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2011 Solar Tour in Denver Saturday, September 24, 2011

September 22 2011 - 5:17:36:am by Greg

The Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) will be hosting its 16th annual Denver Area  Solar & Green Tour this Saturday, September 24th.  The tour will include the opportunity to explore the NREL visitor center along with 12 homes located in three separate clusters around the Denver Metro Area.  The 2011 Denver Solar tour will include 3 homes in Westminster, 4 homes in Denver, and 5 in Golden.  

The 2011 Denver Solar tour is part of the larger American Solar Energy Society (ASES) National Solar Tour, and this year will be made up of 228 solar tours in cities from Orono, Maine to Fairbanks, Alaska.  Denver’s 2011 solar tour will include wide variety of homes which use a variety of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. From a new zero energy straw bale home powered by solar electric PV system in Golden, to an energy retrofitted home Denver home built in 1896, there should be something on this year’s tour for everyone interested in renewable energy and energy efficient design.  Adobe Solar will be volunteering at the tour, and we look forward to seeing anyone who visits the Brunel / Javernick Residence this Saturday afternoon.

When:                  Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Time:                    9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Check-In:             Jefferson Unitarian Church

              14350 W 32nd Ave.

               Golden, CO, 80401


CRES Office

                3245 Eliot St.

                Denver, CO, 80211


Tour Cost:           $10.00 – Non-CRES members

                              $5.00 – CRES Member, students and educators (with ID)

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Xcel Drops Upfront Solar Rebate in Colorado Nearly 50%

September 21 2011 - 2:52:10:pm by Greg

Today Xcel Energy notified Colorado solar PV installers in a email that it had again slashed the upfront cash rebate price of its customer owned Solar Rewards rebate from $1.75/watt (a maximum of $17,500 per household meter) to $1.00/watt (a maximum of $10,000 per household meter.)  Many in Colorado's solar industry can remember not too long ago when Xcel was offering an upfront standard solar rebate of $4.50/watt (a maximum of $45,000 per household meter) for a residential solar electric system.  While Colorado's most profitable oil and gas industry continues to receive over $300 million per year in Colorado subsidies, Xcel has cut its upfront solar subsidies by nearly a factor of 4.5 for Colorado homeowners and the local solar industry is crashing.  

In 2010 it was said that Colorado solar installers had successfully reached the lowest installed cost for residential solar PV systems in the United States.  However, with razor thin profits and cash flow issues due Xcel's standard delay of up to 6 weeks after project completion to issue solar rebate monies, many solar installers have been facing difficult times.  This most recent rebate reduction by Xcel is likely to mean the end for several of the Colorado solar companies that are still standing and the jobs they have created over the past 6 years.  The unfortunate part is that for Xcel this is just the beginning. Xcel Energy has plans for even more drastic rebate cuts for its Colorado ratepayers in the months and years ahead...   The Minnesota based, Xcel Energy has made it clear that it has little if any regard for maintaining a sustainable local solar industry in Colorado.  Since the passage of Amendment 37 in 2004, Xcel was placed in charge of overseeing solar rebates and given the power to make unilateral changes to the solar program as it felt necessary. This power granted to Xcel has led to numerous examples of mismanagement of the solar rebate monies collected from Colorado rate payers, and successful brought a majority of Colorado solar installation companies to their knees.  Xcel has been working diligently to unwind Amendment 37 since its passage and cease competition from what was a rapidly growing local solar industry in Colorado.   The problem is that every time a local Colorado solar company installers a solar electric system for a Colorado homeowner in Xcel territory, they take away a paying electric customer from Xcel.   This concept does not make sense for Xcel’s future profitability model, and has left Xcel in a very conflicted position as it is responsible for managing the solar rebate monies it collects every month from its ratepayers which should be earmarked to promote solar for Colorado homeowners and create a sustainable solar industry in Colorado.  Unfortunately, Xcel understands this game very well and has paid very large sums of ratepayer monies to lobbyists and lawyers to effectively influence Colorado election campaigns and pass the legislation needed to silently destroy Colorado's local solar industry. Xcel has been extremely successful using their political power and virtually unlimited political funds in recent years to author legislation which undermines the original intent of Amendment 37 (the law that planted the seed for Colorado's solar industry.)  Earlier this spring with little warning Xcel Energy even went as far as to pull the Colorado Solar Rewards program offline completely,   this abrupt action led to many of Colorado's already struggling  solar installers (already struggling with drastic Xcel rebate cuts and protocol,) to go out of business or to move to viable solar markets outside of Colorado.   Xcel's irresponsible actions have already resulted in the loss of hundreds if not thousands of local solar jobs in Colorado.

