With 300 days of sunshine annually, Western Colorado is an ideal place for solar PV systems

But solar hasn’t always been accessible, that is until now. Solar Energy International, together with our partners, is committed to bringing the benefits of renewable energy to more in our community. With each new system installed on local homes, farms and businesses, more of our neighbors are producing their own energy. Each electron produced by local energy means one less electron we have to import from outside sources. This translates into more money that stays in the community.

Community programs like Solarize Delta County and the information you will find on these neighboring pages, provide an easy starting point for you to explore, what could going solar mean for me? Whether you wish to achieve energy independence,help the environment, or simply make the smart investment to protect against future energy rates, we are here to help you see how easy it is to go solar in Delta County!

REGISTER NOW & GET A FREE SITE ASSESSMENT!

Solarize North Fork Valley

In our first round lasting from May 1st – July 31st 2015, Solarize North Fork Valley installed 23 residential systems, totaling 120 kW of renewable energy! Add this to existing installations, and many more of your neighbors are now powering their homes with the sun!

We are tracking our neighbors who are “going solar” in the North Fork Valley and the rest of Delta County. If you wish to add to your home, business or farm installation to the list, please contact us by filling out the form below. Photos are welcome. Names will not be published.

Add me to the Solarize Map!

“Very helpful! Convinced us to go solar now after all the years of trying to decide whether or not it was feasible to go solar.”
~ A Happy Solarize Client

GROWING SOLAR IN DELTA COUNTY

Solar Energy International is gearing up this Spring 2016 to bring you and your neighbors another round of Solarize.  Our reach has expanded to include more people and the name has changed: SolarizeDelta County.

Curious why your neighbors are going solar?

At the conclusion of Solarize Round I, we sent a survey to all participants, including those who began the processes with a free remote site assessment, but chose not to proceed. Below are the top 5 reasons why your neighbors went solar. Whether your motivation is energy independence, good economic sense, a great deal, or/and the environment, today more of your neighbors are going solar! What might your reason be?

  • Decrease Carbon Footprint
  • Support Local Energy Generation
  • Energy Independence
  • Hedge Against Rising Electricity Costs
  • Support Local Jobs

100% of the Solarize customers surveyed said they would recommend it to a friend!

Calling All Solar Ambassadors!

  • Have you benefited from “going solar”?
  • Are you passionate about renewable energy?
  • Were you an early solar adopter, perhaps even before Solarize?
  • Or did participate in the community Solarize model to go solar?

Share your Solar Story!

More than radio, paper flyers, or community events, the overwhelming number of Solarize participants heard about Solarize NFV through word of mouth, and trusted neighbors. The Solarize model is rooted in community, and we need your help to spread the news!

Help by hosting a solar home tour, writing in to local papers, promoting Solarize Delta County at your place of work, or with yard signs.

If you are interested in becoming a Solarize Ambassador and sharing your solar story, please email us at solarize@solarenergy.org or call (970) 527-7657 and ask for Gerald!

PRAISE & PRESS FOR SOLARIZE

THE DCI

“Solarize project installs 22 systems in the North Fork”

Read the Article

ON KVNF

“Solarize North Fork Valley”

Read the Article

DENVER POST

“SEI Launches Solarize North Fork Valley”

Read the Article

MERCHANT HERALD

“First Solarize install is underway”

Read the Article

NBC 11 NEWS

North Fork makes big moves in Solar

Read the Article

Western Slope Now

Delta County Continues Mining the Sun

Read the Article

Delta County Independent

Solarize Delta County Nears Halfway Mark

Read the Article

ColroadoFarmFood.org

North Fork Solar Fair Draws Record Crowd

Read the Article

LOCAL RESOURCES

Think solar is still too expensive?


 

The cost of installing solar PV on your home or business has dropped 70% since 1998! That’s according to a 2015 study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Combine this with effective community programs like Solarize and today more Americans, including the 22 customers who signed up in the first round of Solarize North Fork Valley, are generating their own power!

With solar comes the bragging rights of energy independence, peace of mind against raising energy rates, and helping the environment. But before you go solar, “the main course,” you should eat your vegetables! Put simply, before you produce you should reduce! Energy efficiency and weatherization are the easiest way to reduce your energy bill, helping to save money and the environment at the same time. Be green while saving green!

Whether you are looking to reduce your energy bill with some simple home improvements, are maybe you are just a little curious about what solar could mean for you and your family, below are some helpful resources to gather more consumer information. Click through the available links, and better yet, join us at a next event to learn about how renewable energy and energy efficiency can go to work for you.

The following resources should help!

While expanded financing options make going solar easier than before, many people overlook simple home improvements, many you can do under ten dollars, that can
also reduce your energy bills. Best of all, anyone can do them! See below for more
details about these improvements and then head over to the rebate section to find
out how you can reap big savings even sooner!

