SOLAR GUIDE

In the solar industry, knowledge is power.
We aim to provide those insights.

Welcome to Solar 101!

Firstly, the Solar Timeline provides a broad process overview.
Afterwards, further info is grouped topically for easy reading.

Searching via ctrl+F (⌘ + F on Mac) is encouraged.

ESTIMATED SOLAR TIMELINE

Sandbox Solar Timeline

Financing & Payment

SOLAR LENDERS

RENU Loan

RENU Loans are among the easiest and most common loans available.

RENU Defined:

  • The Colorado Residential Energy Upgrade (RENU) Loan is a statewide residential loan program sponsored by the Colorado Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) in partnership with CO-based credit unions. 
  • It makes home energy upgrades easy and affordable by offering low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. 

RENU Solar Loan Colorado Sandbox Solar


RENU Solar Loan: Terms Overview

 

RENU Eligibility Criteria:

  • Property owners of existing, single-family homes in Colorado. 
  • Primary, secondary or income properties are eligible, as well as, townhomes and condos (shared heating or cooling systems are not eligible). Here is the CCEF write-up.

RENU Loan Steps:

  1. Sandbox Solar is a RENU-Authorized Contractor, so contact us (via our Contact Form, below) to get a solar project quote. 
  2. Apply for a loan via a RENU Program Lender, specifically: Elevations Credit Union, CleanEnergy Credit Union, or Westerra Credit Union
  3. Provide the quote and requested loan documentation to the credit union you choose. 
  4. Receive loan and project approval from the lender. 
  5. Schedule work directly with Sandbox Solar; we will install CCEF-approved measures. 
  6. Notify your lender when work is complete. Your lender will send you the loan-closing document. 
  7. Sandbox Solar will electronically sign an affidavit stating the work is completed, allowing for payment completion. 
  8. Enjoy your solar and begin repaying the loan directly to the lender.

More info about Sandbox Solar and RENU loans available upon request.

EPIC Loan (Fort Collins)

EPIC Loans, while restricted to Fort Collins’ residents, are exceedingly convenient.

EPIC Defined:

  • Fort Collins Utilities Customers can borrow up to $50,000 for Epic Homes energy efficiency upgrades and/or solar PV and battery systems projects using the Epic Loan.
  • No money down. Borrow up to $50,000. Simple application, easy to qualify. Loans available up to 100% of the qualifying project cost. Conveniently repay the loan on your monthly utility bill. Easy, streamlined process for rental properties.
  • Attractive interest rates: Tier I: 3- and 5-year terms: 3.45% interest. Tier II: 7- and 10-year terms: 3.65% interest. Tier III: 15- year term: 3.95% interest. APR range 3.715% to 18.887%. Interest rates subject to change. 

EPIC Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be current utilities electric customer to apply for energy efficiency and/or solar loans.
  • Customer must have one metered service in their name (example: water or electric service).
  • Single-family, attached side-by-side and attached over-under homes in Fort Collins (rental properties are eligible).
  • Over-under buildings are eligible for all project types, but the project must be done in the entire building.
  • Individually-owned condominiums are eligible for HVAC projects only.

EPIC Solar Loan Colorado Sandbox Solar


EPIC Solar Loan: Other Qualifiers

EPIC Loan Steps:

  1. Sign up for an Epic Homes assessment* through Efficiency Works Homes online or by calling 877-981-1888.
  2. Sandbox Solar is BOTH an Efficiency Works and Residential Solar program participating contractor, so you can proceed with us in EPIC Loans.
  3. Complete loan application with Impact Development Fund online at impactdf.org/rehab or call 970-494-2021 ($25 application fee).
  4. Complete project(s) following loan approval.
  5. Schedule loan closing – funds will be wired to us. You can also request a repayment of funds you paid us upfront as part of your loan.
  6. Loan payments will be set up on your monthly utility bill.

More info about Sandbox Solar and EPIC loans available upon request.

MOSAIC Loan

MOSAIC Loans have greater approval rates than most other solar loans.

MOSAIC Defined:

  • Mosaic is a lending company that pride themselves on loan accessibility.
  • Mosaic has more solar loan data than anyone else in the industry. This makes for some of the best approval rates. Even 5% higher conversions (with the same dealer fee) means more monthly profit for the customer.
  • Some of Mosaic’s Homeowner Benefits: Attractive credit score minimums, loans up to $100,000, a range of competitive APRs, low monthly payments, no prepayment penalties, no hidden costs, and no swipe fees.

MOSAIC Eligibility Criteria:

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MOSAIC Solar Loan Colorado Sandbox Solar


MOSAIC Solar Loan: Broad Inclusion

MOSAIC Loan Steps:

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SOLAR REBATES

Solar Rebate (Fort Collins)

Fort Collins Utilities offers an incentivised rebate up to $1,000 calculated at $250/kW.

FoCo Solar Incentive Defined:

  • Fort Collins’ Utilities residential customers can apply to receive rebates up to $1,000 for a solar PV installation. 
  • Rebate amounts are calculated based on the schedule of $/Watt of DC system generation capacity shown below and include a 20-year Renewable Energy Credit (REC) assignment to Fort Collins Utilities.
  • Maximum Incentive: $1,000. Incentive Rate: $250/kW.

FoCo Solar Incentive Criteria:

  • Solar PV system owner must be a residential Fort Collins Utilities electric customer.
  • Solar PV Systems must be sold, designed and installed by a Participating Solar Contractor (no subcontracting outside the Participating Solar Contractor Network).
  • PV system must be sized greater than 500 watts and less than the capacity to provide 120 percent of average annual energy use over the previous 24 months. 
  • Systems must meet Utilities Interconnection Standards.
  • Equipment must be new and UL listed and named on the eligible equipment list.
  • The system cannot be shaded between 9 a.m.-3 p.m. If questionable, the applicant must submit shading analysis (check with your solar contractor). 
  • Customer agrees to manage trees and other potential shading sources to prevent shading from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. 
  • Incentive rate may be reduced for systems generating less than 90% of optimal production.
  • The system must be installed within six months of the rebate reservation letter.

FoCo Solar Incentive Steps:

  1. Sandbox Solar is an eligible contractor who works with Fort Collins utility. 
  2. We apply for incentives and permits. You review and sign the application submitted using DocuSign (sent by email). The same application is used regardless of whether or not a project is eligible for incentives. You can monitor the progress of your solar application using PowerClerk. 
  3. Sandbox pays for building permit and installs your solar PV system. 
  4. City of Fort Collins Building Services inspects for electrical code compliance. 
  5. Fort Collins Utilities inspects equipment and tests functionality; solar PV system is turned on. 
  6. Permission to Operate letter is sent to you. 
Battery Rebate (Fort Collins)

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INFLATION REDUCTION ACT (IRA)

SEIA

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IRA Eligibility

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NET METERING

XCel Net Metering

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FCU Net Metering

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Poudre (PVREA) Net Metering

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SEIA Net Metering

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INTERCONNECTION AGREEMENT

Interconnection Basics

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Our Blog: Interconnection

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FCU Interconnect

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XCel Interconnect

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Poudre Valley Interconnect

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