Solar Panel Cost Guide in Tucson, AZ (Jan 2023)

  • Tucson Solar Installation Cost: $9,336
  • 25-Year Savings: $24,137
  • Payback Period: 7.0 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated January 20, 2023

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We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other site has covered renewables as long as us, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites. Our rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

Average Cost of Solar Panels in Tucson

Find out how much it might cost to switch to solar power in Tucson.

The national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, but in Tucson it's $3 per watt. Because a 5.1-kW system is needed to cover the energy usage of a typical home in Tucson, the average price of going solar will be about $9,336 before claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

Remember that the numbers above are only averages. The price you'll end up paying for solar may look quite different based on your household energy consumption, the type of solar system you want, your solar contractor and more. With typical savings of about $25,000 on energy bills over 20 years, many homeowners in Tucson find investing in solar can be quite rewarding.

You can click the button below to get connected with a top solar company in Tucson that can help you get a more accurate cost estimate for your home.

Solar savings over time in Tucson

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-7,997
3 years $-5,319
5 years $-2,641
7 years $36
9 years $2,714
11 years $5,392
13 years $8,070
15 years $10,748
17 years $13,425
19 years $16,103
21 years $18,781
23 years $21,459
25 years $24,137

Top Solar Installers in Tucson

Putting up solar panels on your own can be a stressful project, which is why hiring a solar installation company is a good option for many homeowners. Some solar installers, particularly local ones, can help you make the most of incentives in Tucson, optimizing your ROI.

If you'd like to start using solar energy but still aren't certain which solar system installer to go with, here are our recommendations for providers in Tucson:

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
4.5

  • Price-match guarantee
  • Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
  • Best solar battery on the market
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Warranty Coverage

Sunpro Solar

★★★★★
4.0

  • Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Expansive service area
  • Some reported communication issues
  • No leases or PPAs

See all of the solar companies in Tucson

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Tucson

There are many factors that can affect your total installation cost, such as the size of your system, the equipment you choose, your financing options and the specific company that installs your solar panels.

Solar Equipment

One of the most important factors to consider when it comes to the cost of adopting solar energy is the size of the solar system, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). The more energy your household uses, the larger your system will likely need to be. You can expect to spend around $2,610 per kilowatt in Tucson. The type of solar panels and equipment you choose is another factor that will largely influence costs. Solar panels that are more efficient, like monocrystalline panels, tend to come at a higher price. Moreover, solar equipment consists of more than just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to consider the kind of racks used to mount the panels, inverters, solar batteries, etc. It's important to take all of this into consideration when looking for a solar system that falls within your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

If paying for a solar system in cash is too expensive, solar loans are a solid choice because they lower your upfront costs and allow you to pay for your system over five to seven years on average. It's wise to add the interest you'll pay in your final cost estimate. If you can afford to pay a higher down payment, you can reduce your total costs and how long it'll take to pay back the loan.

Solar Panel Installation Company

Lastly, the company you choose to install your solar panel system can affect the cost. Tucson's solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. Larger national companies usually have lower costs, but some local companies keep up with them by offering sales and discounts. While the smaller companies might not have access to specific equipment options like Tesla Powerwall batteries or add-on services like electric car charger installation, they might be cheaper overall.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $2.71 $11,400 $27,926 7.2 years
8 kW $2.66 $14,908 $37,527 7.1 years
10 kW $2.61 $18,270 $47,275 7.0 years
12 kW $2.56 $21,486 $57,168 6.8 years
14 kW $2.51 $24,555 $67,208 6.7 years
16 kW $2.45 $27,478 $77,394 6.6 years
18 kW $2.40 $30,255 $87,725 6.4 years
20 kW $2.35 $32,886 $98,204 6.3 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The company that does your solar panel installation will affect the warranties and brands available to you, and it will also have an impact on your total cost. Since choosing a company can be a challenge, we have some tips to help you, such as:

  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a good reputation as a company and have verifiable expertise in the field. Two ways to check this are to look for whether a company has technicians certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and if it has good reviews from previous customers.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and kind has varying levels of quality, longevity and energy efficiency. They will come at different prices as well. The company you choose plays a role in which solar panel brands you have access to.
  • Contract: It's important to look over your solar installer's contract thoroughly to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what you can expect about the cost.
  • Warranty: A high-quality company rises above other companies by offering the gold standard warranty — a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty covering parts, labor and performance.

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
4.5

  • Price-match guarantee
  • Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
  • Best solar battery on the market
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Warranty Coverage

Sunpro Solar

★★★★★
4.0

  • Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Expansive service area
  • Some reported communication issues
  • No leases or PPAs

EcoWatch's Tucson, AZ Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Tucson?

This is a tough question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on many factors. Generally speaking, it costs about $13,050 for a 5-kW system and $26,100 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. It will be more expensive if you want other solar equipment or higher quality panels, or if you have above-average energy usage. On the flip side, you can spend less if you want a smaller solar panel system or cheaper solar panels.

Is it better to lease or buy solar panels in Tucson?

Leasing solar panels can be an option if you can't afford to pay upfront or secure a solar loan, but since you don't own the system, you can't take advantage of many solar incentives. Also your property value won't increase, so you'll have less savings over time. If you can afford to buy a solar system upfront, then buying is the better option if you want the most financial benefits from going solar.

Do solar panels increase the value of your home?

Solar panels can increase your home value considerably as long as you buy or finance your panels and don't opt for a solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA). According to research done by Zillow, the average home value increases by about 4.1% with a solar installation."

How long do solar panels last in Tucson?

On average, the lifespan of solar panels is about 25 to 30 years. Some even last up to 50 years, but their efficiency decreases by about 0.8% each year. You can choose to replace them sooner if you want to maintain a larger level of energy production.

Our goal is to reach as many people as we can with sensible solutions like solar energy. Our team of full-time local researchers collects solar price and installation data for every city in America then compiles it to create these digestible city guides. If you want to read our solar expert's opinion on the top solar companies featured here, follow this link.

Company research was conducted by Melissa Smith and Karsten Neumeister. Local data analysis was conducted by James Savino. See something we missed or could do better? Email the editor.

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