Solar Panel Cost Guide in Fort Collins, CO (Sep 2022)

  • Fort Collins Solar Installation Cost: $10,168
  • 25-Year Savings: $14,990
  • Payback Period: 10.1 Years

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EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 9/16/2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Fort Collins

Let's have a look at the average cost of solar in Fort Collins.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Fort Collins, the typical cost of a solar system is $3 per watt. Because a 5.4-kW system is needed to cover the energy usage of a typical home in Fort Collins, the average price of going solar will be about $10,168 before claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

The true cost of your system can be above or below the average in Fort Collins depending on a variety of factors, such as the model of solar panels you choose and the solar contractor you hire. Despite the large upfront cost, the average Fort Collins homeowner can save around $18,000 on their energy bills over 20 years, which is one of the advantages of solar.

Click the button below to get connected to a top solar panel company in Fort Collins for a personalized quote.

Solar savings over time in Fort Collins

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-9,162
3 years $-7,149
5 years $-5,137
7 years $-3,124
9 years $-1,111
11 years $901
13 years $2,914
15 years $4,927
17 years $6,939
19 years $8,952
21 years $10,965
23 years $12,977
25 years $14,990

Top Solar Installers in Fort Collins

Many homeowners decide to hire a solar panel company since trying to put up solar panels yourself can be a lot of work. A solar company can also help save you money over the lifespan of your system by providing warranties, repairs and component replacements.

If you'd like to switch to solar energy but still aren't sure which solar installer to go with, here are our suggestions for providers near you:

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Solar Financing

Blue Raven Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent reputation
  • Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)

Best Technology

The Green Panel

★★★★★
4.5

  • 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

See all of the solar companies in Fort Collins

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Fort Collins

There are many criteria that can affect your solar panel installation cost, such as the size of your system, the equipment you choose, your financing options and the specific company that does the installation.

Solar Equipment Size

One of the most significant factors to consider when it comes to the cost of installing solar panels is the size of the solar system, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). The more electricity your household uses, the larger your system will likely need to be. You can expect to spend around $2,690 per kilowatt in Fort Collins. There are a lot of different solar panel brands and the one you pick also changes the cost. Generally, the brands that offer higher efficiency tend to also cost more. Plus, the type of equipment you want to install can affect your total cost. If you only need panels, your system will be far less expensive than if you also need solar batteries or an electric vehicle charger.

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for solar panels out of pocket can be a challenge. Solar loans are offered by most installers in Fort Collins, which can bring down, or in some cases eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more affordable. You'll have to consider the long-term cost of financing options, including the amount of interest you'll pay over the length of the loan. If you're only able to get a high-interest loan, then your total can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars more than the principal cost. Making a larger down payment or getting a solar loan with a low APR could reduce your costs considerably.

Solar Panel Installation Company

A final consideration when trying to estimate the cost of solar for your home or business in Fort Collins is the company you get to install your solar panel system. As with choosing a company to renovate your kitchen, for example, there's no shortage of solar installers that provide a range of services at different costs. You may notice national solar installers that have lower prices because of their larger brand name and access to bulk prices, or you might see small, local installation companies offering deals or specials to compete with those larger companies.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $2.80 $11,750 $16,200 10.5 years
8 kW $2.74 $15,365 $21,902 10.3 years
10 kW $2.69 $18,830 $27,754 10.1 years
12 kW $2.64 $22,144 $33,756 9.9 years
14 kW $2.58 $25,308 $39,910 9.7 years
16 kW $2.53 $28,320 $46,214 9.5 years
18 kW $2.47 $31,182 $52,668 9.3 years
20 kW $2.42 $33,894 $59,273 9.1 years

Solar Incentives in Fort Collins

Name Property Tax Exemption for Residential Renewable Energy Equipment
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Equipment
Incentive Amount 100%
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Eagle County - Energy Smart Colorado Renewable Energy Rebate Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name City of Boulder - Solar Sales and Use Tax Rebate
Website Visit here
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Name Roaring Fork Valley - Energy Smart Colorado Renewable Energy Rebate Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Property Tax Exemption for Community Solar Gardens
Website Visit here
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Name Xcel Energy - Solar*Rewards Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Local Option - Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems
More Info Click here

Name Local Option - Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems
More Info Click here

Name Efficiency Works - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program (Offered by 4 Utilities)
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Fort Collins Utilities - Home Efficiency Loan Program
Incentive Amount $25,000
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Xcel Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Financing
Incentive Amount Up to $50,000
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Xcel Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs
Website Visit here
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Name Xcel Energy - Home Performance with ENERGY STAR
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More Info Click here

Name Poudre Valley REA - Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Residential Energy Upgrade (RENU) Loan Program
Incentive Amount $35,000
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Green Colorado Credit Reserve
Incentive Amount $250,000
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Xcel Energy - Solar*Rewards Community Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Eagle, Garfield, Gunnison, Lake, and Pitkin Counties - Energy Smart Colorado Loan Program
Incentive Amount $25,000
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

How to Save on Solar Panels

The solar panel company you go with will impact not only your overall costs, but also the types of solar panel brands, warranties, and other equipment you have access to. When choosing a solar company, there are some important things you should consider, including:

  • Contract: Before signing a contract with a solar company, make sure you look it over fully so you understand the terms. Also, ask questions if you're unsure about some of the terms, such as what to do if a part breaks or malfunctions and what services you can expect from them.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and type has varying levels of quality, longevity and energy efficiency. They will come at different price points as well. The company you choose affects which solar panel brands you have access to.
  • Reputation: The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a respected certification organization for clean energy professionals. If your solar panel installer is NABCEP-certified, it most likely has a good reputation and is qualified to install your solar system. Another way you can verify your installer's reputation is by reading reviews.
  • Installation Process: An important thing to understand when going solar is the installation process itself. Be sure to align on any details you need to know with your solar company, such as what permits you should secure and how long the project will take.

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Solar Financing

Blue Raven Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent reputation
  • Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)

Best Technology

The Green Panel

★★★★★
4.5

  • 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 Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Fort Collins?

This is a tough question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on many factors. Broadly speaking, it costs about $13,450 for a 5-kW system and $26,900 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. You can expect to pay more if you want other solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have higher-than-average energy needs. On the other hand, you can spend less if you choose a smaller solar panel system or less efficient solar panels.

Is it better to lease or buy solar panels in Fort Collins?

Leasing solar panels can be an option if you can't afford to pay upfront or get a solar loan, but since you don't own the system, you can't take advantage of many solar incentives. Also your home value won't increase, so you'll have less savings over time. If you can afford to buy a solar system upfront, then buying is the better option if you want the most savings from going solar.

Is switching to solar power worth it?

Whether or not solar panels are worth it depends on some different factors like local electricity rates and how much direct sunlight your roof gets.

How often do you have to replace solar panels?

On average, the lifespan of solar panels is about 25 to 30 years. Some even last up to 50 years, but their efficiency decreases by about 0.8% each year. You can choose to replace them sooner if you want to maintain a higher amount of energy production.

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.

Company 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.

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