Solar by the Numbers


How much electricity do households typically use?

  • Electricity consumption is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) – the number of kW used per hour – and varies significantly between households, depending on the building’s size, appliances, heating and cooling systems, shading from trees and other buildings, and many other factors. On average, residences in Colorado use approximately 9,000 kWh per year.
  • Energy use information can be found on the U.S. Energy Information Administration or may be available through a local installer.

 How much electricity does a solar PV system produce in a year?

  • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s PVWatts Calculator can be used by homeowners and business owners to estimate the annual solar electricity production of a solar installation in our region. 
  • An average installed PV system of 6.0 kW would produce about 8,527 kWh per year in Steamboat Springs.

Solar System Costs vs. Savings

  • The costs associated with a solar PV system depend on many factors, including available incentives, the size of your installation, the type of PV panels used, and the pitch of your roof.
  • As of April 2020, the cost of the average residential or rooftop solar installation in Steamboat Springs for a 6.0 kW system is $17,230 ($2.87 per watt), which is lower than the current U.S. average of $3.36 per watt. Find more estimates of system costs in your area using Solar Reviews.
  • The amount of savings generated by a solar system depends on additional factors, such as local energy prices, building and appliance energy consumption, and whether the building owner purchases or leases the solar system. The net monthly energy savings provided by the average residential or rooftop solar installation in Steamboat Springs is about $72. Use the EnergySage Solar Calculator to explore your potential savings.

What is net metering?

  • Net metering is a method for measuring your solar system’s energy production and directly crediting your electricity bill with the value of your solar system’s excess energy. Net metering allows utilities to compensate you for any energy that you do not use in your home and instead add to the grid.  Learn more about net metering policies through Yampa Valley Electric Association