Colorado Launches Solar and Energy Rebate Program

Colorado customers of Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy have forseveral years been able to take advantage of solar rebates.

The rebatesreduce the out-of-pocket cost of installing solar photovoltaic (PV)systems, which encourages more homeowners to install solar panels. To offer a similar option to individuals who aren’t customers of Xcel or Black Hills, Colorado is today launching a new energy rebate program in conjunction with a new website Recharge Colorado. [Ed.note: as of mid-day Monday, April 19, the site was experiencing heavyweb traffic. As a result, some sections of the site had been temporarily removed.] Made possible by the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) and funding fromthe American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Colorado’s new energy rebate program offers incentives for several classes of technologies and homeimprovements. The GEO has put together a document (PDF) outlining the scope of the program. In brief, here’s what you need to know:

Renewable energy rebates:

  • Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are eligible for rebates that willcover approximately 20 percent to 30 percent of system costs. Accordingto the GEO’s document, “[i]n some cases, rebates combined with localincentives will result in 50 percent reduction in costs.” **Note:Customers of Xcel and Black Hills are NOT eligible for PV rebates due to existing residential PV rebates already offered by those utilities.**
  • Residential solar hot water heating systems: 30 percent of the costs
  • Commercial solar water heating systems: approximately 30 percent ofthe costs
  • Residential wind up to 10 kilowatts in size: approximately 30percent of the costs
  • Commercial wind: approximately 15 to 20 percent of the system cost

Note that, in order to qualify for solar rebates, homeowners arerequired to get a home energy audit BEFORE they apply for the rebate.Getting an energy audit is a best practice. And, luckily, the newColorado rebate program offers a few bucks for to help offset the costof getting an energy audit (see below).

Residential energy efficiency rebates:

  • Insulation and air sealing: 20 percent of cost, up to $400 (not toexceed $600 if combined with an existing local utility rebate)
  • Duct sealing: 20 percent of cost, up to $75 (not to exceed $125 ifcombined with utility-sponsored rebate)
  • Whole-house energy audit: tiered rebate ranging from $25 to $100,depending on the cost of the audit
  • Whole-house energy monitor: $50 (not to exceed $100 if combined with a utility-sponsored rebate)

Home appliance rebates:

Note that, in order to qualify, all appliances must be Energy Star rated.Eligible appliances will receive rebate at the following levels. Be sure to check the program for more details on qualification criteria.

  • Clothes washers $75
  • Dishwashers $50
  • Hot water heater – gas condensing/high performance $200
  • Hot water heater – gas tankless $300
  • Gas boilers – $400
  • Refrigerators: $100 with proof the previous refrigerator wasrecycled; $50 with no proof of recycling (note that refrigerators mustbe at least 12 cubic feet in size to qualify)
  • Furnaces – gas condensing $500
We’ll wrap this overview up with a brief note and reminder from the GEO:
The GEO expects high consumer interest in all rebates. For ENERGYSTAR appliance rebates, the GEO along with its local partners expectsbrisk consumer action. Those appliances account for about 16,000 of therebates. In light of that, it’s important for consumers to haverealistic expectations and to recognize the limits of the program. … Consumers are reminded that no rebates are guaranteed until all documentation isprovided to the GEO.

Colorado Launches Solar, Energy Rebate Program


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