Clean Energy Authority had stated on Nov. 29, 2012 that the synonymous non-profit had declared Denver to be the first solar friendly community. By having home solar power at each residential location, Denver can help set the example of taking advantage of going green.
Due towards the forward thinking of Denver, it had made residents and communities possible to help expedite the process of getting solar equipment installed on homes as well as reduce the soft costs of installing solar power. Thanks to the Solar Friendly Communities initiative, this was made possible.
What has made this program so successful and [have reached] the milestone we have today is the fact that collectively, through a collaborative process we were able to identify 12 best practices, clear quantifiable best practices that help make a community a solar friendly community,” said COSIEA Executive Director Neal Lurie.
There is apparently a point program for communities to achieve accolades. Communities can earn up to 1,600 points by following the best solar methods and follow through. Awards include the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum recognition.
The city of Denver to their credit has been able to reduce permit fees from the state average of about $500 for a solar system on down to $50 for a solar permit. We have seen some communities take the time of permitting to be as high as 20 days to issue a permit and here in Denver they’re able to do it 15 minutes,” Lurie said.
Cost too much for solar?
Yes, there is a considerable cost to install a solar system on your roof. It typically costs around $30,000 to $50,000 for a full installation. One of the solar installation companies, Sunrun, would be able to install such expensive systems at hardly any cost. So this is where, in a state that’s pro-solar, solar financing is made possible. The company itself buys the homeowners solar panels, but just allows the customer to pay for the solar electricity being funneled into the home. So the homeowner just pays a lease on the solar panels.
The monthly finance payments are the same price throughout the month, regardless of how much electricity is used and you would save thousands in regular power.
There are two methods of payment to Sunrun. One method is to start off with a low upfront cost by starting off low and pay monthly for the electricity. The other method would be to participate in a solar prepaid method. One basically prepays for solar electricity in upfront and never see a power bill in 20 years.
Also, rebates are made available for residential installs. Considering that the state of Colorado has formulated a renewable portfolio standard, this program requires utilities to get 30% of their energy from renewable sources. In turn, these utilities then offer rebates to the homeowners which can save them a significant amount of money for the solar panel installs.
The time is now, to also take advantage of the XCEL Solar Rewards Program. It offers a rebate amount to the customer based on the projected performance of their installed system. Though, this will not last much longer and the rebates will cease as more and more solar photovoltaic systems are installed on homes all over as these incentive amounts are set to get lower over a period of time. So the time is now, in Colorado, to go green.