Arizona Solar Panel Buyers Guide [Installation & Efficiency 2022]

Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide to Arizona solar panels:

  • The average cost for solar panel systems in AZ
  • How the abundant sunlight in AZ makes it one of the best places in the U.S. to go solar
  • What rebates and tax incentive programs are available to you to reduce up-front and long-term costs of your home solar system
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How to Get Solar Panels in Arizona

Your first step to installing solar equipment in AZ will be to reach out to a local solar company to get a free quote. You’ll need to provide a recent electric bill, and a technician will come out to your home to inspect it and take roof measurements.

From there, your installer’s team will design a system and get permits for it. Once the permits are approved, the system will be installed and turned on to generate electricity. You’ll have one more inspection to close out the permits.

Most residents in Arizona find that converting to solar energy is a great investment. There are a few key benefits that make solar a good option here, including:

  • Abundant sunlight
  • Relatively low equipment costs
  • High electricity bills from utility companies that allow for massive savings
  • Minimal risk of panel damage from extreme weather
  • Great statewide solar incentives
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SunPower

Best National Provider

Nationwide Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer
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ADT Solar

Best Warranty Coverage

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Expansive service area

Cons

  • Some reported communication issues
  • No leases or PPAs
Badge icon

Sun Valley Solar Solutions

Outstanding Local Installer

Local Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Offers products from leading manufacturers
  • Competitive pricing
  • Many financing options
  • Multitude of products and services

Cons

  • Relatively short workmanship warranty

What Is the Price of Solar Panel Installation in Arizona?

The total cost of a solar system in Arizona will vary a bit among solar projects, but most residents pay between $16,443 and $27,405 after the federal investment tax credit (ITC) is applied. The average total is around $21,000.

These numbers assume an average cost per watt of $2.61 and that you’ll need the typical system size of 11.5 kilowatts (kW) to offset your electric bills. Although this is expensive, most solar systems in AZ pay for themselves and then go on to provide additional savings over time.

The typical payback period in AZ is 12 years — in line with the national average — and the average solar customer saves nearly $24,000 on future utility bills after the panels pay for themselves.

For more specific cost information, you can check out our guide to solar system prices in AZ.

The Best Solar Panel Brands Available in Arizona

Since Arizona is ranked fifth in the country for solar conversion, it’s no surprise that residents have access to most of the panel brands available across the country.1

Having options is great, but it does mean that you’ll have to do additional research to choose a brand that suits your needs. Most AZ residents opt for high-efficiency panels to take full advantage of the available sunlight to reduce their massive energy bills.

Below, we’ll include a quick list of some of the more popular brands installed in AZ. This is not an exhaustive list, but it does represent a large portion of solar installations in the Grand Canyon State:

  • SunPower (most energy-efficient panels in the solar industry)
  • Panasonic
  • Tesla
  • LG (will soon no longer be available)
  • REC
  • Trina Solar
  • Canadian Solar
  • Silfab

EcoWatch Preferred Partners

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Is Arizona a Good State for Solar Panels?

Yes, absolutely! Arizona is considered an excellent state for solar panel installation for some key reasons. These include:

  • Abundant sunlight: Arizona is considered the sunniest state in the country.2 Residents enjoy an average of 286 sunny days per year, which is significantly more than the national average of 205. Abundant sunlight means greater opportunity to produce energy with solar equipment.
  • Above-average energy consumption: AZ residents use an average of 1,114 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy every month, which is well above the national average of 893 kWh.3 Since homeowners use more energy, they have more opportunities to offset utility bills and save money with photovoltaic (PV) equipment. This equates to greater savings over time.
  • Below-average solar equipment costs: the typical cost per watt for solar PV equipment in Arizona is around $2.61. This comes in below the average for the rest of the country ($2.66). Since solar equipment costs less in AZ, property owners will have a lower bar to entry into renewable energy.
  • Statewide incentives: There are several excellent incentives and benefits available statewide in AZ to make solar conversion more accessible and appealing. We’ll discuss these perks in greater depth below.
  • Temperate weather: Although AZ is prone to intense winds during monsoon season, the state receives mostly temperature weather that won’t put your panels at severe risk of damage.4 Physical warranty coverage is still helpful but not as essential as it would be in areas with more extreme weather

As mentioned above, most AZ residents pay off their systems using their energy savings and then save an additional $23,000-plus on electricity bills thereafter. Compared to the typical energy burden of not going solar — over $53,000 — converting to solar is a no-brainer for most Arizonans.

How Much Energy Can I Get From Solar Panels in Arizona?

The exact amount of solar electricity your panels will produce depends on a variety of things. These factors include:

  • The brand of panel you install: All residential solar panels will generate energy based on the intensity of sunlight hitting them. However, different equipment brands have different efficiency ratings. High-efficiency panels will generate more energy than less efficient ones.
  • How much sun your property receives: The more sun available to your panels, the closer they will get to their peak efficiency. That means that shading on your roof at any time of day, whether it’s from trees, electric poles or other buildings will reduce the amount of electricity generated.
  • The direction your roof faces: South-facing roofs in North America are the best for solar because they face the path of the sun in the sky. Panels on these roofs receive the most intense sunlight and will generate more energy.
  • Weather: As you might have guessed, the weather can affect your panel performance. Cloudy days can reduce solar panel efficiency by up to around 90%. Luckily, AZ experiences mostly sunny days.
  • The size of your system: Finally, the size of your system will determine your overall production over time. Larger systems have more solar cells and can generate more energy.

Although there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to solar panel power generation, the table below provides some average numbers you can use to estimate how many panels you need to offset your energy bills.

