How to Go Solar

City staff has researched, compiled, and assembled documents and information from various online sources into FAQ's designed to answer the essentials of these questions (i.e. installation costs, potential future savings, finance options, etc.)

"The environmental benefits of going solar are commonly known, but fewer people know the financial benefits of going solar!"


Installation costs can vary based on a lot of factors; your average monthly energy usage, solar array components, administrative costs, house orientation, among other things. For a rough estimate on the cost of installing a system on your home/business you can use the True Cost of Solar Guide for Colorado pdf.

For a comprehensive estimate of what installing a Solar PV Array would cost on your home here are some other web resources you can use:

There are two primary financing options available (buying or leasing). Both options have their pros/cons. While buying outright is the most cost-effective method for generating the greatest returns, that is not always an option for home/business owners. In those situations, interested parties can either apply for a loan or lease the system from most solar installers. For additional details on financing options, and the pros/cons of each option, watch the video (below). 

Note: The ITC credit the video mentions deadline has been extended to 12/31/2021 since this video was made.

Just as with other types of work, choosing an installer is an inexact science and is really based on preference of the home/business owner. To install solar panels inside Brighton, the installer must be North American Board of Certified Energy Practioners (NABCEP) certified to receive a solar permit. For a list of NABCEP certified professionals in Colorado click here!

When choosing an installer, here are some general steps you can follow to help ensure you chose the correct solar installer for home and/or business:
  1. Ask around and find multiple quotes! If you know anyone that has installed solar on their home/business ask about their experience with their installer. You can also use the previously referenced EnergySage Solar Calculator, or other solar calculators to obtain multiple quotes from installers. The more information you can collect the better.

  2. Read customer reviews on the Installer! Investigate the market, see what quotes you get, and then check reviews on the installation company. provides you with reviews from other customers that have used an installer and can be a helpful tool for vetting any installer.

  3. Meet or talk installer and ask follow up questions! Before signing any contract, it is important to talk to the installer personally and ask follow up questions about the quote they are providing. Here is a list of questions to consider asking your installer (from A Homeowner's Guide to Solar Financing.)

The most widely publicized of these programs is the Residential & Commercial Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) programs. These programs provide a 30% tax credit towards the total installation costs of either a residential or commercial solar project, and their savings are usually included into most online quotes you receive. While these programs are the most widely known solar incentive programs, there are lot more available on both the Federal and State levels of government.

Using the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), we researched and sorted through all the various incentives/programs for those that are specifically applicable to Brighton residents. Here is the pdf of the Solar Financing Programs available for Brighton Residents; this document contains hyperlinks to the DSIRE's webpages for various listed programs which can be used to find additional details about the financial benefits these programs provide.

Note: Since Brighton is a gold-level Solar Friendly Community, our citizens also have access to a additional $500 off the installation of a standard residential system from participating installers. To see a list of these installers click here!

Note: The sources and links referenced are offered as a courtesy only; Brighton does not participate in or endorse any resources linked herein for financing or other opportunities for solar installations.