2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Boulder, CO - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Boulder.
You'll learn about:
- Local & State Solar Incentives
- Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
- Ways to optimize your solar investment
Solar installers are experts in maximizing your solar tax credits and rebates.
Get a free quote from one of our trusted Boulder solar installers to see how much you can save.
Please enter a valid 5-digit zip code!
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Boulder?
Property Tax Exemption for Residential Renewable Energy Equipment
Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Equipment
Eagle County - Energy Smart Colorado Renewable Energy Rebate Program
PV: 50% up to $500
Solar Thermal: 50% of project costs
50% of project costs
City of Boulder - Solar Sales and Use Tax Rebate
Roaring Fork Valley - Energy Smart Colorado Renewable Energy Rebate Program
Solar Water Heat: $25% of cost
Solar Thermal Tune-up: 25% of project cost
Micro-hydro and Geothermal: 25% of cost
Property Tax Exemption for Community Solar Gardens
Xcel Energy - Solar*Rewards Program
Medium-sized Systems 25.1-500 kW: $0.0375/kWh
Large Systems (>500kW): Determined through competitive bid
Local Option - Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems
Local Option - Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems
Efficiency Works - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program (Offered by 4 Utilities)
Insulation: Up to $1,815
Duct Sealing: $200 (gas-heated homes only)
Window Replacement: Up to $1,000
Air Handler Blower Motor: $150
Whole House Mechanical Ventilation: 20% of cost
Heat Pumps: $500
Replacement Furnace: $300-$500 (gas-heated homes only)
Ductless Mini-Split: $250/head
Replacement Gas Boiler: $300 (gas-heated homes only)
Replacement Water Heater: $100-$500
AC System: $150-$500
Whole House Fan: $275
Evaporative Cooler: $500
United Power - Residential Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program
New Energy Star Refrigerator/Freezer: $30
Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling: $75
New Energy Star Clothes Washer: $40
New Energy Star Dishwasher: $20
New Electric Thermal Storage Units (on automated Time-of-Day control panel): $4-$16/kW
New Electric Thermal Slab (on automated Time-of-Day control panel): $4-12/kW
Water Heaters: $20-$400
Terminal Unit for Heat Pump A/C Units: $75-$85/Unit
Heat Pumps: $100-$450/ton
Geothermal Heat Pumps: $200-$500/ton
Air Conditioners: $100-$150
Xcel Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Financing
Xcel Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs
Natural Gas Furnace: $300
EC Motor in New or Existing Furnace: $100
Air Conditioning/Air Source Heat Pump: $300-$600
Mini-Split Heat Pump: $300
Water Heater: $70-$450
Evaporative Cooling: $200-$1,200
Attic Insulation: $350-$600
Wall Insulation: $350-$600
Air Sealing, bypass sealing, and weather-stripping: $175-$450
Ground Source Heat Pump: $300/ton
Smart Thermostat: $50
Xcel Energy - Home Performance with ENERGY STAR
Air Sealing/Bypass Sealing/Weather-Stripping: $250-$550
High Efficiency Lighting: 30% of cost
Wall Insulation: $450-$700
Evaporative Cooling System: $325-$1200
Central Air Conditioner (New): $400 - $700
Central Air Conditioner (Trade In): $550
Ground Source/Geothermal Heat Pump: $300 per ton
Electric Heat Pump Water Heater: $550
Programmable Thermostat: $25
High Efficiency Furnace: $400
Electrically Commuted Motor: $125
Tankless Water Heater: $200
Standard Tank Water Heater: $100
ENERGY STAR Refrigerator: $15
ENERGY STAR Clothes Washer: $30
Residential Energy Upgrade (RENU) Loan Program
Green Colorado Credit Reserve
Xcel Energy - Solar*Rewards Community Program
Determined through competitive bid. RFP released on March 3, 2016
Eagle, Garfield, Gunnison, Lake, and Pitkin Counties - Energy Smart Colorado Loan Program
Poudre Valley REA - Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling: $60
Clothes Washers: $30-$40
Clothes Dryers: $30-$90
Standard Water Heaters: $30-$50
Heat Pump Water Heaters: $350
Heat Pump Waste Heat (geothermal): $100 plus $25 for a lifetime warranty
Geothermal Heat Pumps: $500/ton plus $200/ton 2019 bonus incentive
Ground Source Heat Pump Desuperheater: $100/unit
Air Source Heat Pumps:$300-$450/ton plus $200-$300/ton 2019 bonus incentive plus $100/unit for integrated controlled ETS backup
Terminal Air Source Heat Pumps: $85/unit
Air Conditioners: $100-$150
Residential LED Lighting: 50% of cost
Commercial Lighting: Varies, see program website
Irrigation Motors: $1.50-$8.00/hp
Variable Frequency Drives: the lesser of 50% of cost or $1,600-$6,800/unit
Boulder County - EnergySmart Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Boulder County - Elevations Energy Loans
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are designed to encourage people to switch to renewable energy by providing financial incentives that lower the burden of solar panel installation and use. Incentives might include things like discounts, cash back or credit on your utility bill each month. Some incentives are offered federally, while others are offered by the Colorado government or by your utility company, county or municipality. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Rebates: Solar rebates might be offered by your county or state, or by your local utility company. These rebates work as partial refunds that are applied after you purchase a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar system might qualify for exemptions on both sales and property tax. Sales tax exemptions are applied at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the added value of the solar panels when calculating property taxes on your house.
- Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant after your solar panels are up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Boulder utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your monthly utility bill. In some areas, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other areas you might make back a percentage of the value.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much in taxes you owe the federal government.
Federal Solar Incentives
When someone says "solar incentives," you likely think of federal incentives first. It's likely that you've heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This incentive is a tax credit equal to a certain percentage of the money you spend on your solar system.
The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and allows you to deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, equipment, accessories and labor. This credit can apply towards a solar panel system installed on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. The original amount you could claim was 30% of the total cost, although certain projects may qualify for only 26%, depending on the details. There is no maximum claim amount.
Your local Boulder solar panel installer can provide more information about the ITC and how it applies to your situation.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act laid out new provisions for the ITC, now dubbed the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. Your solar installation project undertaken between 2022 and 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit. This amount will be decreased slightly on a yearly basis until the end of the current program. Starting in 2023, the program expansion will also make claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Boulder solar panel installer can answer any questions you have and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Rebates, tax credits and more can be claimed at multiple levels. On top of federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones as well. Some incentives are ongoing, while others might only be available for a limited time. These incentives might be provided by your county or municipality, or by the Colorado government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Boulder
There are many kinds of solar incentives: those given by local utility companies, those given by the Colorado government and those given by the federal government, to name a few. Solar energy utilization has grown enormously in the last 15 years, partially thanks to these incentives. If you're ready to make the switch to solar energy, getting in touch with your local Boulder solar panel installation expert is a great first step.
EcoWatch's Boulder, CO Solar Incentives FAQs
Our goal is to reach as many people as we can with sensible solutions like solar energy. Our team of full-time local researchers collects solar price and installation data for every city in America then compiles it to create these digestible city guides. If you want to read our solar expert's opinion on the top solar companies featured here, follow this link.