Date:October 21, 2016

Lovgren Family: Financing Solar for Big Savings

Eric Lovgren and his family were one of the very first participants in the Energy Smart Colorado program when it started in 2011. Following their initial Energy Assessment, they immediately began making many of the recommended improvements on the home including efficient lighting, boiler upgrades, and heating controls. They saw great savings from the improvements, but after a few years wanted to take their home’s energy performance to the next level.

After seeing many of the savings that Eagle County Government had realized from the installation of large Solar Photovoltaic systems, Eric was interested in learning how he could implement a similar system at his house. When talking about his involvement in the program, Eric said:

“We plan to live in this home for many years, so we saw an opportunity through Energy Smart Colorado to make meaningful improvements that would save us money over time, and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. With the sun shining on our house 300+ days a year, it seemed crazy to pass up the chance to put solar to work for us.”

Although installing solar can result in great energy savings, the upfront costs of installation can make the project seem unattainable. This is where the unique opportunity of being an Energy Smart Colorado participant comes into play. Eric knew there were a number of ways to pay for a project like this, including lease programs from the installer or taking out a personal loan, but typically the interest rates and rate of return for such products make the project unrealistic. After working with a local solar contractor and receiving a bid for the project, Eric contacted Energy Smart Colorado to inquire about our low-interest/no money down financing program. The Energy Smart Colorado financing program is administered by Funding Partners, a non-profit community bank based in Fort Collins. Working with Funding Partners and Energy Smart Colorado, the Lovgren family was able to move forward with the installation of a 5.6kW Solar Photovoltaic system on their home in Eagle, CO. They received $4,700 in cash rebates from Holy Cross Energy and Energy Smart Colorado (ESC) for the project and almost $4,000 in federal tax credits. When asked about his experience in the program Eric said:

“Without low interest financing from ESC, I doubt we would have been able to make our solar project happen. Paying for the system out-of-pocket was not an option, and financing the system through the installer would have resulted in a monthly payment we could not afford. This is our second loan with Funding Partners, and they’ve been great to work with. I strongly recommend this program to anyone looking to make improvements to their home.”

After a payback period of about 10 years, the Lovgren family will then be realizing the true value of their Solar Photovoltaic system and become cashflow positive on the project.

Project Details:

Project: 5.6 kW PV System from Sunsense Solar

Total Cost Before Rebates: $17,920

Holy Cross Rebate: $4,200

Energy Smart Colorado Rebate: $500

Federal Tax Credit: $3,966

Total Cost after Incentives: $9,254