Glenwood Springs mayor shares solar panel consultation experience |

Glenwood Springs mayor shares solar panel consultation experience

Glenwood Springs Mayor Jonathan Godes watches as Active Energies Solar technician Erik VanWagenen does roof measurements at Godes' home.

Glenwood Springs Mayor Jonathan Godes is taking advantage of local and federal incentives to install solar panels at residential buildings in Garfield County.

After having several estimations done over the years since he’s lived in Glenwood Springs, Godes said it made financial sense to pull the trigger and have solar installed.

“I’ve never pulled the trigger because it’s always been 15 or 17 years of payback,” Godes said. “I think I’m going to do this one, it’s down to 12 years. The financing option is $20 more a month, then in 12 years it goes to $0.”

Godes said the energy generated by the solar panels will offset his electric use by 114%.

Active Energies Solar technician Erik VanWagenen goes over payback periods and financing options with Glenwood Springs Mayor Jonathan Godes.

The estimator told Godes that he would likely be looking at a $5,000 federal tax credit for the installation and the company, Active Energies Solar, LLC, is also working with Garfield Clean Energy and offering a $375 discount to those who decide to go ahead with the installation.

In addition to those incentives, Garfield Clean Energy is offering a $1,500 discount for anyone who takes advantage of the solar energy promotion.

Active Energies Solar, LLC is also providing installation services at $2,000 less than usual, since they’re doing so much work already in the area.

Goes said the installation services usually run about $26,000, but that he was given an estimate of about $16,000. “

I arranged the consultation for an estimation through Garfield Clean Energy and they sent me a link for a sign up for this consultation,” Godes said. “It was a month out to even get this consultation.”

The process typically entailed estimators crawling up onto Godes roof to take measurement.

Godes said the Active Energies Solar, LLC worker used a drone this time, and the entire estimation process took about 10 minutes to complete, to his amazement.

“He had a drone and an application that showed the sun aspects on his phone,” Godes said. “He was able to input information into a spreadsheet.”

Godes had given prior authorization to the company to access his average kilowatt usage from Glenwood Springs utility.

“The only disappointing thing is that they can’t get my solar panel installed until September,” Godes said.

Any unused electricity generated by the solar panels at Godes home would be banked so it could be used during less sunny times of the year.

“In the summer I’ll be producing twice as much as I’ll be using. It’s like rollover minutes with a cellular plan,” Godes said.

“Once you take some environmental feel good out of it —our grid is 100% renewable as it is— it boils down to whether this makes sense for me financially.”

For more information on how to have solar panels installed at residences through Garfield Clean Energy, go to

Reporter Shannon Marvel can be reached at 605-350-8355 or

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