Solar power becomes cost-saving option in Colorado during heat wave

From the Front Range to the Western Slope, the weather is warming up, and Energy Outreach Colorado is ready.

“When we think about energy availability, we think about the vulnerable households that we serve, who are disproportionately impacted by things like higher utility bills, extreme weather events,” said CEO Jennifer Gremmert. “We’re constantly monitoring what’s happening across the state.”

The nonprofit helps low-income families with basic needs, such as paying electricity bills, providing household items like energy-saving light bulbs, and running a hotline that provides emergency assistance.


While using solar energy is not an immediate solution, it is a long-term plan that Energy Outreach is considering to help vulnerable populations and improve their finances.

“We partner with community solar gardens, we subscribe to that power for the homes we serve through our energy assistance program, and we ensure long-term affordability,” Gremmert explained.

While the initial installation costs are high, proponents praise the long-term benefits as potential game-changers. Mike Kruger, CEO of the Colorado Solar and Storage Association, noted the state’s technological advances.

“During the coming heat wave, your air conditioning will be running,” he said. “And if you have solar panels on your roof, they capture electrons, which can lower your electricity bill during peak hours.”


While some studies indicate that extreme temperatures can affect the effectiveness of the panels, Kruger said such temperatures are rare in Colorado.

“All of the solar panels installed in Colorado are designed to operate efficiently up to 120 degrees. Above that temperature, efficiency drops, but we’re talking about small percentage points,” he explained.

As the state braces for high temperatures, Kruger said solar power can also reduce the strain on the power grid. Solar energy is collected and stored; when battery power is used, it is drawn from the home, not the grid.

“You can lower your bill and reduce the load on the network, which means lower costs for everyone,” Kruger said.

Colorado currently ranks 20th in the nation in renewable energy use as a share of total energy consumption in the state.