The solar industry is taking the world by storm, which is good business for solar panels installers in Denver and across the globe. Promoting environmental sustainability has resulted in a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources for our electricity needs. Now, more homeowners are considering installing a solar system on their properties to support the green energy shift while boosting the value of their homes.
You may be wondering if solar panel installation is worth it. We daresay it is. Solar installation comes with numerous benefits for residential and industrial buildings. This article is a guide on the solar panel system in Denver.
As you read on, you’ll learn more about the solar system, the benefits of installing solar panels on your buildings, factors that affect the cost of solar power, the local solar companies around you, how to determine the number of solar panels you need, and so many more. Let’s get to it.
What Are the Benefits of Installing a Solar System on a Property?
It Can Save You Money
Solar panel systems save money in the long run. Initially, the cost of purchasing and installing the system seems high and unaffordable. However, the system pays for itself eventually. First of all, you’re protected from inflation which will affect the cost of grid electricity in the near future.
Secondly, you will either pay a reduced amount or nothing at all for electricity bills. The former is the result of using a hybrid or a grid-tied system, while the latter results from using an off-grid system.
Thirdly, after the installation costs, you’ll spend virtually nothing on your residential solar system. There are no operating costs. The source of solar power (the sun) is free.
The most significant money-saving benefit from solar installations is the amount of cash you’ll save within the period the solar panel system will serve you. Let’s do a little mathematics to illustrate how much money you’ll save with solar projects.
The average minimum lifespan of a solar panel is 20 years. Since the average Denver home spends roughly $1,500 on electricity consumption annually, that’s $30k in 20 years. This is what you’ll spend without inflation costs setting in. With inflation costs setting in over the next 20 years, this figure can go up to $32k.
Now, the average home will install a rooftop solar system with a capacity of 5KW. So the average solar panel cost is $17k. If we add the cost of replacing the battery and inverter, that will probably be an extra $5k at most, making a total of $22k.
Look at the gap between what you’ll spend on solar installation and grid power. That’s a glimpse into how much money you can save with solar power.
The use of green energy harnesses and utilizes natural resources with zero carbon footprint on the environment. For example, when you hire a solar company to add solar panels to your roof, they absorb energy from the sun and convert it into electricity for the building. Its electricity generation doesn’t emit greenhouse gases into the environment. With solar power, there’s no risk of global warming or environmental degradation. We can’t say the same for fossil fuels.
Having your own power means you won’t need the utility company to supply you with electricity. This is energy independence at its finest. You can achieve this with an off-grid solar system. With this benefit, you won’t be affected by power outages caused by natural disasters or state-wide maintenance of power lines by the Colorado Energy Office.
Solar Panels Boost the Value of Your Property on the Market
Like other cities, Denver has a property market where houses are bought and sold. Using solar in Denver gives you an edge because solar panels make your home more valuable. Homes with solar systems sell much quicker and fetch a better price than houses that use grid power.
This is because prospective house buyers know that by purchasing your house, they will be saving money in reduced or non-existent energy bills. This is a good reason for going solar.
You Can Earn from Solar Installation
There’s a policy called net metering that offers several homeowners a way to earn money or utility credits from the exportation or sale of excess electricity to utility companies.
Solar Panels Are Very Durable
As we mentioned earlier, solar panels have enduring lifespans ranging from 20 to 40 years, depending on the brand. This is why a solar system is considered a good and cost-effective investment in the long run. On the other hand, other solar system components (the battery and inverter) have a lifespan of about 7-10 years.
Solar Panels Are Easy to Maintain
Solar panels are low-maintenance, and this means you won’t be stressed with the task of maintaining your electricity generation system post-installation. The solar panels may require surface cleaning with a dry and clean towel or rag once or twice annually, while the solar batteries and inverters may need to be replaced after ten years. That’s all.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Installing Solar Panels
The abundance of factors that influence the cost of purchasing and installing panels is the very reason there’s no straight answer to how much their installation costs. So, what are these factors?
Type of Installation
There are two kinds of solar installation – rooftop solar and ground-mounted solar installations. The former is more common and more affordable. The latter costs more because of the ground mounts and higher labor costs involved. Unless your roof size is inadequate for the number of solar panels you want to install, the local solar company you’ll hire for the job will most likely opt for rooftop installation.
The Amount of Energy Consumption
How much energy your home consumes largely depends on the size of the home and the number of occupants in it. A large home will naturally consume more electricity than a small home. This also ties to the solar system size because the larger the home and electricity consumption, the larger the size of the solar system you’ll need to install. Your energy consumption is usually stated on your monthly utility bills.
The Solar Company You’re Contracting for the Project
Different companies are offering solar solutions to consumers. Their pricing will also differ because of competition and the varying quality of their products or services. If you go for a budget-friendly installer, you’ll spend less than a homeowner that contracted a high-end company. To get a good bargain and the best price, we recommend getting estimates from 3-5 local solar companies and comparing them.
The Presence or Absence of Solar Rebates or Incentives
Several countries or cities offer solar incentives or rebates to eligible house owners. In Denver, residents who intend to switch to renewable energy will be entitled to certain solar savings or benefits, such as the solar federal tax credit. The available incentives will offset the cost of purchasing and installing solar equipment.
