Solar energy makes sense for Garfield County businesses

Solar equipment prices have dropped 80-90% in the past decade. Many businesses across the U.S. are choosing solar energy as a way to control operating costs and hedge against escalating energy rates. Pairing a solar system with on-site storage (battery backup) provides extra resilience, both for the individual business and for the electricity grid.

Garfield Clean Energy’s free renewable energy consulting can help you understand the best options for using solar energy to power your commercial property. We can:

  • Provide an initial site review to determine on-site solar and storage potential
  • Calculate optimal system size to meet electric demand
  • Review solar contractor bids
  • Explain off-site renewable energy purchase options
  • Advise on economic incentives and financing options
  • Provide cash flow models and economic indicators for your investment

For more information and to schedule a free renewable energy consulting visit, contact Heidi McCullough at hmccullough@cleanenergyeconomy.net or call CLEER at 970-704-9200, extension 3.

CLEER manages the programs and services of Garfield Clean Energy.

Solar is affordable

Federal tax credits, utility rebates and financing options make solar energy a smart investment for many commercial property owners.

Federal Tax Credit: Great news! The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 increases and extends the Residential Clean Energy Tax Credit for solar, wind, geothermal and battery storage:

  • Projects initiated before the end of 2022: 26% federal tax credit
  • Projects initiated on or after Jan. 1, 2023: 30% federal tax credit

Utility Incentives: Offered by electric utilities serving Garfield County. See below.

CORE Rebates: Unfortunately, CORE has discontinued its rebate program in Garfield County.

Financing: Tap into financing options to conserve your business capital for core business expenses:

  • Many solar installation companies partner with financial institutions to offer lease and loan programs.
  • Colorado’s C-PACE program offers loans for renewable energy installations (and for energy and water efficiency upgrades). Learn more here.

Utility programs for commercial customers in Garfield County

Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy offers four options for commercial customers. Only the first is for on-site systems (i.e., rooftop solar); the other three enable customers to buy into renewable energy elsewhere.

Solar*Rewards for on-site solar installations

Participating customers with solar systems can receive payment for the excess electricity they send back to the grid or they can "bank" it for use in future months. Click here for program details and current renewable energy credit amounts.

Solar*Rewards Community

A voluntary program to purchase solar energy from a community solar garden. This typically entails getting on a waitlist. Learn more here.

Renewable*Connect

Power your business with a mix of off-site solar and wind power.  This program is fully subscribed but you can get on the waitlist for new projects. Click here for info.

Xcel Energy Windsource

Windsource is a voluntary program for Xcel Energy electric customers to purchase portions or all of their electricity from wind turbines operating in New Mexico. Learn more here.

Holy Cross Energy

Holy Cross Energy offers rebates for on-site systems and a program to purchase off-site renewable energy.

On-site systems

Rebates are based on system size:

  • Systems up to 6 kW: $250 per kW
  • Systems 6-25 kW: $100 per kW

In addition, Holy Cross provides incentives for on-site battery storage of $250 per kW, up to 25 kW – $500/kW if you enroll in their Distribution Flexibility Program.

More information and application forms on the Holy Cross Energy website.

PuRE

Buy some or all of your electricity from a community solar garden through Holy Cross's PuRE (Powered by 100% Renewable Energy) program. The utility charges a small premium on your monthly bill for the portion of clean energy produced by solar, wind and hydro projects that are tied to the Holy Cross electrical grid.

More information and application forms for the PuRE program on the Holy Cross Energy website.

Glenwood Springs Electric

Glenwood Springs Electric has discontinued its solar rebate program as of January 2022.