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Colorado Solar Incentives

Colorado Solar IncentivesIn 2004 the state of Colorado residents paved the way for other states by being the first in the nation to vote in solar rebate incentives. The goal was to help grow a new industry while pushing forward an environmental agenda. The voter-approved ballot measure provided up to $2/ watt of energy from the local utility (in most places, Xcel) on systems up to 2 megawatts in size. The program also requires utilities to pay up front for Renewable Energy Credits (or “green tags”).

Last month, Xcel announced that it would be decreasing the reimbursement rate, which was at $2.25/ megawatt to $1.25/ megawatt. This has sent the local solar industry into upheaval.

"In one move, Xcel would slash the incentives to such a degree that it would fundamentally destabilize the marketplace," Neal Lurie, executive director of the Boulder-based Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association, told the Daily Camera. "They are nuking small businesses."

While individuals and small businesses are concerned that the cut will essentially kill the local solar industry, others side with Xcel Power.

Resident Jeanne Smith explains, “the solar industry in the state [of Colorado] has grown dramatically since the measure passed 7 years ago. It seems to me that with the continued rebate from Xcel at a slightly lower rate and the federal rebates, the solar industry is getting closer to standing alone. Isn't that the ultimate goal?”

Claiming your Colorado incentives is easy. The solar installer will provide you with information on who to contact at Xcel or your local utility. They will also provide the paperwork necessary for your 30% federal tax rebate.

If you are considering going solar in the state of Colorado, don't let the decreased reimbursement deter you. The cost of solar installation, equipment, and maintenance continues to drop as competition increases (due to high demand) in the state. The benefits continue to outweigh the costs of PV solar installation.

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