2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Fort Collins, CO - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Fort Collins.
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 Fort Collins solar installers to see how much you can save.
Please enter a valid 5-digit zip code!
By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated March 14, 2023
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Fort Collins?
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
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
Fort Collins Utilities - Home Efficiency 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
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
The term "solar incentives" includes a wide range of financial incentives put in place to make installing and using solar panels more affordable. This is done to encourage people to switch to renewable energy. Different types of incentives, including discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits, may be available to you. Certain incentives may be offered by the state of Colorado, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while other incentives are federal. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar panel system might qualify for exemptions on both sales and property tax. Sales tax exemptions are effective at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions allow you to ignore the value added by your solar panels when calculating property taxes on your house.
- Rebates: Your solar installer might help you claim a rebate, or partial refund after purchase, for your solar panels. States or counties will also offer limited-time rebates at various times. If you receive a rebate, that amount will usually be deducted from the total price before any tax credits are calculated.
- Net Metering: Net metering factors in once your solar system is up and running. If you have a net metering agreement with your Fort Collins utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your utility bill each month. In some locations, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other places you might receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
- Tax Credits: Unlike tax deductions, tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax that you owe the government.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are likely the first thing that you think of when thinking about solar incentives. It's likely that you've heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This incentive is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a certain percentage of the money you spend installing solar panels.
The ITC originally covered 30% of the total cost of solar panel installation, although it has fluctuated slightly over the last few years between 26-30%. The percentage you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. The total installation cost includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of equipment, accessories and labor. There is no maximum claim amount. The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be owned by you and in the United States.
Curious how the ITC might apply to your specific situation? Reach out to your local Fort Collins solar panel installation expert to get more information.
In August 2022, the ITC (now titled the Clean Energy Credit) was expanded and extended by the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act. The new Clean Energy Credit now runs until 2035. Homeowners can now receive a 30% credit for solar systems that began installation after January 1, 2022 and are completed by the end of 2032. This credit will then be decreased by a few percentage points every year until it expires. The expansion to the program also makes it easier to get credit for energy storage systems, beginning in 2023.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. To fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you, speak with your local Fort Collins solar installers.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Rebates, tax credits and more can be provided at multiple levels. In addition to federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones as well. Incentives may be offered by the state of Colorado, or by your county or municipality. Some incentives are available for only a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Fort Collins
You can receive solar incentives from the Colorado government and the federal government, as well as from your local utility company. Growing availability of solar initiatives over the last 15 years has helped increase solar adoption nationwide. Getting in touch with your local Fort Collins solar panel installation company is the right first step towards getting all the incentives you qualify for when you switch to solar energy.
Best Solar Financing
Blue Raven Solar
- Industry-leading in-house financing
- Competitive pricing
- Excellent reputation
- Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)
- Price-match guarantee
- Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
- Best solar battery on the market
- Some reported issues with customer service
- Customer service varies by local dealer
EcoWatch's Fort Collins, CO Solar Incentives FAQs
How do I know if I qualify for solar incentives?
It's best to speak with your local Fort Collins solar installer to get an understanding of which incentives your project will qualify for. Generally, solar incentives apply to new solar systems installed on a property you own (in the U.S.) within a specified date range. Some incentives, such as those provided by the Colorado government, may have additional requirements.
If I already have solar panels, can I still claim incentives?
Your best bet is to talk to the company that installed your system — or speak to a local Fort Collins solar installer — to learn about which incentives you may qualify for. If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Solar panels installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.
What are some of the environmental benefits of switching to solar energy?
You can decrease your carbon footprint by 500 pounds of CO2 annually by switching to solar panels. This adds up to roughly 11,000 pounds in 20 years. In addition, solar power is a renewable energy source, which means that switching your home over reduces the drain on our planet's resources.
Can I qualify for incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
Yes, you can receive both rebates and tax credits towards the cost of solar panels. Depending on which incentives you are claiming, they may apply in a different order. Be sure to speak with your solar installer or a local tax professional to ensure that you are claiming the correct incentives and getting the most money you can.
Can I use solar and another type of renewable energy in combination to power my home?
Yes, you can use multiple types of renewable energy to power your home, such as a combination of solar and geothermal. You can also combine renewable energy generation with a backup source of non-renewable energy. You should discuss your plan with your local Fort Collins solar panel installer, to make sure you know what you'll need and what types of incentives you might or might not 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.