Solar Panels Tucson- Cost
How Much do Solar Panels Cost in Tucson?
Solar panels in Tucson are fairly affordable compared to some other places in the U.S. Solar panels are typically measured in terms of watts, and in Tucson you can expect to pay somewhere around $2.40 to $2.60 per watt. For an average sized home system that produces between 5 and 7 kilowatts of power, this means you’re going to pay something like $12,000 to $18,000 to have a system installed. This is, of course, before figuring in any discounts, credits, rebates, tax write-offs or any other incentives, which can actually reduce your cost by thousands of dollars.
What are the benefits of going solar?
The state of Arizona is practically begging you to go solar. They have as many incentives and rebates in place as any other state in the U.S., some of which are:
- State Net Metering Laws- Arizona has good net metering laws, which allow you to “sell” excess energy produced by your system back into the grid, thereby allowing your renewable energy system like solar panels to “pay” for itself, usually in the form of credits toward future energy bills.
- Arizona State Tax Credit- Arizona allows residents who install solar energy systems to get back up to $1,000 or 25% of the system’s cost in the form of a tax credit on your state tax returns.
- Arizona sales tax exemption- Arizona state laws prohibit charging sales tax on any solar energy products or services. On a purchase of $12,000 + dollars, this could save you approximately one fat wad of cash.
- Arizona Renewable Portfolio Standards- The state has mandated that utilities must get 15% of their total power production from renewable energy sources by the year 2025, which if you haven’t noticed is coming up here pretty soon. Instead of paying penalties for not meeting this percentage, many utilities are offering incentives of various kinds for customers who install renewable energy sources such as solar panels. The solar “carve out” (the portion of that 15% that MUST come from solar) is 2.5%, so utility companies have a heavy incentive to promote solar power.
- Arizona electric rates- Arizona ranks in the top half of the nation in terms of electricity costs. This means that any little bit you can knock off your electric bill using solar panels is probably going to be worth it sooner of later. Remember the higher electric rates are, the faster your solar panels will pay for themselves.
- Arizona property tax exemption- State law in Arizona prohibits the reassessing of property values for tax purposes based on the installation of renewable energy systems. This means that installing solar panels may increase your property value but will NOT increase your property tax responsibility. It’s a win / win.
- Federal Tax Credit- The federal tax credit for installation of solar panels is currently 26% of the entire cost of the system- Meaning you can write off potentially thousands of dollars from your federal income tax responsibility with the installation of solar panels IN ADDITION to all the other incentives and credits available.
How much will the addition of solar panels increase my home’s value?
There are a number of estimates out there about how much solar panels increase a home’s value, and there are a lot of factors involved, not the least of which is the simple preference of potential buyers- some people will be very excited about a home having solar panels, and some simply wont. A general rule of thumb is an increase of around 4% in value, and as of this writing the average sale price of single family home in Tucson was $305,000, meaning a 4% increase would add $12,200 to the value of your home. Considering the average price of a solar power system in Tucson is going to run you about that much, the system, in a way, automatically pays for itself.
What are the Effects of Net Metering on a Solar System?
Net metering is essentially the ability to “sell” excess energy created by your solar panels back into the grid. This unused energy is then “bought” by the utility company, usually in the form of “credits” toward future bills- In other words, in the months when you produce excess energy, those credits are rolled over to apply to future bills in months where you may use more than you produce.
How much solar power do I need to power my home?
There are a number of factors that affect how much power your home will use in the course of a year, such as size, preferred temperature, climate in your area, insulation, etc etc. A rough estimate would be around 6,000 to 7,000 kilowatt hours per year, which would equate to about 28 normal commercial 250 watt solar panels.
What is the “Payback” period for Solar Panels in Tuscon?
One great thing about solar panels is that in almost every instance, they will eventually pay for themselves, whether that’s through savings on electric bills, performance based incentives rebates or what have you. Living in Tucson, you are in a great situation as far as that goes, because your solar panels are estimated to pay for themselves very quickly, especially when compared to some other parts of the country. Depending on a number of factors such as home size, home energy usage, etc, your solar panels in Tucson could pay for themselves in as little as 3 to 7 years. What makes this even better is the fact that your solar panels are usually going to be under warranty for 25 years- meaning you can expect at least an additional 18 years of “free” electricity, possibly even making enough electricity that you are essentially making money off your system. This could put your lifetime savings at upwards of $40,000 to $50,000!! Not bad for such a small initial investment.
Grants & Loans & Other Incentives:
As I said before, Arizona is practically begging you to install a solar power system of some variety. Listed below are just a few of the other grants, loans and incentives you might be able to make use of.
- City of Tucson energy permit fee credit
- Arizona Geo Smart financing program.
- Renewable Energy Business Tax Incentives.
- Non-Residential Solar Tax Credits
- Arizona Public Service Renewable Incentive Program.
In addition to all this, Arizona residents may be eligible to borrow up to $15,000 from Fannie Mae at below market interest rates for the installation of solar panels and solar energy systems.
How do I get solar panels installed in Tucson?
So great news, you probably could have guessed that solar power is a booming business in the state of Arizona, and the city of Tucson is no exception. There are no fewer than a dozen businesses in operation who specialize in the installation of solar panels. One downside however is that Tucson is not part of a greater metropolitan area, so your choices are going to be a little bit limited in the sense that there aren’t really any nearby cities For that reason, all the businesses we are going to review are going to be from the immediate Tucson area.
