Cost of Solar Panels in Colorado: Local Solar Installation Prices (2022)

Here’s a quick look at the estimated cost of solar in Colorado:

  • Average Cost Per Watt: $2.69
  • Cost of Average System: $14,930*
  • Cost of Energy Without Solar: $34,654
  • Payback Period: 13 Years**
  • Lifetime Savings of Going Solar: $14,479

*Average system size is calculated using data from the Energy Information Administration. This price is after tax credit.
**Payback period is calculated assuming the system is purchased in cash.

Ecowatch Author Karsten Neumeister

By Karsten Neumeister, Solar Expert

Updated 5/17/2022

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Find Cost Savings on Solar in Colorado

As a homeowner in Colorado, you may be wondering: How much do solar panels cost in your area? In this article, we’ll discuss the average cost of a solar installation, how much that can save you on energy for your home and what incentives are available in your region. If you want to jump straight to getting a quote for an installation, you can follow the links below to speak with a verified professional.

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Blue Raven Solar

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Tesla Energy

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The average cost of solar panels in Colorado is $2.69 per watt, which is just slightly above the national average of $2.66 per watt. Using this typical per-watt cost, the standard 7.5-kilowatt solar system in Colorado would cost approximately $14,930 after the 26% federal solar tax credit was deducted.

These figures are only estimates, but they’re often enough to convince Colorado residents that going solar is a great way to save money while reducing their carbon footprint.

To get a customized quote for your home from a pre-vetted solar installer, please refer to the quotes below:

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Cost of Solar Panels in Colorado

Most solar panel systems in Colorado cost around $2.69 per watt, which is slightly above-average in the U.S. The majority of Colorado homeowners find that they need a 7.5-kW system to offset the cost of electricity. This standard system costs approximately $20,175 before the federal tax credit or $14,930 after the deduction. This total cost is well below the national average because homes in CO need smaller-than-average systems.

Electricity costs in Colorado — even in major cities like Denver and Colorado Springs — are relatively low, so you’ll get a bit less value out of your home solar system than you would in an area with high electricity rates, like California. Colorado’s abundant sunshine and excellent solar incentives still make going solar a worthwhile investment for most homeowners.

Solar Panel System Installation Cost in Colorado

Solar energy systems in Colorado commonly fall between $9,953 and $21,897 after the tax credit. This range is so wide for several reasons, but the primary one is the size of the system required. For every kilowatt you add to your solar panel system, you can expect a price bump of about $2,690. The table below provides average pricing before and after the solar tax credit for standard system sizes in CO.

Size of Solar Panel System Colorado Solar Panel Cost Cost After Federal Tax Credit
5 kW $13,450 $9,953
6 kW $16,140 $11,944
7 kW $18,830 $13,934
8 kW $21,520 $15,925
9 kW $24,210 $17,915
10 kW $26,900 $19,906
11 kW $29,590 $21,897

Want to see the best solar companies in Colorado that provide affordable solar solutions? Click below.

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What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Colorado?

As mentioned above, the size of your system — which is calculated to cover your monthly energy needs — will be the largest determining factor for the cost of going solar. However, there are some other things you’ll need to consider to get an accurate estimate. We’ll discuss these other factors below.

Solar Equipment

The equipment you choose to be included in your solar project will play a major role in the total cost. Both the brand and the pieces of equipment you select will make a difference.

There are many solar manufacturers that supply equipment to Colorado, and each varies in energy production, durability and cost. You will need to decide which of these three factors is most important to you and your home. If you want to save the most money in the long run and don’t mind higher upfront costs, you should choose the most efficient solar panels that fit into your budget, like the Maxeon panels from SunPower. If you want to minimize upfront costs, opting for the most affordable panels might suit you better.

You’ll also need to consider the pieces of equipment you want in your solar electric system. Panels and inverters are required to produce energy and for interconnection, but you can opt for add-on products like electric vehicle chargers and solar batteries. These additional pieces of equipment can add significantly to your costs, but they increase the value of your system.

Solar Financing

The average cost of $20,175 to go solar in Colorado might be discouraging for many homeowners, but solar financing gives you access to renewable energy with a much lower upfront cost or even no down payment at all.

However, solar loans will bump up your all-in costs because they add interest to your lifetime payments. Even low-APR loans can add hundreds or thousands of dollars to your system cost over time, so you should consider the total interest you’re expected to pay in your final price.

A helpful thing to remember to reduce interest costs is that you can lower the amount of interest you pay by increasing your down payment. The more you pay now, the less principal you’ll pay interest on in the long run.