Energy Smart Colorado began in the Central Mountain region to provide energy efficiency services to Colorado residents. It has since expanded via partners like Source Gas to make their “Energy Smart Home Energy Assessment” available to more Coloradans. To learn more and schedule your appointment, call 1-855-372-5064 or VISIT THEIR WEBSITE
DMEA also offers a FREE basic energy assessment. Details can be found HERE.

They have also produced a short education series that explores some of the many simple home improvements you can make to save money on your utility bills:

EnergyWise out of Grand Junction conducts energy audits. They provide a bounty of services including insulation, air-sealing, and general contracting services. Check out their online videos and see what their home energy audit tours can do for you.

Kill-A-Watt meters are available to residents through the Montrose, Delta, Cedaredge, Hotchkiss, Paonia, and Crawford public libraries. The devices can be checked out like other library materials, and allow members to plug in their 110-volt home appliances and other electric devices to determine their electrical draw and the resulting cost.

Now that you have learned more about energy efficiency and the easy improvements that you can make, here is a list of rebates that can further your savings. Also check with manufacturers for their own rebate programs.

DMEA: To learn more about how energy efficiency can save you money, renewables, utility events, and available coop rebates, please visit DMEA

Source Gas and their applicable rebates

USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements to their businesses.

National database of solar incentives

Energy Outreach Colorado is a statewide nonprofit with a mission to help low-income residents meet their energy needs. EOC works with subcontractors and partner providers throughout the state, assisting in energy efficiency audits, grants for improvements, and energy education. Contact them for assistance for Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) applications and more.

Information about how to apply for assistance from LEAP and Energy Outreach is
available at 1-866-432-8435 (1-866-HEAT-HELP). See more HERE

 

*Local partner agencies are also available on their website.

Housing Resources of Western Colorado serves Mesa, Delta, Gunnison, Montrose,
San Miguel, Ouray, Hinsdale, Dolores, San Juan, Montezuma, La Plata, and Archuleta
counties. Their mission is to provide affordable housing and money-saving
resources to Coloradans. Income qualified applicants can schedule a FREE
weatherization assessment which includes recommended upgrades.
524 30 Road, Suite 3
Grand Junction, CO 81504
Phone:  (970) 241-287

A list of energy assistance resources can also be found on the DMEA website

 

Colorado State University Extension program has many resources under their energy offerings for Colorado residents. Visit their website for tutorials, grants, and education on such issues as insulating your home, understanding your utility bill and available energy audits.

CSU Extensions also oversees the Rural Energy Center to engage rural communities
in “energy opportunities that bring about economic and environmental benefits
through assessments, research, and outreach.”

Delta County CSU Extension Office
525 Dodge Street
Delta, CO
81416-1719
www.extension.colostate.edu/TRA
(970) 874-2195

Energy Outreach Colorado offers facility energy efficiency grants for non-profits
serving low-income individuals and families. As a result, they can reduce energy
costs and allocate more of their operating budget to community services.

Solar Consumer Guide

Consumer Financing Solar Guide

The Department of Energy’s Energy Saver page provides important information about energy for homeowners. Visit their Energy Efficiency page for easy tips to save money on your utility bills, as well as DIY projects.

This page also has consumer information for solar and handy links to explore.

Home Power Magazine: Since 1987, when solar was mostly used by people to live independently from the grid, Home Power has helped homeowners navigate how to generate and use their own energy. Many of their contributors and staff are familiar with the North Fork Valley, with some even residing in nearby Crested Butte.

Energy Sage is a private company that provides a marketplace platform for consumers to learn about solar. Although meant more as a tool for more developed and urban markets, they have some great educational resources to learn if solar is a fit for you.

Want to learn more about Renewable Energy? You are welcome to attend SEI’s free
course on “Introduction to Renewable Energy”

SOLAR PERMITTING & INTERCONNECTION

Whether you choose to go solar with our Solarize partner installer or another installer in the region, the contractor typically handles all permitting concerns.

Below is a compiled list of some of the governing jurisdictions and mandates overseeing projects pertaining to solar photovoltaic and solar thermal work for Delta County. Homeowners proceeding without a contractor must follow all applicable regulations in the State of Colorado.

BUILDING PERMITS

“No building permits are required and no certificates of occupancy are issued for theconstruction and placement of any structures in the unincorporated area of Delta County.”


See DeltaCounty.com

Paonia

“If you live within the town limits and are planning to do remodeling involving structural changes, repairs, additions, siding, fencing, roofing, concrete, etc., a building permit is required. The Town of Paonia operates under the 2003 International Residential Building Code, of which there is a copy on file at the Paonia Public Library. Costs of permits are dependent upon costs of both labor and materials. The Building Official may be reached by calling the Town Hall, or is available in person on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Please contact the Town Hall for further information.”

