Solar Panel Installation Funding and Financing

Here at Sunpak, we are often asked about what are the best options for financing or funding your solar installation so we decided to run through some options and how they work.

Self Funding

The most common for us are people who decide to self-fund their solar installation. They use their savings and then get around a 3rd of the cost back through incentives. Holy Cross Energies rebates usually come in pretty quickly after the array is powered up. The solar Fed tax incentive currently at 30% obviously has to be put in with your tax return at the end of the year. For a lot of people, this is the best option but not great if you don’t want to deplete savings.

Self Financing

When it comes to solar financing a lot of times it’s best to go to your preferred credit union as more often than not they offer the best interest rates. Some will offer solar-specific loans. One thing to consider with this is they usually only want to pay 1 lump sum on completion of the project. We and most other companies will want a Deposit to start the ball rolling on the project, this covers a lot of the paperwork and office time to get started. Then we usually require a lump sum on delivery of the materials and a final amount due when the solar installation is commissioned and switched on. Always make sure to discuss this with your installer so you can have an agreement in place and save some hold-ups down the line. 

Financing through Renu

For residential solar installations, another financing option is the RENU colorado residential energy upgrade loan. Sunpak Electric is an approved install for this program which is run via the Elevations Credit Union. We have nothing to do with the program so we do not receive a commission etc. Rates vary depending on credit score, so it is always worth shopping around and comparing. Below is a link to their website and an image showing how that process works.

RENU Website

Financing through CPACE

This is similar to RENU however this is aimed at solar installations on commercial properties. Like RENU we are an approved contractor. We do not receive any commission if a client decides to fund their project through them. They also offer loans for other energy efficiency upgrades. Their website is linked below.

CPACE Website

A lot of clients when taking a loan for their project will make sure there is no penalty clause for early payment of the loan. This allows them to put the rebate straight back towards the loan, for example most of our solar installs are carried out on homes that have their electricity supplied by Holy Cross Energy. When the solar installation is complete, commissioned, Inspected and turned on by their team they release a rebate which is usually in the region of $1,700 – depending on the size of the array. They then put this straight to the principle of the loan. Next, at the end of the following tax year a further claim of 30% (current federal incentive as of 1/14/2023) of the remaining install is credited towards their return Which they also put towards the principle of the loan.
This has a significant benefit towards getting the loan term down and if you can aim to get the loan payment to be around that of your average electric bill then there is no real extra burden, something many solar users have found to be a very pleasant surprise.

There are a lot of solar financing options out there which we have covered briefly in this post. If you have any questions on these please feel free to contact us and we would be more than happy to discuss any of the options further.

Solar Panel Installation Deep Dive 16kWp System Eagle CO

The inquiry:

To cover around 100% of their electrical usage with solar power as a long-term investment in their energy future.

Panel placement options:

The great this about this project was the client was very open to different options of where to locate the solar panels. During the site survey, we discussed the option for a ground-mount solar array near the house, an array on the garage by the house, and an array on the house itself. However, after looking at all of these options and looking at the cleanest ways to run wiring we decided the shop was the best option. A perfect south-facing roof, a clean way to run PV wiring over the roof, and easy access to the sub-panel for the AC connection

The Design:

We decided on 2 designs with an option for expansion in the future. The great thing about Eagle Colorado is it gets a tone of sunlight.

After a review of the design, the client decided they preferred the aesthetics of the 16kWp design with the solar panels in portrait orientation.

After deciding on the array size and location the next step is deciding how we want to mount the solar panels to the roof and how we want to run the wiring. On this project the building had a corrugated metal roof so we decided on the following:

S5 corrugated roof mounts

IronRidge L feet, rails, and rail mount roof box

Q.cell G-10 400w BLK panels

For wiring, as we did not want to penetrate the metal roof we decided to run a conduit from the solar array up and over the valley and drop over the north side of the roof. Once this has all been decided and reviewed by the customer and they have receiver HOA/DRB approval the proposal is sent off for engineering.

Permitting and paperwork:

Once the design and products have been finalized the next step is the permitting and the paperwork. A full site survey is carried out with details on the interconnection to Holy Cross Energy, structural survey, and materials to be used. This is all sent on to engineering for plan sets to be drawn and structural and electrical engineering review and stamping.

Once we have received all this back we can then submit this to Eagle County with the HOA/DRB approval for permitting.

The final step in this process is to apply to Holy Cross Energy for approval.

Installation:

Once all has been approved and finalized it’s time to schedule the installation of the PV system. This project ended up being a July install and took around a week.

The final Step:

After the installation of the PV system is complete it’s time to set up and commission the system and leave it turned off for Holy Cross Energy to test and energize.

The Process overview:

  • Initial consultation
  • Energy usage information
  • Design and pricing
  • Design review and alterations
  • HOA/DRB approval
  • Contract and deposit
  • Site Survey and paperwork
  • Engineering
  • Permitting
  • Energy provider interconnection application
  • Interconnection application approval
  • Scheduling
  • Material procurement
  • Installation
  • QC and commissioning
  • Energy provider testing
  • powering up the system
The current output of the array

What the customer thinks 6 months on:

“We hired Sean and his team at SunPak Electric to convert our home in Eagle Colorado to solar power.    The SunPak team is great!  How nice to work with someone who always responds to emails and phone calls timely while also delivering a professional job with no surprises.  The quote we received was reasonable and the system was sized appropriately.  We opted for net metering and did not install batteries.  Holy Cross Energy needs to approve the system design prior to installation.  Sean was very helpful walking us through our part of the submittal to Holy Cross.  Once we were done, SunPak worked independently with Holy Cross to get the system design approved.   The design approval went smoothly.  SunPak then completed the installation of our 40 solar panels, the inverters and the connection to our existing electrical service.  This work was done quickly and professionally.   The job site was always neat and clean.  Next, the completed project was inspected and approved by Holy Cross without issue.  The system works flawlessly.  We are now enjoying the benefits of producing our own electrical power!   We could not be happier with the work done by SunPak and highly recommend them!”