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Why Utilities Are Not All to Blame for Delayed Solar Interconnections

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

In Colorado and across the country, the relationship between homeowners with solar and electric utility companies in the United States is a delicate balance.

Through net metering, solar offers a way to reduce utility electricity expenses. However, most solar panels rely on the energy grid and must be interconnected to function without a battery backup.

So to ensure a safe interconnection for any solar installation, the local electric utility must approve the system’s design and construction, with two separate compliance checks required before the panels can officially “go online.”

With this, it can be frustrating for homeowners if they are forced to wait extended periods of time for utilities to approve their systems before they can start saving money with solar.

Coloradans are Pointing Fingers at Xcel Energy

In a recent story televised by Fox 31, a Coloradan homeowner hoping to go solar is blaming Xcel Energy for their delayed grid interconnection.

This story is part of a larger, national trend that has sparked comments from regulators and lawmakers citing increased demand as the primary reason for extended timelines and customers being left “stranded” with inoperable solar panels.

The truth is… solar delays caused by utilities have been around for over a decade, and supply chain issues in the last few years have certainly not helped. So while we know full well that utilities have their share of problems, rate hikes, policy changes, and slow operations, it is also important to realize that they are not always entirely to blame for solar project delays.

In reality, there are still plenty of homeowners installing solar and being interconnected to the grid along their expected project timelines. While this certainly doesn’t create any juicy news headlines, it does beg the question of what solar customers can do to avoid significant project delays.

Local Solar Experts Can Streamline Interconnections

In the story televised by Fox 31 Denver, the homeowner experiencing project delays is a customer of Blue Raven Solar, a Utah-based company based which was acquired by the international SunPower Corporation in 2021.

While the company cannot be blamed for delayed utility timelines, it is unlikely that a business with a global sales territory can offer customers the same amount of specialized interconnection assistance as a local solar installer.

At Apollo Energy, we have a dedicated team of utility liaisons that speak with Front Range electric companies every single day, developing long-standing personal relationships with representatives of Xcel and other local utilities.

Apollo’s experts have a complete understanding of the different rules, regulations, and procedures for every CO & WY utility, and always work to meet our customer’s project timelines in Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Cheyenne, and surrounding areas.

Although we are a relatively small business with only a few dozen employees, our dedicated professionals can keep utilities accountable to interconnect our customer’s systems as soon as possible.

As a result, we’ve weathered the storms of inflation and supply chain issues with continued employment for our growing team of solar and customer service experts.

In 2022, we installed over 2 MW of new solar energy in Colorado and Wyoming, which will offset approximately 2,400 metric tons of local CO2 emissions every year for the next three decades.

Apollo Energy, a solar company in Denver, Colorado
To kick off 2023 on the right foot, our team gathered for a “Great British Bake Off” party for a friendly competition and lots of tasty treats.

Bottom Line.

As a small company with years of sustainable growth in Denver, Apollo Energy knows what it takes to work with Xcel and other local electric utilities. For the best possible results in Colorado and Wyoming, our dedicated team is here to help home and business owners go solar with local expert assistance at every step of the process.

If you’re interested in going solar with us, please contact Apollo Energy today for a free consultation.


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