It seems that Xcel's strategy is now to push rebate monies paid by homeowners and originally intended to create a sustainable solar industry in Colorado, into massive solar farms with thousands of solar panels to be installed outside of Denver under the "Solar Gardens" legislation Xcel helped Colorado to author and pass last year.  It is our belief that Xcel Energy now intends to take advantage of lower solar panel costs and begin installing very large centralized solar power stations that Xcel will own and operate. Xcel will likely hire large multi-billion dollar companies to design and install these massive solar farms using heavy machinery and reducing the need to provide solar jobs to any Colorado workers.  This strategy will enable Xcel to more easily control and disguise the real costs for renewable energy and begin charging Colorado homeowners a monthly premium for solar generated electricity similar to their wind source program.   For the past months Xcel has worked with its 3 friends who make up the Colorado Public Utility Commission (CPUC) to design the Solar Gardens rules to suite Xcel specific needs.  With the installation of these mega "solar farm" installations owned by Xcel (who is sure to exploit all available solar local and Federal solar incentives and rebates,) they will work to grow these projects until they reach what they will argue is maximum solar capacity for their electrical grid.  This will enable Xcel to continue to own nearly all of the solar generation on its grid, and prohibit future homeowners from installing solar power in Colorado under the excuse that Xcel's electrical grid is unable to integrate any additional solar capacity.  

Adobe Solar has been very conservative over the past few years and did not rapidly expand its operations to take on the large brief inflows of business while Xcel held residential rebates at a sustainable level.  We are doing our best to continue reducing costs for our consumers in every way possible, but recent times are not easy and like most other solar installation companies servicing the Denver metro area we have also been forced to downsize to maintain profitability.  We also work hard to continue fighting for Colorado legislation to promote a local solar industry in Colorado, but with limited resources Xcel along with Colorado's powerful oil and gas industries make an nearly insurmountable competitor for passing the legislation needed to pull solar rebates out of the hands of Colorado utilities and into the hands of those who wish to use Colorado ratepayer monies to create a viable solar industry and a clean Colorado for our children.  

With the recent reductions in solar panel prices and continued Xcel Solar Rewards rebate drops looming there will likely never be a better time to go solar in Colorado than now.  Adobe Solar would love to help you to design and install the best solar panel system possible for your home in the Denver, Golden, Boulder, Lakewood, Highlands Ranch or anywhere else along the Front Range.  Adobe Solar provides free solar site assessments and will be able to design a solar solution to fit your specific electrical needs.  With no moving parts and a 25-year manufacturer warranty on all major solar PV components we install, combined with 24-hour online performance monitoring of every solar panel in your system, we are confident that your solar panel system will stand the test of time and help power your home for the next 30+ years. Please support our locally owned small Colorado solar integration businesses to stand strong through these difficult times...   If you are interested in hedging your energy costs and controlling your energy future, Adobe Solar is happy to help!

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Colorado Solar Economics Work… Go Solar Now Before Xcel Lowers Rebates!

August 26 2011 - 7:00:33:am by Greg


Solar equipment prices have dropped again, making it a great time to go solar before Xcel Energy lowers Colorado solar rebates. 

We are offering turn-key 5 kW solar electric systems installed, with 25-year warranty on our solar panels and micro-inverters + online solar panel monitoring for $24,000.00. 

Here are the basic numbers:

Installed Solar system Cost:       $24,000.00

Xcel Upfront Rebate:                       $8,750.00

Gross System Cost:                      $15,250.00

Federal Tax Credit:                          $4,575.00

Net Solar System Cost:                $10,675.00


If this system is mounted facing south on an average roof you can expect it to generate at least 7,175 kWh a year ( or about 600 kWh/month.)  So, assuming your Xcel rate is $.12/kWh this 5 kW solar system installed in the Denver Metro area can be expected to save you over $70/month in electrical bills and on top of this you can also expect to receive Xcel REC rebate payments of nearly $24/month for the next 10-years.

 If you pay for your 5kW solar electric system in cash your net costs would be $10,675.  Not considering any increase in future electric rates you will be saving $94/month ($70 electric savings + $24 10-Yr Xcel REC payment.) So your payback for this system would be 9.4 years (113 months.)    After 10 years you would continue to all of the electricity generated by your paid off solar system.  It is important to note that your solar electric system at that time would still under manufacturer warranty for the next 15-years. 

If you don’t have $11,000 ready to cut loose for solar you can also choose to finance your solar system and pay a bank rather than Xcel for your electricity you are generating with your roof.   Rather than leasing your solar from a third-party, you can gain complete electrical independence by owning your own solar electric system.  With the historically low interest rates you can get a 15-year 2nd mortgage or home equity line of credit for about 5.5% APR.    If you finance $10,675 for a term of 15-years at 5.5% APR interest you can expect a monthly payment of roughtly $63.    So even if you finance your solar system you will save nearly 12% of what you currently pay Xcel for electricity. 

Either way, the economics are back for solar for a short time until Xcel’s planned solar rebate reduction changes things, which may be before 2012.  Now is a great time to go solar in Colorado, help the local enviornment, and hedge your electric costs.    Please contact Adobe Solar at 303-339-0308 or complete our contact us form if we can help to design and install a solar electric system for your home!



