Whether you live down in “Steel City” Pueblo or near the Rocky Mountain foothills in Boulder, Colorado is the ideal place for a new solar system. Lawmakers have spent the last two decades promoting solar energy throughout the state and introducing country-leading legislation supporting renewable energy.
If you’re interested in taking advantage of these efforts, you’ll want to start by finding the best solar companies in Colorado. We at the This Old House Reviews Team have researched for you and compiled a list of the best providers in the Centennial State, including the pros, cons, and other essential details you need to know.
Colorado’s Top Solar Energy Companies
Our top choices for solar companies in Colorado include the following providers:
Score: 95 out of 100
As one of the first solar companies to provide leasing options, Sunrun understands how to make the cost of solar panels more manageable. The company offers four payment methods, making it easy to find the best option for your budget.
Pros and Cons
✔Includes online tools to help customers build their ideal solar system
✔Offers four financing options, including solar leases and loans
✔Provides two solar battery options
✘ Doesn’t include free ongoing protection and monitoring for full payment or loan customers
✘ Limits product coverage to individual manufacturer warranties only
Sunrun offers four financing options for its customers, detailed below.
- Full purchase: Customers can pay for their system outright, eliminating the need for long-term payments.
- Monthly loan: You can take out a loan to pay for your system and make monthly payments for an agreed term.
- Full lease: You pay for the lease in full when you start the contract. The total price is less than what you would pay for a monthly lease.
- Monthly lease: Customers make monthly payments for their leased system. This option requires little to no money down.
With the full payment or monthly loan, customers fully own their systems, making them eligible for the federal tax credit, state tax exemptions, and utility company rebates that reduce the overall cost of the system. Sunrun retains solar system ownership with a full or monthly lease, so you can’t take advantage of cost-saving credits and aren’t paying toward ownership.
Sunrun protects its solar energy systems with a 25-year performance guarantee. For leasing customers, the company offers the ProtectionPlus service, including a 10-year warranty with free maintenance, insurance protection, system monitoring, and coverage for labor and repairs. Loan and full payment customers can add this protection for an additional fee.
Learn More: Sunrun Review
Score: 98 out of 100
Palmetto Solar provides one of the most accessible customer service support teams with three means of contact: phone, email, and online chat. Customers can also use the dedicated app to schedule service and repair appointments without directly contacting a representative.
Pros and Cons
✔Offers a variety of home services, including panel cleaning and roofing
✔Provides a 25-year output warranty on its solar panels
✔Sells tiered protection plans that include active monitoring and service discounts
✘ Doesn’t provide pricing information online
✘ Limits financing options to full payment and solar loans
Palmetto Solar Details
Palmetto Solar has a unique protection plan that services customers and non-customers alike. Its Palmetto Protect plan provides tiered levels of coverage, including proactive system monitoring, prioritized customer service and repair requests, and annual onsite system inspections. The plan goes into effect at the time of enrollment so that customers can adjust their level of coverage at any time with no waiting period.
The company covers its solar panels with a 25-year product warranty and performance guarantee. The product warranty covers typical defects or issues, while the performance guarantee covers the panels’ power output. Palmetto will repair or replace your panels if they drop below their promised performance levels within the 25-year warranty.
Palmetto also offers the following home services:
- Panel cleaning
- Panel maintenance and repair
- Panel removal and reinstallation
- Pest abatement
- Roof-leak inspection and repair
- Solar battery installation
These services are available to any homeowners with solar panels within the company’s service area.
Learn More: Palmetto Solar Review
Score: 95 out of 100
Vivint Solar customizes its solar power systems to meet each homeowner’s budgetary and energy needs.
Pros and Cons
✔Assists homeowners with transferring leased systems to new homes or owners
✔Offers customizable solar systems to suit each customer’s needs and budget
✔Offers roofing services to prep for a new system
✘ Limits performance warranty guarantee
✘ Provides fewer brand options than other companies
Vivint Solar Details
To provide only the best quality products, Vivint limits its selection of solar panels to monocrystalline panels. This type of solar panel provides the highest efficiency available, helping you maximize energy collection throughout the day.
Homeowners can customize their system with a solar battery to help store excess energy. Vivint provides LG Chem batteries for most installations and the Tesla Powerwall in select areas. You can also add an electric vehicle (EV) charger to your system that works with any car brand.
Vivint offers a 10-year workmanship warranty covering any damage to your solar system due to negligent installation. It also includes a 25-year performance warranty protecting the power production of your solar panels and manufacturer warranties for its individual solar products.
If you want to move your solar system to a new home, Vivint will assist with the removal and reinstallation at no charge. Leased equipment can be paid off by the previous owners, allowing the new occupants to start a new contract. Customers can also transfer their remaining agreements to the new homeowners.
Blue Raven Solar
Score: 83 out of 100
Blue Raven offers a host of one-of-a-kind benefits, from free solar energy to an exclusive payback program.
Pros and Cons
✔Includes a two-year production guarantee for solar panels
✔Offers free solar energy for 18 months through its BluePower Plus+ plan
✔Provides $250 for new customer referrals
✘ Limits financing options
✘ Limits service area to Colorado Springs, Denver, and Fort Collins areas
Blue Raven Solar Details
Blue Raven Solar provides several cost-saving benefits to make your conversion to solar power as affordable as possible. The company doesn’t ask for any money down to plan, permit, or install your solar energy project. Blue Raven offers 18 months of free solar energy through the BluePower Plus+ plan for qualifying loan customers.
