Colorado Net Metering Incentives
Net metering is one of the most important incentives available to solar homeowners. Your utility company’s net metering policy can make or break your solar savings. Having a good net metering policy can save you thousands — while battery backup can help salvage a sup-bar policy.
Let’s take a look at the net metering policies available in Colorado so you can know how to maximize your solar savings.
Colorado Net Metering and Your Utility Company
While individual states set their own net metering policies, the legislation is often open-ended. It usually involves a requirement that utility companies offer net metering to residential solar customers and also sets a minimum rate — often the avoided cost. However, individual utility companies are free to set their own rates as they see fit.
Net Metering Incentives by Utility
Your electric utility company is going to be the biggest factor in your net metering savings. You’ll need to know which utility company services your home before you can figure out how to utilize net metering.
Xcel Energy Net Metering Policy
Xcel Energy is an investor-owned electric utility in the state of Colorado. They offer net metering to homeowners whose solar installations do not exceed 120 percent of their yearly usage. They offer the local marginal price for your excess electricity, which is defined as the market value of energy in your area. The credits build up to $50, after which they’re cashed out and you get sent a check.
Black Hills Energy Net Metering Policy
Black Hills Energy is the other investor-owned electric utility in Colorado. They offer their own net metering program to homeowners. Like Xcel, the installation size cannot exceed 120 percent of annual energy consumption. Black Hills’ net metering rate is defined as avoided cost — the amount of money it would cost for Black Hills to produce the power themselves.
Rural Cooperatives and Net Metering in Colorado
Colorado also has several rural electric cooperatives. These usually take the shape of community-owned solar projects. Colorado law requires electric cooperatives to offer net metering to their customers. However, it does not specify whether these coops need to offer a specific rate. Because of this, the net metering rates for coops can vary between a full retail rate and the avoided-cost rate.
Summary of Colorado Net Metering Policies
Looking over the main energy utilities in Colorado, it becomes clear that most solar homeowners are going to be looking at avoided-cost net metering rates. These savings aren’t quite as good as you might expect in other states. Because the net metering rates aren’t as good as they could be, you need to take extra steps to ensure that you get the best solar savings possible.
H2: Using Battery Backup With Net Metering for the Best Savings
The best way to maximize your net metering savings is to pair net metering with battery backup. With battery backup, any solar energy that you store is basically like having the full retail net metering rate. You’re getting the electricity without having to pay the utility company at all, even if you’re getting credited on your excess electricity.
With a Tesla Powerwall or two attached to your solar installation, you can ensure that you have electricity during the day and at night, along with getting cash from your net metering. Two Tesla Powerwalls can power most homes throughout the night, which leaves any leftover electricity to make you some extra money at the end of the month.