Company: The Solar Store
Address: 2833 N Country Club Rd, Tucson, AZ 85716
Years in Business: 23
Reviews: 3.1 / 5 Solar reviews (1 review), 1 / 5 Better Business Bureau (1 review), 3.5 / 5 Yelp (16 reviews), 4 / 5 Facebook (28 reviews)
The Good: Lots of information on the website, they apparently do a good deal of business, a very good “About us” page (https://www.solarstore.com/about-us/)
The Bad: 3 complaints with the BBB, not great reviews
Summary: Where do we start? The Solar Store proudly announces on its website a combined 60 years of experience on the “about us” page on their website, and they do an excellent job of giving you all the positives and reasons you should give your business to them. Their website offers tons of information, and everything looks just fine, until you start reading some reviews. There are a surprising number of negative ones out there, more than I usually see doing these kinds of articles. Most of the negative reviews seem to be centered around their hot water heaters and solar pool heaters and their installation, and some of the negative reviews also cite other negative reviews that I was unable to find. One review from facebook sums up the complaints well: “Problems, problems, problems…”. So, as always, this may be a great company that does excellent work, but do your due diligence and make sure you know what you’re getting.
Company: Olympus Solar
Address: 1 S Church Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701
Years in Business: 9
Reviews: 5 / 5 Facebook (7 reviews)
The Good: Only a couple of bad reviews out there, no complaints with the BBB
The bad: Not many reviews out there at all! Very little web presence outside of their website and facebook page
Business Quote: “We opened our own company allowing us to have competitive pricing with better equipment and can treat you as you should be treated; A person, not a number”.
Summary: The owner touts his experience as a successful franchise manager for Kirby Vaccuums, which sounds great but I’m not sure what it has to do with running a solar power installation company. This is a strange company, and it’s hard to tell if they’re actually still in operation, as their website appears to be permanently out of commission. Hard to give much of a review on them, so you’re on your own with this one.
Company: Solar Gain
Address: 702 E 17th St, Tucson, AZ 85719
Years in Business:
Reviews: 5 / 5 Yelp (5 reviews), 4.5 / 5 Facebook (14 reviews), 2.4 / 5 Indeed (5 reviews- About working conditions)
Business Quote: “Our mission is to make the world a better place, one solar panel system at a time”
The Good: Lots of good reviews out there! Very nice website, no complaints with the BBB
Summary: Hard to find anything negative to say about this company. They have great reviews, looks like they do a lot of business, and their website says all the right things. I don’t see any reason to not look into this company when considering which direction to go for solar panels in Tucson.
Company: Net Zero Solar
Address: 945 W Silverlake Rd, Tucson, AZ 85713
Years in Business: 13
Reviews: 5 / 5 Yelp (10 reviews), 5 / 5 Solar Reviews (70 reviews),
Quote: “By asserting your energy independence, you not only invest in your stability but protect revenue and establish yourself as an innovative leader.”
The Good: 100% positive reviews on the internet as far as I can tell
The Bad: Literally nothing. I can’t find one bad thing to say about this company.
Summary: This company is so squeaky clean it makes me wonder if they’re some kind of a front for a drug cartel. I could not find one single negative thing about these people. Their website is excellent, they appear to do good work, and there really isn’t anything out there about them that I can find that isn’t positive. This company seems to especially push solar panels on commercial buildings more so than in homes, and they have numerous pictures out there to show their past work. This seems like another very good one to get in touch with when considering who to use for solar installation in Tucson, there doesn’t seem to be much chance of being disappointed.
Company: Custom Solar and Leisure
Address: 3941 E 29th St, Tucson, AZ 85711
Years in Business: 14
Reviews: 5 / 5 Better Business Bureau (5 reviews), 3.9 / 5 Solar Reviews (4 reviews), 4.9 / 5 Angi (51 reviews), 5 / 5 Yelp (2 reviews)
Quote: “A full-service Tucson solar company, is dedicated to providing high-quality alternative energy solutions at affordable rates.”
The Good: Very nice reviews, no complaints with the BBB, good information on the website and some nice photos of their work
The Bad: Nothing to speak of
Summary: Founded by Jeff Shoemaker in 2007, this company has obviously done a fine job of keeping customers happy in their 14 years of business. With virtually no bad reviews and no complaints with the BBB, CS&L has clearly been doing something right. Their website has lots of good information, including a very easy breakdown of how much you can expect a system from them to cost (here: https://customsolarandleisure.com/solar-tax-incentives-tucson-arizona/), and they even break down how much you can expect to save off tax incentives etc. Overall, this company looks like a winner and a good one to take a look at when considering the addition of solar panels in the Tucson area.
Company: REPOWER Old Pueblo
Address: 4959 East 29th St., Tucson, AZ 85711
Years in Business: ??
Reviews: 5 / 5 Yelp (5 reviews),
Quote: “ … “ (Seriously, I couldn’t find a single line of text from this business)
The Good: Hard to find anything bad about these people
The Bad: Hard to find anything at all about these people
Summary: Their website no longer seems to be working, and their facebook does not appear to have been updated in 3 years. I don’t see anything telling me for certain this business has shut down, but I definitely can’t find any evidence that they’re still operating.
So, all in, what do we know about solar panels in Tucson? It’s very simple:
1) Solar power is more affordable and more encouraged in the state of Arizona than the majority of other states
2) Your system will almost certainly pay for itself *very* quickly in Tucson, possibly in as few as 6 years, meaning you’ll be getting “free” electricity for the next 19 years
3) You stand to save more money than in almost any other state by installing solar panels in Tucson
4) There are more companies that specialize in solar power in Tucson than most other places in the U.S.
Combine all these elements and you can only come to one conclusion: The decision on whether or not to go solar in Tucson is obvious- You literally can’t lose on this one.