Solar panels represent a smart investment for Denver homeowners. The city is known for its abundance of sunshine year-round, combined with the mile-high altitude that results in brighter, more direct rays. Colorado as a whole is one of the best states for solar power and even better, investing in solar panels can result in an increased value for your home as well as significant annual energy savings.
The array of incentives, rebates, and financing options available throughout the state allow homeowners to secure affordable solar solutions. Anybody considering a residential solar system should weigh the upfront costs, the long-term savings, as well as the reduction in environmental impact that results from a renewable energy source.
Is Denver a Good City for Solar Panels?
Denver is a prime location for solar panels for several reasons. Firstly, it’s no secret that the weather is notoriously great in the capital city. Denverites experience an average of 245 sunny days each year. Secondly, the altitude at which the Mile High City sits means that the sunlight is more direct and intense. This increases the efficiency of solar panels, resulting in more solar power. The dry climate also prevents the panels from overheating, which can decrease their efficiency over time.
Denver was proud to be one of the first states in the United States to issue a Renewable Energy Standard. Per the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Denver is considered as having some of the highest solar potentials in the states. As of 2019, Denver was ranked 9th across the nation for their solar energy capacity. Colorado has long encouraged residents to embrace solar power by offering a variety of incentives and programs such as tax credits and rebates. The goal is to make solar an affordable solution by decreasing the financial barriers.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, data from Q4 of 2022 indicates that Colorado had over 7,000 solar jobs and $5.2 billion invested in the industry. To keep the ball rolling, Denver offers generous net metering for residential systems.
In 2018, Denver set the goal to be 100% reliant on renewable electricity by the year 2030. This Renewable Electricity Action Plan has driven the push for residential solar panel systems and has created an influx of jobs throughout the local economy with a growth projection of 3,247 MW over the next 5 years.
Keep in mind, installing solar panels is still considered a significant home improvement project. While they can add value to your home, the panels also require some legwork upfront to find a company, schedule inspections, and endure the 4-6 hour installation process. In some cases, it may take several weeks before the panels can be fully put into use.
Do Solar Panels Increase Your Denver Home’s Value?
In most states, solar panels have been shown to increase a home’s value. This is certainly true in Colorado as well, where there is plenty of sunshine and continuous public discourse about the importance of renewable energy. Even if you’re not in the market to sell in the foreseeable future, solar panels can raise property value while saving you money.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has found that a home’s value increases by an average of $20 for every $1 that solar panels save homeowners on utility bills. As an example: if your solar panel setup saves you just $1,000 a year, this translates to a $20,000 increase in your home’s market value. Homes with solar panels can be listed higher and often have a greater appeal to eco-conscious buyers who may want to save themselves the time and energy required to install the panels themselves.
Benefits of Going Solar in Denver
There are an array of benefits to installing a renewable energy source for your home’s electricity consumption. Due to the multitude of sunny days in the city, residents can expect to generate a significant amount of electricity via the panels. Some of the other benefits include:
- Savings incentives
- Increased home value
- Environmental sustainability
- Energy independence
- Long-term reliability
Not only are there cost savings from energy bills, but some homeowners may also be able to generate a profit from Denver’s generous net metering programs. Selling solar panel power to the utility operator can benefit households that find themselves with a surplus of power. The city and the state as a whole offer a range of incentives and rebates ranging from $400 to thousands of dollars that can make solar panel installation more affordable, lessening the burden on households wanting to embrace renewable energy.
Aside from the monetary value, solar panels also provide homeowners with the ability to reduce their dependence on the power grid. Though Denver isn’t necessarily a city that sees major weather emergencies, such as grid-disrupting snowstorms, it can be beneficial to have a reliable backup source of energy.
As time goes on, the value of solar will only rise. With Denver’s goal of eventually moving towards a 100% renewable electric future, potential homebuyers will take note of the attractiveness of homes with a solar panel system already in place. Electricity costs rise year over year but once a system is installed, your household won’t need to factor rising energy prices into the budget.
What is the Average Cost of Solar in Denver?
On average, the cost of solar panel installation within Denver city limits sits between $14,492 to $19,608. Naturally, larger homes will require a more extensive system to generate enough power to cover their electricity burden. The cost averages out to $3.41/W for the system, with many homes falling toward the 5-kilowatt range. When finalizing the price, available incentives and the roof layout will be considered, as well as the total number of panels required for maximum energy efficiency.
When determining the total cost of installing solar on your Denver home, there are several factors that need to be accounted for, such as the cost of equipment, installation, and ongoing maintenance.
Firstly, you’ll want to determine the average energy usage of your home. You can check the consumption from your previous energy bill to get a ballpark idea of how much energy your household consumes during a 12-month period. This helps to determine the size and type of solar panels that should be installed. A typical solar panel system for a residential home sits somewhere between 5kW to 10kW.
To receive the most accurate quote, homeowners will want to contact a reputable solar panel company in the Denver area. These professionals will have first-hand experience and knowledge of the current state rebates, federal tax credits, utility incentives, and costs within the city. If you’re looking to finance the system as opposed to paying outright, they will also be able to lay out options — including loans and leases.
PRO Tip: Homeowners looking for a solar panel estimate can use this online tool to calculate the price based on zip code.
How Long Does It Take to Recoup Solar Panel Installation Costs in Denver?
The solar payback period in Denver averages between 8-10 years. This period is the length of time that it takes for the system to be paid off by the amount that it has generated in energy savings. Within a decade, the system should have generated enough savings on the electricity bill to offset the upfront cost. Keep in mind, due to Denver’s ideal climate — the payback period may be a year or two less than the national average.
This timeframe can be shorter depending on the size of the system, as larger systems have the capacity to generate more electricity. The higher electricity rates become, the more savings are generated from a previously installed system, which also contributes to shortening the payback period.
Taking advantage of all incentives and discounts will effectively lower the solar payback period. Homebuyers should discuss such measures with their solar panel installation company to ensure they’re making the most of the rebates that Denver offers to homeowners looking to go solar. At the end of the day, it benefits the city and the state of Colorado to embrace a renewable energy source to conserve the stunning natural beauty of the mountainous state.
Looking for a Solar-Friendly Home? We’ve Got You Covered.
Whether you’re in the market to buy a Denver area home or you’re looking to sell your current house, RE/MAX Professionals wants to make your experience positive. We’ve sold homes that already have solar panel systems installed and some that are prime candidates for the home improvement project. If your home has a solar panel system installed on the roof, we can find you the right buyer.