January 2022
Happy 2022 New Year to all our Solar CitiSuns from the Board at New Energy Colorado. Our thoughts go out to all who have been directly or indirectly impacted by the wrath of the Marshall Fire in Boulder County. We all bear witness to the power of nature as she amplifies and multiplies the impact of storms, weather, climate and disasters. A grim and somber reminder of how important it is for us all to do our part to reduce climate impacts.

We learned that Sue Lion, the graphic artist who created the Solar CitiSuns logo, lost her home, and so did her daughter. We send thoughts and hope for their recovery during a long ordeal of getting back to a new normal.  

John Bringenberg and Rebecca Cantwell 
for New Energy Colorado
Xcel Rate Changes in Final Steps

New Xcel Energy rates resulting from the 2021 Phase 1 Rate Case are going through final approvals with many improvements in both residential and commercial. This is thanks to efforts by Colorado Solar and Storage Association (COSSA) and other allies advocating for more responsive Time of Use (TOU) rates and other changes.  Xcel is seeking approval for an approximately 6.5% increase in the base Residential rate which is on top of increases already approved related to cost adjustments. For those with on-site solar, rate increases have a silver lining, because the savings from self-generation also increase, adding to the benefits of going solar.  

The rollout of new smart meters to enable TOU rates is moving along well and many of you who are Xcel customers may have noticed those changes at your own homes.  The full features of these new smart meters cannot be enabled until all are installed. This is currently expected in the second quarter of this year.  In most cases, choosing TOU rates will add value for those with solar, electric vehicles or both. 
Solar Roofing ... Again

Solar Roof shingles are one of those products that make just so much sense. Yet they have had a difficult time in their product development to meet price point, aesthetics, and other practical considerations.  A new offering by GAF – the market leader in residential shingle roofs – is now coming to market and here is a link to an article with further details.  

These solar shingles are thin like shingles and installed with standard roofing tools. They should be available over the next several months.  
Energy Tips: From Cheap to Steep
Battery Storage Can Flatten Electricity from the Grid
by John Avenson
Energy not used is the best energy spent, and that goes for your house and EV energy bill. If we want to encourage Xcel Energy in its move to more renewable energy, then it helps to not have peaks and valleys in our daily usage. Backup batteries can do that. Supply would be SOOO easy if our home usage were a straight line between day and night. The best way to get closer to “straight” is to have storage batteries at our homes. Home storage battery technology made a huge leap in the past year for ease of installation and function.
This screen shot shows my home from midnight-to-midnight with EV Charging at 1 a.m. and EV charging again at 8 p.m. The car charging sucked the battery (blue) dry. The house is effectively off the grid until 9 p.m. To extend the time the house stays off the grid for 24 hours would require about five more batteries. I predict the price of batteries will drastically reduce in the next two years as new factories come online.

Legend Colors:
Red = Power obtained from Xcel;  
Green = SUN;   
Blue = from the 10KWH backup battery,

Visit The Virtual Metro Denver Green Homes Tour
Watch videos that showcase how your neighbors have used energy efficiency measures such as insulation and air sealing to make homes less leaky. See how homeowners have added solar energy and heat pumps to transition from polluting methane gas to clean electricity. Enjoy a variety of water-wise landscapes.

If you want to learn more about how to save money on your energy and water bills, please visit the virtual Metro Denver Green Homes Tour.

Join Our Community and Take Action!
Solar CitiSuns are people who want to join together to help transform the energy landscape by advocating for solar energy and other clean energy sources for the future. It is free, quick and easy to sign up! By joining our community, you can keep informed and join others in taking action.

Please follow our Facebook Page, and share this email with your friends and colleagues, and on social media using the links below. We are stronger together!
Upcoming Events
Solar Power and Energy Storage Mountain West
Solar Power and Energy Storage Mountain West is the region's premiere solar and storage event. Hundreds of industry professionals will gather together at the Hilton Denver City Center from January 31st to February 2nd, 2022, to learn from leading industry professionals and network with decision makers from across the country. 
This three-day retreat will advance your understanding of new policy and its effects and will equip your business with the skills necessary to compete in the ever-developing industry. The conference will feature a plethora of networking opportunities throughout the event, from the VIP Opening Reception, networking lunch events, to the engaging Expo Hall.

January 20, 2022 -- 7 - 8:30PM
Climate Change through the Insurance Lens: Opportunity and Innovation

CRES Denver hosts this discussion of Climate change conversations and impact on a critical segment of our economy, the insurance industry. The job of the insurance industry is to make policyholders whole after they suffer a loss. But what can insurance companies do when perils expand beyond events within a risk pool and begin to act upon the whole risk pool, and beyond?

Jan. 25 -- 7-9 pm 
How and Why Air Source Heat Pumps are well suited for Colorado 

Northern Colorado CRES will host a discussion on how Air Source Heat Pumps are an excellent option for Coloradans to decarbonize residential space heating, including important considerations to take into account to ensure they're the right solution for your home. Stay tuned for additional event details over the coming weeks.

Three Stories We Think You'll Want to Read

Energy Tips: From Cheap to Steep