Solar Panels in Colorado: Cost, Savings, and Rebates

Solar Panels in Colorado

Solar Panels in Colorado: Cost, Savings, and Rebates

The cost of solar panels in Colorado has dropped over 50% since 2013. Coupled with some of the best sunlight in the country, it’s a surprise that more Coloradans have not made the switch. Although traditional electricity is low, there’s hardly a better state to live in for solar energy.

Whether you’re looking for financial savings or simply want to reduce your carbon footprint, we’ve got all the info you need. From the cost per watt to overall net gains, we make it easy to budget for solar energy. Keep reading for everything you need to know.

Average Cost of Solar Panels in Colorado

Without a question, the cost of solar panels in Colorado is one of the lowest in the country; for a standard system, homeowners in the Centennial State can expect to pay just $2.51/W. This means that Coloradans can budget about $15,060 for 6kW of solar. That’s nearly $2,500 less than people would normally pay for the same size array around the country.

But just because the cost of solar panels is affordable, is there any incentive to switch? With energy-conscious citizens and a pretty standard rate for electricity, Coloradans only spend about $98.62 per month on traditional power. With the fourth lowest utility bill in the country, homeowners in the Centennial State should consider carefully if they want to upgrade their power system.

If you’re having trouble deciding, it’s helpful to know that any solar purchases in Colorado may qualify for a 30% federal solar tax credit. Offering a substantial return on equipment, labor, and sales tax, The price of a 6kW solar panel system drops from $15,060 to $10,542.

How Much Solar Do Coloradans Need?

solar panels in colorado
Colorado has one of the most favorable net metering laws in the country.

©Faina Gurevich/Shutterstock.com

Of course, the above example only gives the standard rate across the state. If you’re looking for a more accurate price for solar panels in Colorado based on your needs, the process is fairly simple. After estimating your household’s daily electrical usage, you’ll divide it by the peak sun hours in your area (you can use this sun chart for that). Here’s an example using Colorado’s averages.

The Centennial State uses about 23.7kWh a day (711kWh/mo). When we divide that by the state’s average peak sun of 4.87 hours a day, we discover that our solar panel system should produce 4.9kW per hour. Using Colorado’s average solar panel rate of $2.51/W, this array would cost about $12,299 before incentives. 

Colorado Solar Cost Factors

In Colorado, one of the largest aspects that can affect the cost of solar is peak sun hours. While some locations have lower exposure, others can have quite a bit more.

For example, Bristol, CO receives as much as 6.8 hours of peak sun a day. For more examples of how sun exposure can affect the price of solar, check out the average cost in these surrounding states:

In addition to geographic location, the price of solar can fluctuate with panel size and type. With most manufacturers, you’ll find that the price drops the more watts you buy.

When considering the number of panels, you’ll have to decide between polycrystalline and monocrystalline. In Colorado, where sunlight is abundant, homeowners can take advantage of the more affordable polycrystalline panels, which tend to sacrifice efficiency for price.

Finally, you don’t want to compromise on the installation quality. While some installers may offer a lower deal to beat competitors, their business strategy might not support the longevity of a solar panel system. Fortunately for Coloradans, the state has several reputable installation companies available.

Can Solar Energy Save Coloradans Money?

monocrystalline vs polycrystalline
Colorado was the first state where Dow Inc. introduced the earliest solar shingles.

©MDV Edwards/Shutterstock.com

Although the cost of solar panels in Colorado is relatively affordable, homeowners in the Centennial state might not find much incentive to make the switch. With some of the best rates on traditional energy, the push to cut utility costs isn’t quite as urgent. Still, there’s plenty of financial benefit for Coloradans that pursue renewable energy.

To figure out how much homeowners in Colorado could expect to see in net savings on electricity, we’ll determine the length of time it takes to cover the cost of an array. If Coloradans save $1,183.44 a year ($98.62/mo) with solar, a 6kW system would take about 12.7 years to pay off. 

Now, considering that a solar panel array has a life expectancy of 20 to 25 years, this means Coloradans would see a net return of at least 7.3 years or more. This equals anywhere between $8,639 and $14,556. While this is less than some states, it’s a decent return overall.

Solar Panels in Colorado: Rebates, Credits, and Incentives

Utility savings aren’t the only way to save money with solar panels in Colorado; those that take advantage of various government benefits can see financial benefits in the form of rebates, tax credits, and more.

As mentioned earlier, one of the most substantial incentives is the federal solar tax credit. With 30% back on solar purchases in 2023, homeowners can find nearly $4,500 in savings on a 6kW system.

Alongside this, the Centennial State has some of the best solar regulations in the United States. Coloradans can take advantage of several tax exemptions, abundant net metering programs, and even full rebates from municipalities. For more on what Colorado offers, check out the detailed list of benefits.

Solar Panels in Colorado: Further Reading

With decent rates on solar panels in Colorado, purchasing an array is certainly an option for the financially savvy and environmentally conscious. For more on the state of renewable energy, continue reading these articles.

Solar Panels in Colorado: Cost, Savings, and Rebates FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is solar worth it in Colorado?

Colorado has some of the best sunlight in the country, making it easy to cover your electricity usage with a solar array. Homeowners can find net savings of nearly $15,000 over the course of their system’s lifetime.

How much does solar cost in Colorado?

In the Centennial State, people can expect to spend an average of $2.51 per watt. That means a 6kW system would cost about $15,060 before incentives.

How long does it take for solar panels to pay back in Colorado?

Considering Colorado’s average annual electrical bill of $1,183.44, a 6kW solar array would pay for itself in 12.7 years.

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