Solar

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  1. Going Solar
  2. Lafayette Solar Achievements
  3. Lafayette City Solar
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Are you considering solar for your home?

One place to start is the using the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) PV Watts Calculator.  It is a free interactive map-based tool allowing you to estimate the size of solar system right for your home.

Google Project Sunroof has made it easier and more intuitive to explore your home’s solar potential by simply typing in your address.

Or simply contact Boulder County’s EnergySmart service which provides free solar advising from considering solar to purchasing a solar PV system.

What if your home is not suitable for solar?

There are options. If your home is not suitable for solar or you don’t own a home—community solar (solar gardens) may be a good alternative. Even better, the state of Colorado allows for virtual net metering which enables any excess electricity of your subscribed portion of the off-site solar system to be credited to your electric bill.

Do you want to know how solar technology works?

Let’s Go Solar provides consumer friendly resources on going solar and makes solar technology 101 a breeze.

What is the most cost effective Solar PV system size for your home?

It is important to consider home energy efficiency measures first before going solar which allows you to save money when it comes to sizing your PV system. EnergySmart helps homes in all Boulder County communities become more comfortable and energy efficient as well as provide advising on solar for your home.

How can I afford going solar?

There are many incentives and financing options for homeowners to take advantage of when going solar such as the Federal ITC 30% credit.

The City of Lafayette is a COSEIA Solar Friendly Community; therefore, residents can take advantage of the $500 discount from participating installers.

Lastly, Boulder County’s EnergySmart IQ service is offering middle income households up to $3,000 in solar rebates.

While the cost of solar has been a barrier to going solar in the past, there are now options which include little to zero up-front costs and low-interest solar loans. Elevations Credit Union has made it possible to provide a low rate for financing your solar system. There are advantages and disadvantages in either owning versus leasing your solar system, and it is important to understand what the best option is for your home. Energy Sage is an excellent resource for learning more about solar financing options and helps you choose whether owning or leasing is best given your unique circumstances.

Finally, Lafayette has in the past participated in group-purchase programs (also known as bulk-purchasing or solarize), which brings down the cost of rooftop systems through bulk purchase savings.  Typical cost savings resulting from bulk-purchasing programs can range from 10-20%. In the near future, Lafayette intends to release a Bulk Purchasing Tool Kit allowing residents to take the initiative to drive down the cost of going solar.

I’m ready, how do I pick a solar installer?

Check out Lafayette COSEIA Solar Friendly Community Installers.

Letsgosolar  provides a list of questions you should ask your potential solar contractor.

Boulder County’s EnergySmart service offers a free advisor to connect you with pre-qualified solar contractors and help compare bids. For those who want to use an online tool, Energy Sage Solar Marketplace created a platform that pre-screens over 300 installers for providing competing quotes which saves you valuable time and money

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Is your business’s roof suitable for solar?

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory(NREL) PV Watts Calculator provides a free interactive map-based tool allowing you to estimate monthly and annual solar resources for your business, obtain performance estimates for grid-connected PV systems, and identifies potential incentives pertaining to your PV project. Google Project Sunroof has made it easier and more fun to explore your businesses solar potential by simply typing in your address. Boulder County’s Partners for a Clean Environment service also offers free business sustainability advising including solar advising.


Is your business’s roof not suitable for solar?

Don’t worry, there are still options. If your business is not suitable for solar—community solar (solar gardens) may be a good alternative. Even better, the state of Colorado allows for virtual net metering which enables any excess electricity of your subscribed portion of the off-site solar system to be credited to your electric bill.


Do you want to know how solar technology works?

Boulder County’s Partners for a Clean Environment service offers free solar advising and your advisor can help answer all your questions. Let’s Go Solar provides consumer friendly resources on going solar and makes solar technology 101 a breeze.


Do you want to save money on the sizing of your PV system?

It is important to consider energy efficiency measures first before going solar which allows you to save money when it comes to sizing your PV system. Partners for a Clean Environment helps businesses in all Boulder County communities become more comfortable and energy efficient. 

How can I afford going solar? 

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Businesses will find many incentives to take advantage of when going solar such as the Federal ITC 30% credit, net-metering, accelerated depreciation, and many others. Lafayette is also pleased to offer building owners in the County the opportunity to access cash-flow positive financing through  Colorado’s C-PACE program. C-PACE enables owners of eligible commercial and industrial buildings to finance up to 100 percent of energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation eligible improvements.

The City of Lafayette is a COSEIA Solar Friendly Community, therefore businesses can take advantage of the $500 discount from participating installers


I’m ready, how do I pick a solar installer?

