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.

After you’ve reviewed the options below, please complete the selection form by August 15, 2023. Paper versions of the form were also mailed to all net metering members in March. Members who do not respond by August 15, 2023, either digitally or by mailing back the paper form, will automatically be moved to the rate offered in Option 1.

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 the next ten years until September 1, 2033. 

  • 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 starting September 1, 2023 (this year). 

  • 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.

Make your rate selection here.

Please select one of the following options no later than August 15th, 2023. If no response is received by August 15th, you will automatically be given the rate in Option 1. Please note – you will not be able to change your selection after August 15th, 2023.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Submit your comments to the HCE Board of Directors

As a cooperative, our membership is strongest when members take an active role. If you would like to ask questions, offer comments, or submit complaints to our Board of Directors, please complete the form below by April 30 to submit a comment.