Xcel offers rebates to solar energy users

COLORADO - Energy offers rebates to customers who use solar systems in residential and commercial applications.

Mark Stutz, Xcel spokesman, said the company has paid nearly $31.3 million in rebates and purchases of Renewable Energy Credits through its Solar Rewards Program. Those payments went to 1,525 consumers, Stutz said, adding the company has received nearly 2,300 applications.

Xcel will rebate customers $2 per watt of solar panels installed on customer premises, up to 10,000 watts - or 10 kilowatts. Also as part of the program, the company will buy Renewable Energy Credits generated by customer systems for $2.50 per watt. These credits then will be counted toward the company's Renewable Energy Standard requirements, which were approved by voters in November 2004 under Amendment 37 and subsequently clarified by the legislature in the 2005 session.

The combination of the rebates and the credits will generate a total return to customers of $4.50 per watt under the Solar Rewards program.

Total payments to customers through Solar Rewards would be in the $9,000 to $13,500 range, depending on two or three kilowatts of demand. Consumers also may pursue federal government tax credits for about $2,000, which covers about half the installation cost.

In total, more than 5.84 megawatts of capacity has been added to the grid from the Solar Rewards Program for less than 10 kilowatts of demand. One megawatt-hour typically serves about 750 homes in Colorado, Stutz said.



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