Solar Installation Company

The last factor that can significantly affect your cost of converting to clean energy is the solar panel installation company you hire. Every company in Colorado will have varying prices based on availability, labor costs, equipment provided and warranties offered.

It’s helpful to consider the value the company provides and not just the price they’ll charge for your system. For example, companies that only install high-quality and high-efficiency panels — like Tesla Powerwalls and SunPower panels — will always incur higher upfront installation costs. However, the value they provide is greater and could save you more over time.

A good place to start is by looking at the size of the company. Smaller local companies often have higher prices but provide better customer service and more equipment options. Some run deals and sales to position themselves low among the competition. Larger national companies typically have lower prices, sometimes at the expense of equipment options and customer service.

Colorado Solar Incentives

Colorado is commonly listed as one of the most solar-friendly states, affording residents many incentives and rebates to make going solar more appealing. Below are the incentives available to CO homeowners.

Federal Solar Tax Credit For Colorado Homeowners

The federal solar investment tax credit — or the ITC — is a rebate offered by the federal government in the amount of 26% of your total system cost. In Colorado, that’s an average credit of $5,246, making the ITC one of the best incentives for converting to a renewable energy source.

The ITC will dip to 22% in 2023 and be abolished in 2024 unless Congress renews the bill that established it, so the biggest returns will be offered for installations completed in 2022 and 2023.

Net Metering Policies in Colorado

Net metering is a policy that allows you to deduct all excess energy you produce from all of the power you’ll have to pay for throughout the year. In some cases, the exchange rate between energy pulled from the grid and energy sent to the grid isn’t one-to-one, but the policy still provides a better opportunity to eliminate your electric bills.

In 2004, Colorado became the first state to establish a renewable energy standard (RES) by public ballot, which is a goal set forth by the state to produce a certain percentage of all electricity via renewable sources. As a result, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) put net metering and interconnection into effect in Colorado in 2005.

Today, net metering in Colorado provides energy credits to homeowners for every kilowatt-hour they produce with their panels. The credits are worth up to 120% of the cost from Investor Owned Utilities, including Xcel Energy Black Hills. That means you could get paid more for the electricity you produce than you’d pay when buying it from your local utility company.

For example, the Yampa Valley Electric Association, one of Colorado’s electric cooperatives, offers a one-to-one energy credit up to 100% of a home’s production, plus an additional credit of 3.3 cents after that point.

Ultimately, Colorado’s net metering makes it probable that even slightly undersized systems will be able to eliminate electricity costs for homeowners throughout the state.

Local Solar Rebates in Colorado

As one of the most solar-friendly states in the country, it should come as no surprise that Colorado also offers several local incentives to residents.

First, the EnergySmart Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program provides rebates on the order of hundreds or even thousands of dollars for energy-efficient equipment. Solar rebates under this program are currently offered in Roaring Fork Valley, Eagle County, Lake County, Gunnison County, Boulder County and Summit County.

Second, Colorado has established solar/wind easements and rights laws, guaranteeing all homeowners access to renewable energy sources. Under these laws, no HOA, municipality or other agency can prevent you from installing rooftop solar panels. Additionally, the law guarantees that your panels will be unimpeded by neighboring homes or buildings, so you’ll always be able to take advantage of the abundant sunlight in Colorado.

Finally, Colorado provides a sales tax exemption for solar equipment, which means you won’t pay sales tax on solar panels or the installation process. With a typical system cost of $20,175 and an average state sales tax rate of 2.9%, and some municipalities charging up to 8%, that’s up to $1,614 in savings.

There are other rebates and incentives provided to individual municipalities or customers of particular energy companies. You should check the DSIRE database for additional incentives in your area.

Best Solar Panel Brands And Installed Solar System Costs in 2022

The table below shows some of the best solar panel brands as determined by our in-depth manufacturer and product reviews. We have also included relative pricing to help you decide which brands might fit within your budget.

Solar Panel Brand Average Cost Per Watt ($-$$$$$)
LG Solar $$$
Canadian Solar $$$
JA Solar $$
Mission Solar $$
Panasonic $$
Q Cells $$
REC $$$
Silfab $$$
SunPower $$$$$
Tesla $$
Trina Solar $$$

 

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People Also Ask

EcoWatch FAQ: Solar Panel Cost Colorado

Given the immense popularity of solar power in Colorado, the EcoWatch team gets many questions from residents about going solar and the costs involved. Below are some of the more common questions we see.

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Karsten Neumeister

Solar Expert

Karsten Neumeister is a solar energy specialist with a background in writing and the humanities. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the renewable energy sector of New Orleans, focusing on solar energy policy and technology. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.