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Solar Rates

At the request of the Colorado Energy Office on behalf of Governor Polis, HCE’s Board of Directors has agreed to temporarily suspend the proposed electric rate changes intended to take effect on September 1. The temporary suspension of HCE’s proposed rates will be in place at least through January 1, 2024, in order to allow time for the Colorado Energy Office to convene a dialogue on the future of net metering policy in Colorado.

Public Comment Session

On Wednesday, May 24, we hosted a public comment session at our Glenwood Springs headquarters for the Board to listen to member feedback related to the proposed rate and tariff changes. The recording of the meeting is available here.

View Staff Presentation Deck >

How the new structure impacts net metering solar members

We at Holy Cross Energy (HCE) are grateful you have committed to a clean energy future by investing in renewable energy at your home or business. This commitment helped us provide energy that was 50% renewable to all our members in 2022.

We also recognize that you may have made the financial decision to invest in solar panels based on a specific rate design that was in place at the time. As you hopefully saw in the March HCE Newsletter, we are restructuring our current rate design. We do not want these changes to impact your return on that investment, so we are offering two rate options to help our legacy solar owners.

Traditionally, we have combined the cost of energy and the cost of maintaining our electric grid (the poles and wires) into one fee called the “Energy Charge” on your bill. This worked well for many, many years, but now that our members are asking for new and innovative programs and services and the grid is changing, we need to split those charges into separate Energy and Delivery Charges. These changes mean your bill will increase as the Delivery Charge will be applied to the energy you use from your kWh bank and the energy you purchase from HCE.

But because you have made a substantial investment to help us reach our clean energy goals, we want to minimize any financial impact on you.

Therefore, we are offering you two options to reduce the impact of the new Delivery Charge for the next ten years. Both options result in a similar payment amount.

It is important to know that even with these allowances, all members will see an increase in their bill simply because costs have increased. Even with these changes, our rates will continue to be in the bottom third of all Colorado utility bills.

Thank you for your participation in Renewable Energy Net Metering. We value you and your commitment to clean energy and the environment.

Option 1

Maintain combined Energy and Delivery Charges for ten years after the new rate structure is implemented.
  • This allows you to keep your Energy and Delivery Charges combined for the next ten years, so you will be credited at a higher rate for any energy you put back on the grid.
  • In other words, you will not pay a Delivery Charge for your Banked kWh that you pull back from the grid.
  • Your rate will, however, include an increased Membership Fee and the new Demand Charge that all members will begin paying in September.
  • This rate is non-transferable, meaning that if you add additional solar capacity to your array or if you sell your property, you will void this agreement.
  • This is a great option if you expect to own your property for ten or more years without adding additional panels to your system.

Option 2

Receive a one-time rebate bill credit to switch to the 2023 rate structure when it is implemented.
  • HCE will credit your account $250 per kW of DC installed capacity to mitigate the impact of the new Delivery Charge.
  • Your rebate credit amount is shown on the form that was mailed to you in early March. You can also calculate your rebate credit amount by taking your solar system capacity (measured in kW), multiplied by $250.
  • If you need help calculating your rebate credit, please contact us at
  • This credit is based on projections of what you would have received if we had not separated the Energy and Delivery Charges.
  • The bill credit will compensate you for Delivery Charges only, not for the Membership Fee increase and the new Demand Charge which will impact all members.
  • Credit will be applied to your electric bill once the new rates are in place.
  • This will result in you having a $0 electric bill payment for an extended period unless you have a significant past-due amount. You can ask for a cash refund later if needed.
  • You can request a refund of this rebate credit to be issued now if you do not have a past-due balance. This refund would be mailed to you by October 15, 2023.
  • Consider choosing Option 2 if you plan to sell your home or business, or if you plan to electrify your property or vehicle and add more panels to your system.

Solar net metering rate selection.

More information will be provided soon for solar net metering members that have already submitted a rate selection.

How net metering works.

Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits homeowners or businesses for electricity added to the Holy Cross Energy (HCE) grid from a renewable generator, such as solar panels.
How will net metering look on your bill?
For members that select Option 2, or who submit a net metering application after September 1, 2023, the following document will walk you through how to read your new net metering bill.
What is changing for net metering members?
  • Energy Charge. The Energy Charge currently includes our costs for Delivery & Peak Demand, so the Energy Charge rate will actually decrease compared to the current structure. Net metering members will pay this charge only on their net energy usage each month (if they pull more energy from the grid than excess energy they put back onto the grid).
  • Delivery Charge. While this will be a new separate line item, these costs have previously been covered through the Energy Charge. All members will pay this charge on all energy pulled from the grid each month. For net metering members, this includes any energy pulled from their Banked kWh.
  • Peak Demand Charge. While this is a new standalone charge for most of our members, these costs have traditionally been covered through the Energy Charge. Some members will move from a 24-hour Demand to a 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Peak Demand.
  • Membership Fee. This fixed monthly fee will increase to more accurately reflect the costs that go into this category. This was previously called the “Customer Charge” on your bill.
  • Banked kWh.  These can only be used to offset the Energy Charge. With the newly separate Delivery and Peak Demand Charges, members will no longer be able to offset all energy-related charges on their bills.
  • Annual Bank Payout. Annually in April, we will still pay you for any unused kWh and “zero out” your Banked kWh. We calculate your payment by multiplying any unused Banked kWh by our average wholesale power cost for the prior year.

