Frisco Solar Initiatives
Frisco is proud to have achieved a silver SolSMART designation in recognition of our efforts toward creating a solar-friendly community.
In partnership with the SolSmart team and High County Conservation Center’s dedicated staff members, we will work to improve solar market conditions; making it faster, easier, and more affordable for our residents and businesses to install solar energy systems. These efforts will also increase the efficiency of local processes related to solar development, which may save our local government time and money.
SolSmart builds upon our community’s collaboration with the High Country Conservation Center which has resulted in the creation of a home energy efficiency program, a commercial energy efficiency program, a community Energy Action Plan, and a Climate Action plan.
Town of Frisco will leverage SolSmart to achieve the following goals:
- Encourage greater use of solar energy for municipal facilities
- Streamline solar permitting processes
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector
These efforts demonstrate that our community is committed to driving continual improvement in our solar market, and in the process of doing so, all the related areas identified as community priorities in our Climate Action and Town Strategic Plan.
In order to measure progress along the way, Frisco and High Country Conservation Center will track key metrics related to solar energy deployment, such as installed solar capacity and number of installations across sectors on our behalf.
Inquiries related to Frisco’s SolSmart participation can be directed to Hilary Sueoka at HilaryS@townoffrisco.com or 970-668-4571.
Getting Started with Solar
Frisco is seeking ways to encourage solar energy development in our community. This webpage represents a collection of solar information and resources for the community. For more information about the basics of solar energy, your solar options, and questions to ask solar professionals, read the Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power and visit the Department of Energy’s Homeowner’s Guide to Going Solar.
Solar energy uses a renewable energy source – the sun – and provides many benefits for individuals and the community. Solar:
- Improves environmental quality by reducing carbon emissions and air pollution
- Supports local solar companies in Colorado
- Saves money on energy costs as the price continues to drop from technological developments
- Improves electric grid resilience during peak demand and other stresses to the system
Policies and Processes
Photovoltaic-DC (Solar) Applications
Summit County handles Photovoltaic-DC (solar) applications for the Town of Frisco. Find application forms at the link below.
- Summit County Building Permits– The Town of Frisco reduced the cost and consolidated its permitting process for solar projects. Collaborating with Summit County and Summit Fire & EMS, we have created a one-stop shopping approach to the process by having the applicant bring all permit materials to Summit County. Applicants do not need to bring application materials to the Town, Summit Fire, and Summit County for separate permits and pay separate fees. Summit County will now receive the permit application, take in the fee (a maximum total permit fee of $500) and refer the permit to Summit Fire and the Town for approval, issue the permit, and perform the inspections.
Estimate the performance of potential Photovoltaic-DC (PV) projects using the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s PVWatts Calculator.
Finding a Contractor and Going Solar
Find a solar contractor (or two) to assess your home for solar energy and provide a quote.
Financing, Incentives, and Tax Exemptions
Typically solar installations are paid for through loans or cash, with Federal and State incentives available.
- A Homeowner’s Guide to Solar Financing – learn about different financing options from CESA, the Clean Energy States Alliance.
- Xcel Energy Net Metering – So you want to install solar panels to produce your own clean energy? Great, Xcel can help. When you use Net Energy Metering and produce more solar energy than you need, the extra energy is added to the grid. Any excess is held in your solar bank for you to use in future months.
- Solarize Summit – High Country Conservation Center and Summit Climate Action Collaborative are offering local residents and businesses a limited-time discount on solar panel installation. This is a community program, which means the more people that go solar, the more everyone saves. A limited number of participants who sign a solar contract will receive a $1,500 rebate.
- Energy Smart Colorado – HC3 offers smaller solar rebates year-round through this comprehensive home energy efficiency program.
Solar Rights and Procedures
The Colorado Solar/Wind Easements and Rights Law, passed in 1979, prevent any residential covenants that restrict solar access.
Job Training and Educational Opportunities
Interested in pursuing a career in solar energy? Here are some links to regional and national educational courses, programs, and/or
trainings offered from colleges, universities, technical institutions, and non-profits.
Local Solar Metrics and Projects
30 solar projects installed through Solarize Summit
- Total kWh installed: 174.32
- Metric tons of CO2 avoided: 132
More Useful Solar Information
- Xcel Energy – Renewable Opportunities: You’re already using renewable energy, but there’s an opportunity to do more. Explore additional alternatives to increase your impact through your home or business.
- Colorado Energy Office
- Colorado RENU Loan for Homeowners: Loans of up to $50,000 available to install a solar energy system (up to 20-year terms). Property owners of existing, single-family homes in Colorado are eligible. Primary, secondary, or income properties are eligible as well as townhomes and condos.
- Low Income Solar: The Colorado Energy Office (CEO) has implemented two cost-effective low-income solar energy offerings as part of an effort to comprehensively address household energy burden – community solar (as a demonstration project) and rooftop solar. Both demonstrate the feasibility of combining energy efficiency and solar offerings to help reduce utility bills for residents most in need – those paying more than four percent of household income on energy costs.
- GRID Alternatives – Community Solar: Community solar is a way for anyone to go solar. Participants receive financial savings and clean energy from the sun as if the solar system was on their roof, but their solar panels are located offsite in a larger, shared community solar array in an area that’s ideally suited for solar energy generation. GRID Alternatives Colorado is expanding access to solar benefits for families living with low or fixed incomes. In partnership with cooperative, municipal and investor-owned utilities, GRID is developing the first community solar arrays in the country that exclusively benefit underserved communities. By collaborating with for-profit community solar developers, GRID helps ensure that the energy generated by their community solar systems is accessible to all.