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Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Solar Panels in Arizona

This page is a complete guide to the complicated and sometimes confusing process of installing solar panels on your Arizona home. Since there's a lot to consider, we've separated the page into sections to help you find what you are looking for. If you find this page useful, please share it with someone who might also find it interesting!

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** What's new for 2020 **

It's 2020, and Arizona is one of the sunniest states in the country. Just because of this fact alone, you can save a lot of money here with solar. If Arizona lawmakers really want bolster the home solar industry, we're gonna need a much stronger, updated renewable portfolio standard here. The appointees to the Arizona Corporation Commission are not making this process easy, and we're watching what they do this year very closely.

We’re expecting an update to the standard in early 2020. We’ll update this page when that happens. Read on to understand why the standard is so important to a sound solar investment for your home.

Questions? Our network of solar experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page. You can get discounted pricing as low as $3,500/kW! This is paired with strong Arizona incentives below.

What you'll find on this page:

The Solar Strategy section is focused on the 3 ways of paying for solar in Arizona, so you can decide which is best for you. We've created a tool that asks you a few questions and recommends whether you should pursue a solar lease, loan, or outright purchase. Then, we provide detailed analysis of how each works.

The Policy Information section contains all our latest research on the rules set by lawmakers and the Public Utilities Commission, which determine how easy it is to go solar in Arizona. These policies and rules govern everything from renewable energy mandates to interconnection, and have a huge effect on the viability of solar.

Finally, the Solar Incentives section includes information about money-back rebates and grants, tax credits, and tax exemptions for going solar in Arizona.

Click any of the boxes below to go to that section of the page, or scroll down to read the page in order.

Generate an accurate online solar estimate for your home

Your Solar Strategy in Arizona

Figuring out the best way to go solar in Arizona can be a little daunting. From loans and leases to power-purchase agreements, there are a lot of options out there. To help you pick the one that might be best, we've created the handy decision tool below.

We'll ask you a few simple questions about you and your home. Once you're done, we'll recommend a good option. Further down this page, we provide cost estimates and example return-on-investment calculations for all the various options:

How should you pay for solar?

Use our decision tool to find out!

How to pay for solar panels in Arizona

The chart above shows the 25-year returns for an investment in solar whether you choose to purchase a system with cash or pay over time with a loan or solar PPA. As you can see, the purchase option leads to the highest dollar-amount returns over time, but it also requires a big up-front investment. If you take a solar loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC), though, your payments over 15 years will be a little more than your savings, but you'll still come out ahead in the end.

The last option is for a solar PPA, or power-purchase agreement, which means you put $0 down on a rooftop solar system and get electricity savings by paying less for the solar energy than you would for dirty power from APS. PPAs can be a good option if you don't have any equity or cash to put down, because they'll still save you money in the long run.

The average homeowner in Arizona uses about 7,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year, and at APS utility rates, that equals about $1,576 out of your pocket and into the utility company's coffers every year. If you invest in a 7.8-kW solar system of twenty-four 325-watt panels, you could make enough electricity to erase the up-front cost of the system in 11 years and then enjoy free electricity for at least 14 more years as the solar panels keep producing under the original manufacturer's warranty.

A note on where we get our numbers.

The numbers used in the charts are estimates for a home within APS territory as of 2020. Arizona doesn't have standard net metering rules, so APS pays a different amount for the excess electricity produced by solar panels than the state's other electric utilities do. SRP, TEP, and all the rural co-ops in Arizona have different rates.

Numbers for usage and electricity prices come from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Average output of solar panels comes from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Solar bill credits are source from APS's RCP rate rider.

Read on to find out more about each option you have when paying for solar in Arizona.

How much can solar panels on roof save you?

Option 1: Paying cash for solar

An outright purchase used to be the only way to get solar, and it's still the option that provides the best dollar-for-dollar returns. The reason it's so great is that you own the system from day one and reap all the benefits. The Federal and State tax credit and electricity savings bring your first-year costs way down.

In our example, you put down $25,740, but by the end of year 1, incentives and energy savings will erase a bunch of it. Over 25 years, your system will have produced over $30,000 in income.