Solar Power System Size  Expected Daily Energy Generation Expected Monthly Energy Generation Expected Annual Energy Generation
9 kW 30 kWh 900 kWh 10,800 kWh
10 kW 33.3 kWh 1,000 kWh 12,000 kWh
11 kW 36.6 kWh 1,100 kWh 13,200 kWh
12 kW 40 kWh 1,200 kWh 14,400 kWh
13 kW 43.3 kWh 1,300 kWh 15,600 kWh
14 kW 46.6 kWh 1,400 kWh 16,800 kWh
15 kW 50 kWh 1,500 kWh 18,000 kWh

If you’d like more information on how these numbers are calculated, or you’d like to see what panels on your specific property in AZ will generate, you can use our solar calculator.

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Solar Panel Policy History in Arizona

Solar policy didn’t really get going in Arizona until 2000 when the state set its first Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal.

The goal was to see at least 0.4 percent of the state’s energy production via renewable energy sources by 2002, with a 50 percent carve-out for solar in particular. This carve-out was very likely put in place due to the abundant sun in the area.

That same year, AZ initiated the solar sales tax exemption. This policy waived sales tax on all photovoltaic equipment to reduce the up-front cost of solar panels.

A year later, in 2001, AZ implemented its residential solar tax credit. This credit is for 25 percent of the total system value or $1,000, whichever is less. Most residents can only take $1,000, but it’s better than nothing.

In 2006, the statewide exemption for property taxes was put into place. This exemption prevents your tax-assessed value from increasing when your property value goes up after installing solar. Once again, this policy reduced the barrier to entry for solar energy.

That same year, the state’s RPS goal was amended to a minimum of 15 percent by 2025, this time with a 30% carve-out for distributed energy technologies, including solar systems. This further helped reduce the state’s carbon footprint and dependence on fossil fuels.

Net metering was finally introduced in 2008. This policy is one of the most beneficial policies for solar customers, as it helps reduce utility bills, even on days when panels underperform. It also helps reduce panel payback period for cash purchases and solar loans.

Unfortunately, this policy has had its ups and downs in AZ. The state implemented a charge to enjoy the benefits of net metering in 2014, and then in 2016, the policy was made significantly less appealing by converting it to net billing.

Net billing credits solar customers for energy at a lower, avoided-cost rate rather than the retail rate. This change resulted in many customers adding solar batteries to their systems. Home battery storage comes at a higher cost, but it helps get the maximum benefit from produced energy.

Finally, two years later, in 2018, Proposition 127 was proposed to raise the RPS to 50 percent by 2030. This failed, but the state enacted the Energy Modernization Plan, which bumped the RPS to 80 percent by 2050.

To reach this new goal, nuclear power was added to the RPS. Nuclear is considered clean, and companies like Arizona Public Service (APS) have committed to 50 percent clean energy — including nuclear — by 2050.

What Are the Solar Panel Incentives in Arizona?

Currently, Arizona residents have a handful of incentives and tax credits that make installing solar equipment more affordable and appealing. These include:

  • Net billing: The net billing policy mentioned above is still available today. Net billing isn’t as beneficial as buybacks at the retail price, but it’s better than nothing. It still helps homeowners offset electricity bills using excess energy.
  • Residential Solar Energy Tax Credit: This state tax credit is for 25 percent of the total system value you install or $1,000 credited to your income taxes owed, whichever is lower.
  • Federal solar tax credit: The federal tax credit is a credit offered by the federal government to your income taxes owed. There is no monetary cap, and it’s for an incredible 30% of the total system value. In Arizona, the ITC usually comes out to around $9,000. This applies to panels, solar energy storage solutions and inverters.
  • Property tax exemption: Solar equipment is expected to raise your property value.5 Normally, anything that boosts your home value also makes your taxes go up. The property tax exemption prevents this from happening, so it minimizes the downsides of installing solar systems.
  • Sales tax exemption: AZ doesn’t charge sales tax on any solar PV equipment, which saves over $1,000 for most solar customers.

You can get more information on the perks mentioned above by reading our guide to Arizona solar incentives.

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Find a Local Installer in Arizona

Choosing a solar installer is a big deal, no matter where you live. The company you pick will determine your overall experience with the solar industry, including the customer service you receive, the quality of the equipment and the warranty coverage you get.

solar panels in arizona
Credit: 8510670 / Pixabay

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Arizona is home to nearly 150 installers.6 Researching each of these can be a daunting task, so we’ve done the hard work for you. Below, we’ll provide some reviews of the top solar installation companies in different areas throughout AZ.

Shot of downtown Mesa, AZ
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Mesa

 Scottsdale, AZ on the water
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Scottsdale

Aerial view of Glendale, AZ
Credit: Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flickr

Best Solar Providers in Glendale

Shot of Lake Peoria in Arizona
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Peoria

Shot of downtown Yuma, AZ
Credit: Ken Lund / Flickr

Best Solar Providers in Yuma

Maricopa County Courthouse
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Maricopa

Aerial view of Tempe, AZ
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Tempe

Photo of downtown Flagstaff, AZ
Credit: Ken Lund / Flickr

Best Solar Providers in Flagstaff

Town Hall in Casa Grande, AZ
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Casa Grande

Overhead view of the City of Phoenix in AZ
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Phoenix

For more general recommendations that apply to all cities in the area — including other major cities, like Tucson — you can read through our articles on the best solar installers in AZ.

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Dan Simms, Home Improvement Expert
Article author
Dan Simms is an experienced writer with a passion for renewable energy. As a solar and EV advocate, much of his work has focused on the potential of solar power and deregulated energy, but he also writes on related topics, like real estate and economics. In his free time — when he's not checking his own home's solar production — he enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, skiing and rock climbing.