Type of Panels Used
Solar panels come in varieties, and they all fetch different prices in the market. The cheapest panels are thin-film panels, while the most expensive are monocrystalline panels. The polycrystalline panels are in between, and they’re the most common type of panels used by installers. Homeowners with lower budgets may want to go for thin-film panels, but you should know that it’s inferior to other panels in terms of energy efficiency.
The Average Cost of Installing a Solar System in Denver
The following prices show the cost of installing a solar PV system based on the size. Below are the original prices for various system capacities before the application of the investment tax credit;
- 3 KW – $10,230
- 4 KW – $13,640
- 5 KW – $17,050
- 6 KW – $20,460
- 7 KW – $23,870
- 8 KW – $27,280
- 9 KW – $30,690
- 10 KW – $34,100
Below are the post-ITC prices of PV systems in Denver;
- 3 KW – $7,570
- 4 KW – $10,094
- 5 KW – $12,617
- 6 KW – $15,140
- 7 KW – $17,664
- 8 KW – $20,187
- 9 KW – $22,711
- 10 KW – $25,234
An interesting thing we’ve observed here is that the bigger the capacity, the more money you save when you compare the original price and the post-ITC price.
How to Determine the Number of Solar Panels You Need?
The number of solar panels you need depends on your energy consumption, the peak sunlight hours, and the panel wattage. Interestingly, the formula for calculating it involves all three values = hourly energy usage x peak sunshine hours ÷ panel wattage.
Let’s get our values for the calculation. In Denver, the average monthly electric usage is 836kWh. To get the hourly rate, let’s break the figure down to the daily rate. That’s 836 ÷ 30 = 27.86kWh. Therefore, the hourly energy usage will be 27.86kWh ÷ 24 = 1.16kWh (1160W).
The average peak sunshine hours in Denver is 5.5. So let’s assume our panel wattage is 350W.
The number of solar panels = 1160 x 5.5 ÷ 300 = 6380 ÷ 350 = 18.22 (approximately 18 solar panels).
Depending on the panel wattage you’ll use, you may need fewer or more panels.
What to Look for in Good Solar Installers?
Denver happens to be one of the best places to use a solar system. According to Environment America, Denver is the 12th best city for a solar project. There are so many companies out there that do solar installations. How do you know the best ones for you? By looking out for the following;
- Considerable years of industry experience (a minimum of 5 years is ideal)
- Their warranty coverage – go for solar panel installers that offer either a performance warranty or a workmanship warranty
- Good customer service
- Sterling track record
- Certifications and insurance
Top Solar Installation Companies in Denver
If you want to go solar in Denver, these are the recommendations that we guarantee will do a fantastic job;
Freedom Solar came into existence in 2007. The company specializes in residential and commercial solar projects. Freedom Solar is the only master dealer for SunPower in Colorado. This company executes all types of rooftop installations, electric vehicle charging, installation on carports, community solar program, and ground-mounted installations.
This firm also specializes in diagnostics, upgrades, repair, and maintenance of solar PV systems. Freedom Solar is certified by NABCEP and is a member of SEIA.
Their contact information includes the following:
- Address: 2300 E 76th Ave Ste D400, Denver, CO
- Phone: 1+303-222-4203
- Working hours: 9 am – 5 pm (Mon – Fri)
- Website: https://freedomsolarpower.com/
- Warranty: 25 years performance warranty on solar panels and 25 years workmanship warranty
Smart Wave Solar
This solar solution provider is one of the fastest-growing solar companies in the US. It specializes in emergency-ready systems, residential solar, and energy storage systems. The company offers top-tier installation and maintenance services as well.
Smart Wave Solar has an A+ accreditation from Better Business Bureau. In addition, it offers 25 years workmanship warranty plus 25 years performance warranty.
Its contact information includes the following:
- Address: 4201, Madison St, Denver, CO
- Phone: +1 720-547-3422
- Working hours: 8:30 am – 5 pm (Mon-Fri)
- Website: https://www.smartwavesolar.com/
- Warranty: 25 years warranty on solar panels
Blue Raven Solar
Blue Raven Solar came into existence in 2014. Its Smart Start program offers low-income homeowners a way to pay for the entire process with a payback period stretching into several months. This company is renowned for installing tier-1 panels on rooftops and pairing them with the most durable and reliable inverters on the market.
The best thing about this company that makes it perfect for low-income house owners is that they don’t have to pay any amount upfront and can use the system free for the first 18 months. In addition, its installation enables remote monitoring of the system.
Its contact information includes the following:
- Address: 3980, Quebec Street, STE 120A, Denver, CO
- Phone: (855) 608-0428
- Working hours: 7 am – 10 pm (Mon – Fri) and 8 am – 8 pm (Sat)
- Website: https://blueravensolar.com/
- Warranty: 25 years performance warranty plus 10 years workmanship warranty
Solar Wave Energy
The history of this firm goes all the way back to 1978, making it the oldest firm on the list. Aside from its vast catalog of products and services, this firm is also known for doing an outstanding job on any project offered to them. Of all its products and services, the most notable ones are its solar hot water heaters and thermal grid monitoring.
Its contact information includes the following:
- Address: 2301 Blake St Suite 100, Denver, CO
- Phone: +1 720-730-4129
- Working hours: 9 am – 7 pm (Mon – Fri) and 9 am – 6 pm (Sat)
- Website: http://www.solarwave.com/
- Warranty: Performance warranties for the panel (25 years) and inverters (20 years).