But even though that sounds huge, look into the solar loan option too, because taking a loan to buy an income-generating asset means you'll be making money as you pay for it.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for an Arizona solar purchase of a 7.8-kW rooftop solar system:

  • Installing a typical 7.8kW solar system should start at about $25,740. Don’t worry – even without rebates, your first-year costs will be considerably less than that.
  • Since the feds calculate their incentive based on actual out of pocket costs, no rebate means a bigger federal solar tax credit. Subtract $6,692 (30% of $24,000) for a new price of $19,048.
  • Arizona has a solar tax credit, too, which will take another $1,000 off, for a new total of $18,048.
  • After the tax credits, we subtract your first year’s energy savings, which we estimate to be about $1,576. That reduces your cost after the first year to only $16,472.
  • Over the 25-year life of your system, you'll see a total net profit of $30,108, after the system pays for itself.
  • And don't forget... your home's value just increased by about $19,000, too (your expected cost after the federal tax credit)!
  • In addition to all that cash (and home value), you’ve created some green for the earth as well by not using electricity from fossil fuels. It's like planting 234 trees a year, every year your solar power system is humming.
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Arizona. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar panel system, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Option 2: Using a loan to pay for solar

This is without a doubt the best option when it comes to percentage return on investment. That’s because it relies on using someone else’s money for the purchase price, which is paid back over time. The cost is similar to a new car loan, but because solar makes you money, it's a tremendous investment.

A solar purchase like this makes sense because in Arizona, you can get a solar loan with a fixed rate of 4.5% or lower and a 15-year repayment period.

The reason this works so well is that you don’t have to put any money down, but you still get all of the incentives that go along with buying solar. You'll get the 30% federal tax credit and the energy bill savings will start right away. The bad news is your loan payments will be a little bit higher than those energy bill savings, so you'll end up spending about $70/month for solar in the first year. That difference will come down each year as electricity prices rise, but your system will keep on producing about the same amount of electricity.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for an Arizona solar purchase with a solar loan:

  • Installing a typical 7.8-kW solar system should start at about $25,740. That's how big your loan will need to be to cover it.
  • The electricity you'll save in the first year of operation would have cost $1,576, but your loan payments will total $2,363, for a difference of $787, or about $66 per month.
  • That's not so bad when you consider your federal tax savings for the year will be $6,692! On top of that, Arizona offers an income tax credit of $1,000.
  • You'll come out an estimated $6,906 ahead in year 1, which should help ease the burden of loan payments for a few years, at least.
  • After the loan is paid off, your profits stack up just like if you bought the system outright. You'll end up with $20,404 in profits over our 25-year example.
  • On top of the green that will stay in your pocket, your system will mean green for the environment, too. 234 trees-worth, every year!
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Arizona. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar loan, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Option 3: Buying the electricity, not the panels with a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)

Arizona used to be one of the best places in the country for solar PPAs... but not anymore. With the uncertainty caused by the switch from net metering to sub-retail "resource comparison proxy" rates, solar companies have to charge more for every kilowatt-hour under a PPA.

For now, choosing a PPA in Arizona starts at about $.125/kWh, and can save you about $3 per month, which might not sound like a lot, but adds up to a reasonably large amount of money over the 20-year contract.

PPAs work because solar companies can take advantage of tax credits, too, which means they can offer to install panels on your roof for $0 down, and sell you the electricity made by the panels in order to recoup their cost. Electricity from a PPA is designed to be cheaper than what the same number of kWh would have cost you from the utiilty company, and as the latter raises prices every year, a PPA should continue to save you money.

Our ultimate estimate for the savings from a solar PPA in Arizona is just over $5,200 over 25 years. That's no small number, and if you can't make solar work with cash or a loan, a PPA might be a good object for you. There's a lot more to learn about solar PPAs, though, so if you're interested in one, keep reading!

Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Arizona. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar PPA, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Calculate solar panel cost and savings for your specific home

Arizona Solar Policy Information

Ever wonder why solar seems to be everywhere in some states, but not in others? We did too.

State legislatures and public utilities commissions can enact rules to make solar power accessible for everyone. Favorable rules explain why some of the cloudiest states—New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, are doing so well with solar, and yet some of those with the most natural solar resources—like Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia—are doing so poorly.

Below is important information about the public policy, rules, and economic reasons that affect your ability to go solar here in Arizona:

Arizona's Renewable Portfolio Standard

15% by 2025

Grade: C

Arizona's Renewable Portfolio Standard grade

While Arizona does have a renewable portfolio standard, it isn't all that ambitious compared to some other states. At present, the legislature has required utilities to derive at least 15% of their energy mix from renewable sources by 2025. About 15% of that requirement (or 2.25% of total sales) needs to come from residential sited renewable generation of electricity - like solar panels.

