Thursday, July 18, 2024

Coloradans coping with photo voltaic connection delays: How one can shield your self


DENVER – As extra Coloradans join solar energy, Denver7 Investigates shines a light-weight on the photo voltaic business.

For years, there have been many complaints that putting in photo voltaic panels is usually simple, however getting them on the grid is one other story.

And for Rod Gomez, it is a story he is realized at house for practically three a long time.

“We’ve accomplished many, many renovations on this property,” stated Gomez, a retired builder who determined to make the change to photo voltaic. “Because I’m bored with Xcel. Every month, they increase their costs. People are being hit left and proper.”

Last December, he signed a contract with Austin-based Freedom Solar, paying $34,000 for 27 photo voltaic panels. He believes the mission can be accomplished by May, however he’s nonetheless ready for his panels to be linked to the grid.

“I paid for the panels and nonetheless should pay for the electrical energy. If you are a retired couple residing on a finances, this might have an effect on you. We’re principally being held hostage,” Gomez stated.

In 2023, Denver7 Investigates lined months of delays in processing Xcel photo voltaic connection purposes. Since then, a brand new regulation requires utilities to have well timed connections or face fines of as much as $2,000 per day.

Brandon Wellcome, Xcel’s photo voltaic commerce relations supervisor, stated the utility has resolved the backlog.

“There have not actually been any vital delays,” Wellcome stated.

According to Wellcome, the method solely takes 15 to twenty enterprise days on Xcel’s finish.

“Now, keep in mind, there may be some forwards and backwards. [Solar companies] must undergo us some technical paperwork. We cannot management how lengthy it takes for them to get that to us,” he stated.

In many circumstances, he stated, the method is slowed down by paperwork points from skinny photo voltaic corporations, which can be what occurred with Gomez’s utility. While Freedom Solar has but to answer Denver7 Investigates, an organization consultant beforehand texted Gomez, blaming a number of layoffs on paperwork delays.

Bottom line, Gomez stated he paid for the panels and needs to know when he can use them.

“I take a look at the roof when I’m driving down the driveway, and it’s totally irritating,” Gomez stated.

Wellcome stated Gomez ought to have energy by the tip of this week or subsequent. But this story highlights an ongoing concern, Xcel stated, of some photo voltaic installers promoting with unrealistic expectations.

The utility supplies info on its web site, which explains the photo voltaic connection course of and recommends that the system not be put in till all engineering critiques and utility approvals are handed. It is effectively suggested to search out out prematurely if you might want to pay for the panels earlier than connecting your system to the grid.

The Colorado Solar & Storage Association has an inventory of key inquiries to ask photo voltaic installers earlier than signing on the dotted line, together with what accreditations they’ve and what their present and ongoing ones are. value.

COSSA recommends installers be licensed by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, calling it the “gold commonplace” of certification. Many installers can be licensed electricians.



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