There are two options when choosing a solar contractor—1. choose a local company or 2. choose a larger national company. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but to help inform your decision please see Lets Go Solar’s: Finding the Right Solar Panel Installer which also provides a list of questions you should ask your potential solar contractor. Finally, it is most important to receive multiple quotes.  To help with this process Partners for a Clean Environment offer free advisors to help you compare bids and make sure you are getting the most incentives possible. For folks who prefer an online tool, Energy Sage Solar Marketplace created a platform that pre-screens over 300 installers for providing competing quotes which saves you valuable time and money

EnergySmart – A Boulder County service providing all residents with a free energy advisor to help residents learn if solar is a good fit, connect with contractors, review bids and find financial incentives. 
Partners for a Clean Environment – A Boulder County service providing all Boulder County businesses with a free advisor to learn if solar is a good fit, connect with contractors, review bids and find financial incentives.  
Google Project Sunroof – Googles Project Sunroof has made it easier to explore your home’s solar 
COSEIA –The Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association provides opportunities for learning more about Colorado’s solar policy, provides education/outreach opportunities, and allows for Colorado’s solar businesses to have a voice in our state’s future.  
Let’s Go Solar –Provides consumer friendly resources on going solar.  
Solar Energy Industries Association Consumer Protection – Besides providing consumer resources for going solar, SEIA provides an avenue for consumers to report complaints in violation of SEIA Solar Business Code. If you have concerns or want to know more about your rights as a consumer, start with SEIA’s Consumer Protection/Complaint Resolution portal.  
 Energy SageEnergy Sage’s primary purpose provides consumers a platform for requesting solar quotes from over 300 pre-screened solar installers saving you valuable time and money.  
U.S. Dept. of Energy SunShot Initiative -The SunShot Initiative is a U.S. Dept. of Energy program which conducts research and collaborates with public and private partners for driving down the cost of solar. If you are interested to learn more about solar from a research perspective, this is your go-to source.  
NREL PV Watts CalculatorThe National Renewable Energy Laboratory provides a free interactive map-based tool allowing you to estimate monthly and annual solar resources for your home or business, obtain performance estimates for grid-connected PV systems, and identifies potential incentives pertaining to your PV project.  
DSIRE
– The Database of State Incentives for Renewable & Efficiency is your go to for up-to-date renewable energy and energy efficiency policies and incentives. Simply type your zip code or search by state to explore which policies and or incentives are most applicable to you.   
Xcel Energy Solar Programs – If your utility is Xcel, check out their solar related incentives and programs before going solar. 
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The City of Lafayette has been certified as a Gold Level Solar Friendly Community by an innovative partnership between local governments and the solar industry. The certification is bestowed upon communities who are leaders in adopting best practices in permitting and inspection.

The Solar Friendly Community initiative aims to encourage the expansion of solar energy by making it easier for citizens to install solar systems on their homes and businesses. The program is led by the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA).

Residents are eligible for a $500 discount from participating solar installers as a result of Lafayette's certification

The Solar Friendly Community discount program provides a tangible benefit to citizens and businesses whose city has been certified as a Solar Friendly Community.

Residents in certified communities are eligible for the discount on their systems from COSEIA's participating solar installers.


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The City of Lafayette is among nearly 30 communities designated as “Early Adopters” in the SolSmart Program, and, along with Denver, one of only two communities in Colorado.

Currently, the City of Lafayette is in the process of achieving the highest possible designation of ‘Gold’. In order to achieve this coveted rating, a collaborative effort is occurring among Lafayette’s local government departments. The Community Development Department has worked together with Xcel Energy, reviewed their current solar permit processes, and are taking the appropriate steps to streamline the solar permit process. By providing application and inspection checklists and encouraging solar contractors to utilize such tools will improve submissions the first time which saves time and money. Furthermore, Lafayette will continue to keep solar permit fees low to drive the local solar market. In addition to these big efforts, the Planning Commission is taking the steps to break down solar barriers by clarifying and providing solar language in the city’s municipal code.  Ultimately, the goal is to make solar more affordable and accessible to the community while also driving economic development and providing a cleaner environment for generations to come.

SolSmart is a national designation and technical assistance program that encourages local solar energy development. The SolSmart program provides official recognition to cities and counties for making solar more affordable and accessible in the community and empowers them to expand their local solar markets. Learn more at solsmart.org.


Lafayette citizens should be proud in knowing the city has some of the highest installed solar/capita rates in country.  As of 2015, using Xcel’s Community Energy Reports, Lafayette had an approximate solar installed/capita value of 157 watts. Research conducted by GreenTech Media and the Solar Energy Industries Association, determined a community exhibits market leadership if their per capita installed capacity exceeds 99 watts/person.

The City of Lafayette is currently going through the process of updating Lafayette’s solar goals. Please contact Lafayette’s Sustainability Consultant Antoinette Maes for any questions or more information.