2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Denver, CO - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Denver.
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.
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By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated March 14, 2023
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Denver?
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
City and County of Denver - Elevations Energy Loans
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
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are designed to make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives for individuals who install solar panels on their homes. You may be eligible for various types of incentives, such as cash back, discounts or monthly utility bill credits, depending on your situation. Certain incentives come from your specific utility company, county or municipality, some from the Colorado government and others from the federal government. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund after the purchase of your solar system. Rebates might be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The discount that rebates offer is normally applied to the price of solar panels before calculating tax credits.
- Net Metering: You may be able to sign a net metering agreement with your Denver utility company. This agreement may apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity your solar panels generate. Your utility company will then subtract this value from your monthly utility bill.
- Tax Exemptions: These may come in the form of property tax exemptions, which allow you to ignore the value of your solar system when paying property tax on your house. They may also include exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits decrease, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax you owe the government. These are different from tax deductions.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the type of incentives that you are most likely to have heard of. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is likely the most well-known federal solar incentive. The ITC offers a tax credit for a specific percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC applies towards solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and under this program you can deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, labor, accessories and equipment. You can receive this credit for solar panels installed on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. Originally, you could claim 30% of the total cost, although certain projects may qualify for only 26%, depending on the details. There is no maximum claim amount.
Wondering how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Get in touch with your local Denver solar panel installation expert to get more information.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act expanded and extended the ITC, now titled the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. Any solar installation project that is completed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit. This amount will be decreased slightly each year until the current program ends. The program expansion also makes credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim, starting in 2023.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Denver solar panel company can answer any questions you have and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Not all solar incentives are federal; rebates, tax credits and more might also be offered at the local or state level. Some incentives are ongoing, while others are only available for a limited time. Incentives might be given by your county or municipality, or by the Colorado government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Denver
Solar incentives may be offered by your local utlity company, the Colorado government or the federal government. The growing number of available incentives has facilitated the nationwide growth of solar energy use in the last 15 years. Getting in touch with your local Denver solar panel installation expert is the best first step towards making sure you get all the incentives you qualify for when you switch to solar energy.
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EcoWatch's Denver, CO Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I am planning to add a solar system to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property? Can I still qualify for incentives?
While we recommend speaking with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to best understand what solar incentives apply to you, many will apply to a second home, provided that it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be additional incentives available specifically for commercial properties, depending on the specifics.
How do I learn if I qualify for specific solar incentives?
It's a good idea to talk to your local Denver solar installer to get an understanding of which incentives your project may qualify for. In most cases, solar incentives apply to new solar panel systems installed on a property you own (in the U.S.) within a specified date range. Some incentives, such as those given by the state of Colorado, may have other requirements.
When does the federal solar tax credit end?
The Clean Energy Credit (previously called the federal solar tax credit, or the ITC), is slated to end on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.
If I trade in my appliances for ones that can use solar energy, are there credits I can claim?
The new Inflation Reduction Act creates a variety of new financial incentives to encourage you to make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details about these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.
Can I use multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?
You can use multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy, to power your home. Be sure to go over your ideas with your local Denver solar installer. They can help you with the plan for your project and give you an understanding of various incentives that you will or won't qualify for.
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.
Solar incentive research was conducted by Melissa Smith and Karsten Neumeister. Local data analysis was conducted by James Savino. See something we missed or could do better? Email the editor.