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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Solar rocks in Colorado January 2015Inside Real Estate News Colorado has been ranked 6th in the nation for solar power. In its 2015 State Report Card, Colorado received an A by SolarPowerRocks was founded in 2007, with a mission to provide homeowners and others a clear picture on policies, incentives and investment returns on solar panel installation. Colorado is proof that good, consistent statewide solar policy works, according to the sites report card. Even as the larger rebates have been exhausted, solar is still going strong in the Centennial State, thanks to tax exemptions, performance payments and great accessibility laws, according to the report. Colorados high ranking could have been challenged, some solar advocates say, under a proposal by Xcel Energy, the states largest utility.Last December, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission rejected Xcel Energys proposed Solar*Connect program, which would have charged customers a premium to support solar projects. Xcel said it was disappointed by the decision. However, it was applauded by solar advocate groups, such as the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association. Colorado received a score of 3.85 out of 5 on the report card from SolarPowerRocks. There were no out-of-pocket expenses. They gave us $500, to install the panels, Gonzales exclaimed. In return, they pay a monthly fee to Sunruns financing arm for a locked-in rate. It is a 20-year lease. Sunrun capped the the charge at a very low rate per kilowatt, she said. We pay about $72 a month on average, every monthwe will be doing that for 20 years, Gonzales said. Its a bargain, Gonzales said, and so far weve produced more than we consume so we havent paid Xcel a dime for electricity for more than a year. Savings, however, werent the most important reason for getting rooftop solar. We arent saving huge amounts, but we are saving some and well be immune to rate hikes and hikes during high usage times of the year for 20 years, Gonzales said. What she loves most is that we are 100 percent renewable on electricity. It noted that Colorado was the first state to pass a Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard and gave the state an A for RPS. While there is always room to improve (more performance-based payments and some state tax credits would be icing on the cake), Colorados strong solar rebate programs, tax exemptions, and net metering regulations ensure the Rocky Mountain State will remain high indeed on our list of solar-friendly places, according to the report. However, it awarded Colorado a F for not providing solar tax credits. This is where Colorado is missing the mark on solar policy, according to Solar Power Rocks. A solar power tax credit has proven to be a great help to citizens of forward-looking states, it said. SolarPowerRocks said that the internal rate of return on a solar purchase in Colorado would be 15.4 percent. It would take eight years to payback a 5kW solar system, the report said. By that metric, Colorado was ranked No. 8. Hawaii led the pack with a whopping 55.3 percent internal rate of return. For those who lease solar panels in Colorado, the anticipated savings over 25 years is $15,520, according to thereport. Shelley Gonzales leased solar panels for her Arvada home a little more than a year ago from REC Solar (now Sunrun.)
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