What you can do to save now and in the future.

Increase your self-consumption.

The true value of your solar investment comes from you using the energy your system produces. Remember you never pay HCE anything for what you self-consume!

  • Schedule things like EV charging, laundry, dishwashing, and heat tape while the sun is out and your panels are producing energy!

Store more of the solar energy you generate with a Tesla Powerwall.

  • HCE pays upfront costs for battery & installation, and Member repays HCE a monthly charge on bill at zero interest over 10 years.
  • Member receives a monthly bill credit for periodic HCE demand response control of battery.
  • Increase your self-consumption and lower your Delivery & Demand Charges.
Adjust your energy behaviors from 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Under the new rate structure, avoiding high energy usage during Peak Demand is an easy way to keep your bill low.

  • Schedule things like EV charging, laundry, dishwashing, and heat tape to run outside of the 4:00 – 9:00 p.m. peak hours.
  • Pre-cool or pre-heat spaces in your home before peak hours.
  • Set large appliances like boilers and water heaters to only run outside of peak hours.
Sign up for Peak Time Payback.

Starting in September, payback amounts increase 50%

  • Get rewarded with bill credits for reducing electricity usage during our Peak Time Payback events.
  • We calculate your average baseline usage before the event and compare it to what you actually use during the event.
  • If you reduce usage, we save money and share that savings with you!
Energy Efficiency Rebates

We’ll help with 25% of the upfront cost when you invest in qualifying high efficiency equipment for your home or business.

Our 2023 rebates allow for:

  • Up to $5,000/year for Residential Members.
  • Up to $7,500/project for Commercial Members.
  • Qualifying projects include heat pumps, building envelope & insulation, heat pump dryers & water heaters, heat tape timers, induction cooktops/ranges, smart & programmable thermostats, and more.


Optional Time of Day Rate

For residential and small commercial members who are able to substantially minimize their energy usage during our Peak Demand timeframe of 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

  • Since the Time of Day rate structure charges are significantly higher for On-Peak hours, and lower for Off-Peak hours, there is no separate Demand Charge for members who sign up for this optional program.
  • Time of Day rates will also move to separate Energy and Delivery Charges for both On-Peak and Off-Peak hours.
  • One-year minimum participation is required under this rate.
  • Power+ Participants are not eligible for Time of Day Rate.
  • To sign up, please contact our Member Services Team at (970) 945-5491.

Optional Time of Day Rate – Starting September 2023

Peak Hours: 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
7 Days a Week

Membership Fee

$16.00 / month

Delivery Charge – Off Peak

$0.022 / kWh

Delivery Charge – On Peak

$0.088 / kWh

Energy Charge – Off Peak

$0.041 / kWh

Energy Charge – On Peak

$0.163 / kWh



Peak Demand Charge


On-Peak Total

$0.251 / kWh

Off-Peak Total

$0.063 / kWh

Frequently Asked Questions

The complete Colorado net metering law language can be found here on the state of Colorado website.

To minimize the financial impact of the split delivery charge, we are offering our net metering members two rate options.

  • Both options result in a similar financial benefit to the member. Your decision is based more on whether you’d like a short-term or long-term payback. The benefits are calculated so that neither option is necessarily more favorable. 
  • If you are considering adding additional solar to your property, consider selecting Option 2. When you add new solar, you cannot stay on the rate offered in Option 1.
  • If you are considering selling your property or transferring HCE Membership out of your name within the next 10 years, consider selecting Option 2. The rate offered in Option 1 is non-transferable.
  • Banked kWh are still only used to offset the Energy Charge. However, Members will not be able to offset all energy-related charges on their bills. Member who select Option 2 will pay Delivery and Demand Charges, while Members who select option 1 will avoid the Delivery Charge for 10 years.
  • Annually in April, we will still pay you for any unused kWh and “zero out” your banked kWh. We calculate your payment by multiplying any unused Banked kWh by our average wholesale power cost for the prior year. There are no changes to your Annual Banked kWh payouts. 
  • Self-consumption refers to using the electricity your solar panels produce on-site.
  • Self-consumption can happen in two ways: by directly sending electricity right to your appliances from your solar panels, and by storing electricity in a battery for later use.
Submit your comments to the HCE Board of Directors

HCE held a comment period from March 1 – May 15 for members and stakeholders to offer feedback.

HCE also held a public comment session on May 24. View recording of that event here.

The full official proposed changes to the HCE Electric Service Tariffs, Rules, and Regulations is available here.

Net Metering Bill Comparison Calculator

You’ll need the following numbers from your bill to enter into the calculator:

The calculator below can help you compare what a typical bill might look like under Option 1 or Option 2.

Grab a previous month’s bill to get started.

Not a solar net metering member? You can compare your bills here.

Tips for successfully comparing the new rate options:

  • Compare bills from a few different months throughout the year, with varying usage levels.
  • Take notice of the Demand Time stamp on your bill, too (highlighted in green on the example above). On future bills, that measurement will only be taken during our 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. Peak Demand timeframe. So, if you’re looking at a number on an old bill that falls outside of that timeframe, your demand charge would actually be less than what is displayed on that bill.
  • Some members will see regional taxes or franchise fees on their bills, which are not accounted for in this calculator.
Small Residential Net Metering Bill Comparison Calculator