits later!
If you live in Colorado, it may surprise you to learn that the average national electric bill is only $115 per month. Conversely, the average person in CO pays around $165, $50 higher than the national average.
Well, when you have solar panels on your roof, you can save money on that bill year-round, and possibly even forfeit your bill altogether. This is because of the credits you earn for generating electricity and helping to power the grid.
That’s right, your solar panels don’t just power your home. In some cases, the excess energy is put to use on the grid, and utility companies offer credits for generating that electricity. This means that the excess energy you produce in the summer can pay for your entire electric bill during the winter, if you invest in an efficient enough system.
Of course, these savings aren’t guaranteed. However, if you have enough solar panels and some other green energy infrastructure at home, you could easily avoid paying a bill altogether. Fuel cells, energy-efficient appliances, heat pumps, and other energy-saving methods can go a long way, and they may even offer additional tax incentives!
With over 102,000 installed solar systems and over 7,000 active solar jobs, Colorado has performed well in bringing solar into the state. However, it still hasn’t cracked the top 10 in solar production, but it is coming close.
Solar is quite accessible to Colorado residents for more reasons than one. Here’s another example of why.
On average, Colorado homes are newer than others in the US, especially on the east coast. Of course, this has to do with the history of settlements in the US, but it offers a major advantage for transitioning to green technology.
If you don’t already know, not every home in the US is compatible with solar panels. This is because of their circuits, wiring, and age of equipment. However, this is much more of an eastern US problem than it is out west.
Most Colorado buildings and homes are perfectly compatible with solar panels, unlike many other states. That means you don’t have to wait for massive, nationwide infrastructure improvements to enjoy the rewards of solar energy.
Did you know that, on average, every dollar you save on your annual utility bill with solar panels directly translates to an increase in your home value?
Not only will you receive the maximum benefits on your taxes by installing your solar panels today, but you might maximize your profits if you ever choose to sell your home. This boost in home value and energy independence could even help secure your retirement!
Lastly, but certainly not the least important on this list, switching to solar energy is one of the best things you can do to protect your community and the environment.
We all know that fossil fuels are warming the planet and that we have little time left to act. However did you know that 99% of the world’s population lives with toxic air pollution because of fossil fuels?
Solar panels offer some of the cleanest energy available. The more that our energy grid relies on solar, wind, and hydroelectric power, the safer our communities and planet will be as a whole. Fortunately, it’s never been easier to make that switch than right now!
US Energy Information Administration
Solar Energy Industry Association
Financing Options For Solar Panels
One of the greatest advancements in green energy technology in the last decade hasn’t been bringing new technology to the scene. Instead, it’s been in making existing technology more affordable and feasible for average homeowners. Even 10 or 15 years ago, residential solar panels were a status symbol.
Fortunately, that’s no longer the case. You’ll still get recognition from your neighbors if you’re the first one to add them, but you won’t have to worry about spending a fortune on them. They have come a long way in recent years.
On top of tax incentives to save you money, you may have financing options available to help you afford the cost of installation. Not everybody has the money needed upfront, and that’s okay.
Some solar companies will let you establish a payment plan. This could be quarterly payments for the first year or two, or you could even pay your normal electricity bill until the panels are paid off! That means that you can get solar panels without your checking account even noticing, and still reap the rewards mentioned above!
How Much Can Colorado Homeowners Save?
We can’t make any blanket statements about savings because everybody’s situation is different. The amount you save will depend on a few key factors, including:
- Access to sunlight
- Age and type of home/electrical system
- Local tax incentives
- Current energy rates and bill
- Size of home
- Kilowatts of solar panels
Still, you could save a substantial amount. There have been many cases where a homeowner with an average energy bill (roughly $165) completely eliminated their bill altogether as a result of their energy credits. While savings aren’t guaranteed, they can be quite fruitful!
The Solar Installation Process
Now that you know some of the key benefits of installing solar panels, you may wonder what the process is like. Here’s what you need to know about installing residential solar panels.
Choose the Right Vendor
Unfortunately, as we all know, with new technology comes a race to the bottom. This leads to many unreputable dealers offering a low-quality job for only a slightly discounted price. Instead, look for high-quality solar vendors like LGCY Power and find the solar package that’s right for your needs.
After your initial consultation, surveyors will need to inspect your home to ensure that it’s compatible with solar panels, develop a plan based on your space, and discover how many kilowatts you’ll need. If a vendor doesn’t offer this, they aren’t worth your time.
You have no idea how fast this entire process is once the ball is rolling. Of course, many solar companies are busy after the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act. Still, a short period after your consultation and survey, you will have panels installed on your roof.
The installation process should only take one or two days from a trusted, professional installation crew. They will work with your existing space to ensure the highest quality and safety standards possible!
Activating the Panels
Once they’re installed, it’s only a matter of activation. Your panels will now attach to your home’s circuits and energy grid, and you can begin saving every month on your electric bill. It’s as simple as that!
If you want more information, check out the entire solar panel installation process.
Ask About Solar Panels for Your Colorado Home Today
Now that you know everything there is to know about solar panels Colorado, start saving money today. You can easily cut down on the cost of solar panels with various incentives and financing plans, and you can still enjoy the benefits for years to come. Just remember to hire the right local solar team for the job!
Stay up to date with our latest solar news and schedule a consultation with solar installers Colorado today!