Again, that isn't much these days. Arizona hasn't updated its renewable law in years, and it's getting taken over by states like New York, California, Vermont, and Hawaii. If Arizona really wants to show us how it's done when it comes to solar, we're gonna need some strong new standards here, and quick! Luckily, we’re expecting an update to the standard in early 2020. We’ll update this page when that happens.

Learn more about Renewable Portfolio Standards

Arizona's Solar carve-out and SRECs

2.25% by 2025

Grade: B

Arizona's Solar Carve-out grade

Arizona’s renewable portfolio standards require utilities to generate a portion of their renewable output from distributed energy technologies -- 30% to be exact. Additionally, half of this requirement must be derived from residential installations. Luckily for you, this requirement can be fulfilled by residential solar systems, but it is not limited to just solar panels.

Learn more about Solar Carve-outs

Arizona Electricity Prices


Grade: C

Arizona's Electricity cost grade

The average cost of electricity in Arizona stands now at about $0.12/kwh - that's pretty cheap. Too cheap for our comfort, actually. Natural gas is driving those costs down, and the state and feds have been subsidizing coal for too long. Once that price comes up with the associated costs of burning dirty fossil fuels, you'll see the payback time frame for solar decrease dramatically.

Find out why electricity prices matter

Arizona Net Metering

Scrapped for 10 year feed

Grade: D

Arizona's Net Metering grade

What’s net metering? It’s the policy that lets you store your extra solar energy with the utility, and they then credit your bill at night when the sun ain’t shining any more.  So, no batteries needed.

The trouble here is Arizona Public Service (APS), the state's largest utility company, has done everything they can to kill net metering in the state. Extra fees on solar owners, reduced payments for your electricity, etc. APS employees have even been caught texting members of the Commission responsible for deciding what to do about net metering in the state. Ugly, man.

It's bad enough to earn the state a "C" grade unless and until they can turn things around. We're hopeful that will happen sometime before 2024, but there's no telling what will happen. After all, this is the state that elects anti-solar governors and votes against increasing the share of renewable energy they use. What's up, AZ?

More about Arizona Net Metering

The state legislature's abdication of its responsibility to protect citizens of the state has led to the Arizona Corporation Commission allowing each utility company to set its own renewable energy rates, meaning customers of APS, SRP, TEP, and all the smaller co-ops and utilities in the state have come up with reams of confusing and arcane rate schedules and figuring out which one is best for you almost takes a Ph.D. in electricity rate policy.

Or it would, if not for one small benefit of capitalism: solar installers have a vested interest in figuring all this stuff out and helping you choose the plan that will save you the most money with your home solar system. So they have. The best way to get an accurate picture of how much you can save with solar is to Get multiple quotes from local solar companies, and use their knowledge (and testimonials from their satisfied customers) to guide your decision-making process.

But what about those arcane rate schedules and rules? Here's a rundown of the net metering policies of Arizona's three largest utility companies:

APS logo

APS Solar Net Metering

APS serves nearly 3 million customers in Arizona, and covers many of the state's most populated areas. As we mentioned above, the utility has been involved in spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobby for its preferred candidates on the Arizona Corporation Commission, the body that governs how utilities set rates in Arizona

Despite that underhanded dealing, APS still offers some of the best rates for home solar system owners, which—while not qualifying as "net metering"—do offer some measure of surety in that they lock in solar rates for 10 years.

Currently, APS allows solar owners to sign up for one of 4 time-of-use rate schedules, called Saver Choice, Saver Choice Plus, and Saver Choice Max. Those names are basically meaningless on their own, but what you need to know is they offer, in the order we listed them, decreasing per-kWh charges for electricity and increasing Demand Charges based on your peak usage.

Every APS solar rate schedule includes a set amount the company will credit you for any excess solar energy you generate. Currently $0.1045/kWh, that rate is locked in for 10 years for customers whose systems are installed before 9/1/2020. If you like reading long, complicated documents full of numbers and legalese, here's a PDF with more information on the rider.

Demand charges are fixed costs on your energy bill based on your maximum electricity usage (or "demand") during the peak hours in any given month (3-8 pm Monday through Friday except holidays). The key with APS solar metering is to minimize your energy usage during peak times, so you can be sure to pay lower costs to APS.

One method of lowering usage is to install your solar array on a west-facing roof to capture more of the late-afternoon sun, but even then, you'll probably need electricity from the grid before 8 p.m. for much of the year. Another way is to install a home battery system like the Tesla Powerwall.

