Solar rebates program starts next month | PostIndependent.com

Solar rebates program starts next month

John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – State and local officials are getting ready for yet another round of rebates for homeowners and businesses that install solar photovoltaic systems on their properties.

But while the state won’t be ready to start accepting applications for the 2010 program for another three weeks, interested property owners in Glenwood Springs and the surrounding area are being urged to start working now on the applications process.

“It’s going to be very competitive,” said Heather McGregor of the Garfield New Energy Communities Initiative (GNECI), which is working with the Governor’s Energy Office and the city of Glenwood Springs on a particular part of the program geared toward customers of the Glenwood Springs Electric Department.

She said the available money for the 2009 program was snapped up in a single day of applications from homeowners and business owners.

McGregor pointed out that a similar rebate program in 2009 essentially doubled the amount of solar power generated in the Glenwood Electric service area, and that the 2010 program is expected to double it again.

There are two levels to the program, one for residents around Colorado and the other for Glenwood Electric customers, McGregor explained.

Statewide, the program will offer a rebate of $1.50 per watt for the installation of solar PV systems, until the GEO’s pool of funding for this program is exhausted.

Xcel Energy customers are not eligible, as that utility has its own Solar*Rewards rebate program. But the statewide rebate will double the rebate potential for Holy Cross Energy customers, who may also consider gearing up for the April 19 application date.

Locally, however, for Glenwood Springs Electric customers, the city and the GEO have kicked in matching amounts of $94,500, resulting in a pool of $189,000, which will be doled out in rebates of $3 per watt.

The rebates, McGregor said, will be split between residential and small commercial applications. The rebates will be reserved for the first 3 kilowatts of installed capacity in 11 or more residential systems, and for the first 10 kilowatts of installed capacity on a minimum of three commercial installations.

The commercial applications cannot exceed 25 kW in size, according to GNECI, and all applicants must have an energy audit performed on the subject property before applying for the rebate program.

The application process will begin on April 19, and interested parties are being encouraged to immediately contact solar installers to design their systems in preparation for applying to the GEO.

The installers will be the ones submitting the applications to the GEO, McGregor said, starting on April 19, and once the reservation is confirmed the property owners have up to six months for the system to be installed and inspected prior to issuance of the rebate.

McGregor also said that, for those who fail to get in on the $3 rebate program, they will still be eligible to apply for the GEO’s statewide rebate program, as long as the funding lasts.

Complete information on the solar rebate program, as well as on solar installers, home-energy auditors and audit rebates, is available at the website, http://www.GarfieldCleanEnergy.org.

jcolson@postindependent.com


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