Using renewable energy to power your home is an important consideration in reducing your carbon footprint. You avoid continuous extraction of earth’s finite resources and reduce your carbon emissions. But what makes sense for you, your home, and your region? There are considerations beyond the simple energy production of systems like these, such as “time of day” utility charges, load shifting and on-site storage. Talk to us about your goals with renewable energy – we can help!

One third of the United State’s  greenhouse gas emissions are from electricity, largely due to coal-fired power plants.

The Lowdown

There are many examples of renewable energy: solar, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectric power among them.

Solar Energy: Solar photovoltaic (PV), solar thermal, and community solar gardens are all different options to power your home with the sun. Prices of solar PV is at an all-time low, so it might be time to consider your options. Especially as Federal tax credits for these systems are starting to decline starting this year as follows:

  • 2019 – 30%
  • 2020 – 26%
  • 2021 – 22%
  • 2022 – 10% for commercial, 0% for residential.

Geothermal Energy: uses hot water from the ground to generate energy. Have you visited the Glenwood Springs Hot Springs? Not only do the hot springs provide a relaxing day-trip for many Roaring Fork Valley residents, they also heat the lodge, snowmelt system, pool lobby, and stores. The Glenwood Springs Lodge is the largest geothermally heated building in Colorado.

Geoexchange Systems: use the ground as a heat sink, extracting heat from, or putting heat into, the ground. This source of clean energy can be cost-effective on large and small scales. Did you know that these systems, also known as ground-source heat pumps, are 65% more energy efficient than your average HVAC system? Ideally, a ground source heat pump’s electrical usage would be offset with an on-site solar PV system.

Hydroelectric Power: Rivers are an important and valuable resource to many Coloradans and Roaring Fork Valley residents. Using flowing water to generate electrical energy, hydropower is considered another valuable alternative to non-renewable energy sources. See it in action locally at Ruedi Reservoir, where a three-megawatt hydroelectric plant can be found.

Wind Energy: uses turbines to create energy through air flow. According to the Colorado Energy Office, as of 2016, 17.3% of the electricity generated in Colorado is through wind.

Battery Storage: to make your on-site renewable energy system more useful and valuable to you, it may make sense to consider adding a battery.

*Customers of certain electric utilities can pay a little extra on their utility bill to ensure their electricity comes from renewable energy. Xcel Energy customers can subscribe to the Windsource program; Holy Cross Energy customers can subscribe to the PuRE Program. City of Aspen Electric customers automatically receive 100% renewable energy.

Solar PV

CORE rebates: $0.75 per watt up to 3 kilowatts for on-site, customer-owned systems or $0.50 per watt up to 1.5 kilowatts for on-site, customer-leased systems

  • Energy Assessment required
  • System must be grid-tied, connected to an electric utility. Web-connected energy monitoring system required.
  • Certifying installer holds current North American Board of Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification in PV
  • For your rebate application to be considered complete, we will need to see a final electrical inspection, a one-line diagram, and a PV Watts Report

Solar Thermal

CORE rebates: 25% of project cost up to $2,500

  • Home Energy Assessment required
  • Certifying installer holds current North American Board of Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certified solar thermal installer or Master Plumber certification.
  • Web-connected meter required

Utility rebates might be available from: