Category Archives: Local Energy Policy

Performance-Based Incentives: The New Face of Residential Solar

In March of 2011, the Xcel Energy incentives for residential solar PV buyers, shifting from an up-front incentive (UFI) to a performance-based incentive (PBI) that pays the owner based on how much electricity is actually produced. There are a variety of reasons for that change, not the least of which was cash flow concerns for Xcel. So, what does that mean for the residential PV buyer? The answer depends on when you buy and how much you pay… as well as how much Xcel charges for electricity in the future. Continue reading

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What Paybacks and Costs are CO PV Consumers Really Facing?

Changes to Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards program earlier this year left many consumers and installers wondering whether residential solar installations still made sense in Colorado. While the final installation cost per Watt of system has increased slightly due to these changes, market factors and the new incentive structure still make solar PV a sound investment for some consumers. And, new options are opening access to solar generation to a wider market of customers. Continue reading

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