Hotchkiss

A List of building changes that require and don’t require building permits can be found HERE

This application can be printed and brought to Hotchkiss Town Hall. Fee info HERE

Crawford

Information for building permits issued in the town of Crawford can be found HERE.  Solar PV additions do not require building permits, unless there is excavating work, the possibility to impede roadways, or if the installation is part of a new structural addition like a new building or shed. If you are unsure, Town of Crawford welcomes your call at (970) 921-4725.

Cedaredge

Dan Scott, Cedaredge Building Inspector can be reached by calling Town Hall at (970) 856-3123 and by email address: buildinginspectorcedaredge@gmail.com

Orchard City

The Building Department provides building inspections, code enforcement, and subdivision administration for the Town of Orchard City. The Building Department operates under the International Building Codes and International Residential Codes 2006.

“The Building Department ensures development proposals comply with building codes and ordinances, regulations and standards as set forth by the Town. The department reviews building plans and oversees the building permit issuance process, performing prompt and thorough inspections at the various stages of construction and investigating complaints pertaining to code violations.”

For questions contact:
Mike Morgan
Building Inspector
ocbuildingofficial@kaycee.net
9661 2100 Road
Austin, CO 81410
Ph: 970-835-3337
Fx: 970-835-3330

City of Delta

The City of Delta Building Department has adopted and references the 2003 International Building Code.

“Our Building Department provides information and permits for commercial and residential construction, demolition, house moving, plumbing, mechanical, reroofs, additions and excavation.”

For Building Department information, contact City Building Official/Inspector Dan Reardon at 970-874-7903 ext. 223 or email dan@cityofdelta.net

A list of permit forms, fees and exemptions can be found HERE

ELECTRICAL PERMITS

The unincorporated and incorporated area of the North Fork Valley, Delta County are under the jurisdiction of the Colorado State Electrical Board Inspection.

NOTICE TO HOMEOWNERS from Colorado Department of Regulatory Affairs:

“If you are a homeowner hiring an Electrical Contractor or Plumbing Contractor your contractor is responsible for obtaining the required permit(s). As the homeowner, you should not continue with the permit application process. Be aware that it is a violation of state statutes for an individual (other than the homeowner) that is not a registered contractor to install electrical or plumbing projects on your property. In addition, homeowner’s insurance may not cover the costs of repair for work performed by anyone without liability insurance who causes damage to your home.”

A state issued electrical permit is required when installing, remodeling or making additions to existing electrical wiring, installation or repairing electrical apparatus and equipment for light, heat and power within Delta County. In addition, all state buildings (schools, prisons, etc…) require state permits.

Electrical Permit Information

A valid Colorado State Electrical permit must be obtained prior to installing electrical wiring. All permits are valid for one year from the date the permit is issued. A homeowner or electrical contractor may obtain electrical permits online. Electrical permits for all state inspected areas, public schools, and state buildings are issued and inspected by the State Electrical Board.

A homeowner may install electrical work at their residence and must obtain a permit with the State Electrical Board or the local building department prior to starting the electrical work. A homeowner may do their own wiring if:

  • The work is personally performed by the homeowner and the property is not for sale, resale, or rent and is not generally open to the public.
  • All work is inspected prior to covering, i.e. insulation, drywall, etc. and again upon completion of the system prior to occupancy and permanent power release.
  • All electrical work complies with the National Electrical Code.

An Electrical Contractor is required to obtain permits for the work done by the company. Work must not be done using a “homeowner” issued permit or permit issued to another company. To access hard copy permit forms and other information please review the Permit and Inspection Forms and Documents.

For Installers

For Homeowners

More information HERE

Electrical Board Contact
State Electrical Board
1560 Broadway, Suite 1350
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: 303-894-2300 | Fax: 303-894-2310 |
Email: dora_electricalboard@state.co.us

Danny Miller
222 Sixth Street, Room 309
Grand Junction, CO  81501
303-869-3460 or toll free 855-454-0068
danny.miller@dora.state.co.us
Office hours:  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 8-9 AM

Solar Thermal Permitting Information:
Alan Trickey
Gunnison, CO
303-869-3471 or toll free 855-470-4719
alan.trickey@dora.state.co.us
Office hours:  In Delta on Tuesdays and Thursdays

State Plumbing Application Form (PDF)

Info for Homeowners

UTILITY INTERCONNECTION

“Members who choose to install a member-owned generation system, such as solar panels, on their home or business are required to use a net meter. Unlike a traditional electric meter, a net meter measures the amount of electricity you consume from DMEA and the amount of electricity you put back onto our system.”

Net Metering Application and DMEA Net Metering Policy can be found HERE
Delta-Montrose Electric Association
Attn: Read Service
Austin, Colorado 81410
970-874-8081

The City of Delta has its own, independent electric utility. They have a net-metering policy for grid tied systems, though it is not available immediately online. You can access a copy by contacting them at:

City of Delta Electric
360 Main Street, Delta, CO 81416.
970-874-7908

SEE FAQs
REGISTER NOW
SOLARIZE HOME PAGE

Solarize Delta County is launching  in Spring 2016. We hope you’ll join us!