Greg Koss

Owner – Adobe Solar

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$500 Adobe Solar Referral in Colorado

July 26 2011 - 3:01:06:pm by Greg

Adobe Solar has reintroduced its $500 referral.  Simply refer your friend, neighbor or co-worker to purhcase an Adobe Solar solar electric system and we'll cut you a check for $500.  This offer is avalible thru October 15, 2011

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Xcel Raises Electric Rates by Nearly 50%

June 15 2011 - 10:44:07:am by Greg

On June 1, 2011 Xcel Energy resumed a two-tiered seasonal rate that it first introduced to Colorado customers last summer.

From June through September 2011, Xcel Energy  customers will pay 4.6 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 500 kilowatt-hours they use in a month. Above that, the higher Tier 2 rate of 9 cents per kilowatt-hour applies leaving homeowners with a nearly 50% increase in their cost of electricity.  

With an average residential electrical usage of 632 kWh per month for Colorado homeowners, many Xcel customers are sure to be unhappily surprised when recieving their June electric bill.

In Colorado, solar rebates and a 30% Federal Tax Credit are still available for homeowners greatly reducing the cost to own you a solar electric system to power your home.  Solar prices have dropped in recent months and combined with current solar rebates and incentives homeowners in Colorado can save upto 60% on the installed cost of a solar system .  Now is a great time to take advantage of rebates and avoid Xcel’s Tier 2 rate increases.   

Founded in 2005, Adobe Solar is a local small business focused on the design and installation of solar electric systems in the Denver metro area.  We provide free solar site assessments for home and businessowers interested in hedging rising energy costs and investing in a cleaner future.  Please contact us for more information, and to learn how you can spin your electric meter backwards. Begin selling your excess electrical production to Xcel and put an end to rising electrical rates in Colorado.

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BBB Awards Gold Star to Adobe Solar

May 12 2011 - 10:38:00:am by Greg

Adobe Solar has once again been awarded the Gold Star award by Colorado's Better Business Bureau (BBB.)  THe BBB provides this awards to memeber companies who have had no complaints filed during the past 3 years.  Adobe Solar is happy to be one of Colorado's only solar panel system integrators to recieve this award.

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Solar Tax for Colorado Implimented by Xcel Energy

May 02 2011 - 5:23:31:am by Greg

After using ratepayer money to pay lobbyists to hide this solar tax into Colorado HB 1001 in 2010, Xcel has now decided to begin implementing its new solar electric system fee exclusively for home and business owners who have decided to invest in solar for their homes and businesses.

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Earthday Solar Special - Save up to $1,000

April 18 2011 - 4:43:33:am by Greg

In acknowlegemnet of Earth Day, Adobe Solar will be offering all new Colorado residential solar electric system customers $500 OFF the purchase of a turn-key residential  solar system, and $1,000 OFF all commercial solar electric systems now through April 30th.  With skyrocketing gas and food prices there has never been a better time to go solar and hedge your electrical costs for the next 30+ years.  Stop worrking about Xcel's yearly electrical rate increases, and gain electrical independence today!   Please complete an online request for a FREE SOLAR CONSULTATION or if your located in the Denver Metro area, simply call Adobe Solar at 303-339-0308 and one of our solar specialists will be happy to help answer your quetsions, help you to understand current rebates and incentives, and design a solar electric system to fit your needs! 

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Xcel Program restart Wednesday, March 23rd at 8:00 a.m.

March 21 2011 - 4:55:29:pm by Greg

With the recent agreement reached between Colorado's solar industry and Xcel energy, Xcel has agreed to restart the program this Wednesday, March 23rd at 8:00 a.m.   Xcel was victorious in their goal of reducing the rebate levels further and have a new plan with additiional solar incentice drops planned in the near future.  If you want pay Xcel for your electricity and live in Colorado, this may be a great time to go solar!

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Xcel to Restart Colorado Solar Program

March 18 2011 - 5:55:36:am by Greg

After many days of negotiations, Xcel Energy has finally agreed to restart its Solar*Rewards program.  Xcel has expressed that they may restart the program as early as next week, pending PUC approval this Friday, March 18th.


The agreement that was reached between Colorado's solar industry and Xcel Energy had to address three primary goals:

- Provide greater predictability and stability for solar businesses and customers
- Address current cash flow challenges for the program
- Reduce the $100 million debt load for the current program

COSEIA and its coalition partners, were able to negotiate the up-front incentive payment to $1.75/watt + $0.04/kWh performance-based incentive over 10 years for the small customer-owned category.   Only a few weeks ago the up-front payment for this rebate was $2.35.  

Third-party owned and mid-sized programs will move immediately to a performance-based incentive (PBI), paid over a 20 year period:

- Small third-party owned systems $0.16/kWh PBI
- Mid-sized systems $0.15/kWh PBI

As with before, all incentives will ratchet down quickly over time based on capacity installed.  These actions taken by Xcel will help to slow the growth of the Colorado solar market, and help to prevent many Colorado homeowners from being able to  hedge long term energy costs by installing solar system on their homes.  

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