After the 18-month period, homeowners can enroll in the SmartStart financing program. Customers make payments at a fixed interest rate for the next five years. This helps keep monthly payments low and provides guaranteed rates for repayment. The company also strives to keep your energy bills lower than your introductory period rates.
Blue Raven protects its solar offerings with a 25-year product warranty, a 10-year workmanship warranty, and a two-year production guarantee. If the panels begin to underperform in the first two years, the company will repair or replace them at no cost.
Learn More: Blue Raven Solar Review
Score: 82 out of 100
SunPower has a reputation for creating innovative renewable energy solutions. The company provides high-quality Maxeon solar panels that have some of the highest efficiency rates on the market. It also builds each solar project with in-house components, creating a custom system to run at maximum efficiency.
Pros and Cons
✔ Installs some of the most efficient solar panels available
✔ Produces its inverters, solar batteries, and EV chargers in-house
✔ Protects its systems with a comprehensive 25-year warranty
✘ Is more expensive than other solar panel companies
✘ Limits its solar components to in-house products
SunPower’s solar power systems combine some of the most efficient solar panels with exclusively in-house components. Though this approach limits your ability to customize with different brands, it results in a streamlined solar system with each part designed to work together.
SunPower backs its solar systems with a comprehensive 25-year warranty covering labor costs, maintenance and upkeep, shipping costs for parts, and parts removal and replacement. The warranty includes a performance guarantee that states its solar panels will produce at a minimum of 90% capacity through the warranty length. You will also receive a 10-year product warranty for the monitoring software.
Homeowners can supplement their solar system with the SunVault energy storage system. According to SunPower’s website, one battery can store three days’ worth of energy. You can also add an EV charger to your system.
Learn More: SunPower Solar Review
We chose Sunrun as our top solar company in Colorado because of its commitment to making solar power more affordable. Not only does the company offer four payment options to fit various budgets, but its ProtectionPlus+ service package provides added benefits to ensure your solar panels stay in optimal condition.
Customers looking for unique cost-saving benefits should consider Blue Raven, while those interested in a maximally efficient solar system should look into SunPower. We recommend getting quotes from at least three companies in your area to compare pricing and services before deciding accurately.
Solar Incentives in Colorado
Colorado doesn’t offer a statewide tax credit program but has two tax exemption programs. Utility companies also provide rebates and net-metering programs to help offset the cost of expensive solar panel installations.
Additionally, homeowners in the state can take advantage of the federal solar tax credit, which provides a tax credit equal to 30% of the cost of your solar panel installation. To qualify for this incentive, you must own your solar panel system.
Colorado State Tax Exemptions
The Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Equipment protects customers from paying state sales tax on their solar purchases. This exemption only applies to state sales and use taxes; incorporated towns, cities, and counties can still charge city-specific sales taxes for these purchases. Colorado residents can check the Colorado Department of Revenue website for more details about their city’s sales tax policies.
Colorado homeowners can also take advantage of the Property Tax Exemption for Residential Renewable Energy Equipment. Under this law, Colorado solar customers are 100% exempt from paying property taxes for the added property value of solar panels.
Utility Company Rebates
Utility companies throughout the state provide additional savings. Many of these incentives fall under Energy Smart Colorado, a federally funded program that partners with 10 communities in 25 counties to offer rebates for solar installations. Through these partnerships, solar customers can earn between $400 and $2,500 for residential solar installations. Rebates vary between each county, so check the details of the program for your area.
Net-metering allows customers to sell excess energy produced by their system back to the grid. In exchange, they receive credits that can be applied to future utility bills.
Colorado has one of the most favorable net-metering programs for homeowners. In 2021, state lawmakers introduced Senate Bill 261 to support the increase of renewable energy use in Colorado. The following changes were made to the net-metering regulations:
- Every investor-owned utility (IOU) company must provide a net-metering program and offer rebates. IOUs are privately owned electric distributors covering about three-fourths of U.S. electricity customers.
- The net-metering cap was raised from 120% to 200%, allowing customers to receive more credits for their excess energy. Many state programs have a much lower cap.
- Excess energy is credited indefinitely, compared to other states that limit credits to a calendar year.
Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy are two of the largest IOUs in Colorado. Other smaller companies offer net-metering programs as well. The benefits of these programs vary, so check with your utility provider for details.
FAQs About Solar Companies in Colorado
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for solar service providers is on a 100-point scale based on five factors:
- Payment options (40 points): Options include purchase, loan, lease, and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). Companies receive points for each of the four options it provides.
- Solar services (30 points): Does the company provide in-house installation of solar panels and battery backups? Can the company also monitor energy production and perform energy-efficiency audits to ensure system performance? The more options available, the higher the score.
- Warranty options (10 points): The success of a residential solar system depends on the workmanship, performance guarantees, and length of product coverage. We score companies based on the number of warranty options available. The more warranties a company offers, the higher the score it receives.
- State Availability (10 points): We award the most points to companies with the broadest service area and state availability.
- Reputation (10 points): We factor in how the Business Better Bureau (BBB) scores each company. We deduct points for any alerts or pending lawsuits.
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