Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Clean Energy Collective?
Clean Energy Collective (CEC) is a Colorado-based company that develops, operates and maintains community-owned solar arrays, also referred to as solar gardens or community solar farms. CEC's innovative model makes local renewable energy easy, accessible and a financially smart decision for electricity consumers in the United States.
What is CEC Community Solar?
Clean Energy Collective community solar enables you to own solar panels in a centralized, community-based array. As your panels produce clean electricity, you receive credits directly on your monthly electric bills for the power produced. By owning a solar power system in a community array, you can reduce or eliminate your electric bills, protect against rising prices, and experience monthly savings in place of a monthly expense.
What happens to the electricity produced by the panels?
The clean solar power is automatically delivered to the Xcel Energy’s grid, increasing the utility's incorporation of renewable energy and decreasing its reliance on fossil fuels. The power is not delivered directly to your meter and no equipment is required to be installed on your property.
Who can participate?
All Xcel Energy customers in Colorado counties where CEC is developing community solar arrays are eligible to participate, including homeowners, businesses, nonprofit organizations, landlords, and tenants.
Do I need to own a home or building to participate?
No. If you have an electric bill, you can receive credits for the power produced by solar panels in a CEC community-owned solar array.
How can I monitor my panels' performance?
As a CEC customer, you can log on to your My Own Clean Energy account via the CEC website and smartphone app. There you can see your system's information, review your customer documents, and access real-time information about your portion of the array’s production, bill credits, and positive environmental impact.
What happens if I move?
If you move within your county, simply have your panels' bill credits applied to your new location's meter and account with the utility. If you leave the county or the Xcel Energy territory, you may sell the panels to another Xcel Energy customer in your county or give a tax-deductible gift of clean energy by donating the system to a charity in your county.
Can I sell or transfer the system to someone else?
Yes. You can sell your system to another Xcel Energy customer in your county, include the system with the sale of your home, or give a tax-deductible gift of clean energy by donating the system to a charity in your county.
How is CEC community solar different from a traditional onsite system?
With CEC, panels are located in a community array on Xcel Energy’s grid. The utility uses the electricity produced by the commercial-scale array, which improves the utility's fuel mix by decreasing its dependency on fossil fuels. The utility then credits each customer's monthly electric bill for the power produced by their panels. As such, CEC's community arrays enable any utility customer to benefit from clean solar power, regardless of the customer’s ability to install solar at their location.

CEC's optimally situated and fully maintained solar solution presents substantial advantages over traditional solar systems. CEC’s arrays are optimally situated and they are maintained, cleaned and serviced to ensure optimal output, resulting in greater savings and better environmental impact. This greater benefit is delivered by a system with a low one-time price that includes commercial economies of scale savings and the inclusion of available rebates, discounts and credits. With greater power production and lower costs, CEC customers can experience the best savings available all while enjoying the most accessible, flexible and hassle-free clean energy available!
Do I have to maintain the panels myself?
No. Clean Energy Collective handles all operations and maintenance of the community solar array. In maintaining the system, we regularly clean and service the array, file any necessary claims against equipment warranties, and replace otherwise damaged equipment (covered by insurance on the array). All maintenance, service, cleaning and insurance is funded by the Operation and Maintenance trust account, held in the array's name. This account is funded by both a portion of the initial price and a portion of the monthly savings generated. This continues over the first 20 years of the system's life, ensuring that the array is the primary ongoing funding source for its own upkeep.
How much solar can I buy?
Systems are available from a minimum of 1 kilowatt (kW) up to 120% of your average annual usage.
What kinds of savings will I get?
All customers receive two forms of benefit for their panels' production: monthly electric bill credits and quarterly Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) payments. Commercial for-profit customers can capture additional tax savings by using an accelerated schedule when depreciating the asset.
How are my monthly electric bill credits calculated?
Each month, your Xcel Energy electric bill will be credited for your panels' production. The power produced is credited at the specific rate for your customer class as determined under Xcel Energy's Solar*Rewards Community Program. These initial credit rates will increase as Xcel Energy's electricity rates increase, protecting you against the national trend of rising electricity costs.
What happens to my bill credits when energy prices go up?
As Xcel Energy's electricity prices rise, the bill credit rate you receive for the panels' output will increase as well. As your monthly bill credits increase, your system’s savings increase.
How are my quarterly REC payments calculated?
Each quarter, CEC customers will receive a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) payment. This payment is based on the production from their system in the community solar array and the REC payment rate for your specific solar array.
How much can I expect in the way of savings?
There is a wide range of system size choices. You can choose to get a smaller system that will partially offset your average monthly electric usage charges or a full-sized system that will completely eliminate them.

As Xcel Energy's electricity rates increases, your monthly bill credit rate, which is determined by your customer rate class, will rise as well. CEC estimates 4.8% annual inflation (below the national average), and accounts for normal degradation of the system's performance over time.

Please contact us and a CEC Solar Specialist will assess your energy needs and provide a free, custom proposal that illustrates your projected savings.
How much CEC community solar do I need?
CEC will size a system that appropriately offsets the amount of electricity you consume at your home or office. Completing Xcel Energy's Consent to Disclose form enables Xcel Energy to provide us with your historical consumption data, which we will in turn use to size your proposed system.
Do I have to apply for rebates or file for an IRS tax credit?
No. Clean Energy Collective takes care of everything so that you don't have the hassle of filling out tax credit forms or rebate applications. CEC captures available rebates and tax credits, passing on the savings to you in a one-time, discounted system price. You won't have to come up with the additional out-of-pocket costs and then wait around for your rebate and tax credits to come back to you. Residential and tax-exempt customers use CEC's PeakSavings™ program to get this benefit included in the one-time system price.
How can I pay for a CEC community solar system?
Clean Energy Collective accepts cash, checks, and credit cards. Low-interest financing is available through CEC's Clean Energy Loan Program, developed in partnership with Sooper Credit Union.
Can I finance my community solar system?
Residential financing is available through our Clean Energy Loan Program in partnership with (www.soopercu.org). This program offers financing for a range of credit scores with rates as low 2.25% and zero-down options.

Commercial financing is available from ANB Bank in 5 or 10 year terms, with rates as low as 4.25% and 6%, respectively. For-profit commercial entities may benefit from monthly bill credits, quarterly REC payments, and tax savings from accelerated depreciation. Many commercial entities can finance a system and go 100% solar while still retaining a positive net annual cash flow.
How does CEC's PeakSavings™ program work for Residential and Tax-Exempt Customers?
Clean Energy Collective is committed to getting you the best possible price and payback for your community solar system. As part of that optimal pricing, we provide a 30% discount equal to the federal tax credit for solar installations. This tax credit is otherwise unavailable to community solar customers. CEC's PeakSavings™ program enables residential and tax-exempt customers to receive this discounted pricing.