Colorado Is the First State to Integrate Rooftop Solar into Weatherization Services

Nine local agencies partnered to demonstrate the feasibility of combining energy efficiency and rooftop solar power.

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Energy Efficiency ColoradoDenver—The Colorado Energy Office (CEO), the Energy Resource Center (ERC) and Colorado Springs Utilities have announced the installation of a 2 kW rooftop solar array as part of the state’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), which provides free energy-efficiency measures to income-eligible households in all 64 counties of the state.

The CEO was recently authorized by the Department of Energy to integrate rooftop solar into weatherization services under WAP. The project’s goal is to demonstrate the feasibility of combining energy-efficiency measures with rooftop solar offerings to help reduce utility bills for residents most in need, specifically those paying more than 4 percent of household income on energy costs.

“The impact of this project is threefold: it addresses energy burden by reducing both home heating and electric costs; it enhances opportunities for distributed generation; and it demonstrates the viability of rooftop solar offerings for low-income households,” said Joseph Pereira, director of low-income energy services for the Colorado Energy Office.

To provide WAP services, CEO partnered with eight local agencies throughout the state, including ERC, the first weatherization agency in the state to pilot the installation of rooftop panels as part of its site-specific weatherization services. In addition to rooftop solar panels, the project home will receive insulation, storm windows, low-flow showerheads, LED bulbs and a refrigerator. Combined, these measures will save an estimated $600 annually in energy costs.

“In support of our Energy Vision, we are constantly exploring affordable energy efficiency and renewable energy options for our customers,” said Kenny Romero, demand side management and renewable energy manager at Colorado Springs Utilities. “In addition to our rooftop solar rebate program and large-scale renewable energy sources, projects such as this one will help us achieve our 20 percent renewable energy goal by 2020, diversify our energy supply, and responsibly manage our operations to help protect our natural resources now and into the future.”

All measures were completed last week, with the solar panels installed by El Paso Green Energies.

Image courtesy of Colorado Energy Office