Even after all of the above, solar can still save you a lot of money in APS territory. Get quotes from top solar companies to see how much you can save with solar for your home.

SRP logo

SRP Solar Net Metering

SRP currently offers a plan called "E-27," which is a time-of-use rate that also features increased monthly flat fees and demand charges, but offers the benefit of extremely low per-kWh rates. Therefore, if you can limit your monthly peak usage by reducing air conditioning and other electrical use from 1-8 pm during the summer and 5-9 am/5-9 pm during the winter, you can save quite a bit compared to your pre-solar bills.

SRP also offers a battery storage incentive program that offers direct rebates to homeowners who install solar batteries. The current incentive offers $150 per kWh of storage, up to $1,800 maximum, but it may be wise to wait: SRP has proposed doubling the current battery incentive. At $300/kWh, that would account for about half of the cost of the battery itself (not including installation). At that price, home batteries begin to make a lot more sense, especially given their ability to eliminate your daily peak usage and reduce demand charges associated with the E-27 rate.

Finally, SRP's board has passed new alternatives to its E-27 plan that could end up saving solar owners a bit of money, at least to begin with. The new plans are set to take effect later in 2019, so check with local solar installers to find your best option.

TEP logo

TEP Solar Net Metering

TEP currently offers its solar-owning customers a payment of 9.64 cents for every kWh of excess electricity they send onto the grid, which isn't too bad, considering. They also offer time-of-use billing that can help solar owners save money during peak and off-peak hours alike, with ultra-low off-peak rates.

The export rate is locked in for 10 years, and considering TEP's relatively low rate of increase in retail electric prices (1.3% over 20 years), it's a good deal. But that 9.64 cents/kWh is 2019's rate, and it will change—very likely for the worse—each year after today. It behooves solar-interested homeowners to get quotes for solar today, and lock in that rate for the next 10 years before TEP lowers it.

Learn more about net metering

Arizona Interconnection Rules


Grade: F

Arizona's Interconnection Standards grade

While there's good news on the net-metering front, there are fragmented policies in terms of how easy it is to connect to the grid which vary from utility to utility. The bureaucratic headaches haven't been completely eradicated, but things are getting markedly better for Arizona solar panels to be installed and processed as quickly as possible.

Learn more about solar interconnection rules

Arizona Solar Incentives

Next to high electricity prices and net metering, solar incentives have traditionally been the most important factor for whether home solar power makes financial sense in a state. In the past, some states with otherwise lousy policy had tremendous incentives that drove down the up-front cost of going solar so much that homeowners could save oodles of money even without net metering or a good RPS.

These days, the big incentive most people can get is the Federal Solar Tax Credit that earns you 26% of your total system costs back after just 1 year. State incentives play less of a role than in the past, but some really good ones are still out there, ready to help homeowners go solar and save money before you know it.

Let's see how Arizona measures up:

The availability of state solar incentives for residential solar systems was sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, utility company websites, and the state public utility commission.

Arizona Solar Power Rebates

Varies by utility

Grade: C

Arizona's Solar Rebates grade

With its strong RPS, Arizona once had a great variety of solar panel rebate programs offered by nearly all the state's electric utilities. However, many of those generous solar panel rebate programs have been exhausted because utilities are getting close to meeting their requirements for off-site solar electricity production.

The good news is some rebates still exist for certain homeowners. The bad news is that they only exist for customers of a handful of rural electric co-ops. If you're a customer of any of the co-ops listed below, you're in luck. Get yourself a quote as soon as possible so these rebates don't slip through your fingers!

Here's a current list of Arizona solar power rebates:

Utility CompanyRebate AmountCap
Duncan Valley Electric Cooperative$.05/watt$500
Mohave Electric Cooperative$.05/watt$2,500

Pretty limited, eh? We'd like to see a return to smart solar incentives that help get panels up on home roofs, but that won't happen without Arizonans banding together to demand new laws. Get involved with Vote Solar in Arizona and demand better solar laws from the legislature and the ACC.

Learn more about solar rebates

Arizona Solar Tax Credits

25% capped at $1k

Grade: C

Arizona's Solar Tax Credits grade

Every resident in Arizona who installs solar panels gets a State Tax Credit of 25% of the total system cost, up to $1000, to be used toward State income taxes. And of course, you Arizonans also benefit from the 26% Federal Solar Tax Credit as well. There's no cap on the federal tax credit and it can be claimed over multiple years if necessary.

Learn more about state solar tax credits

Property Tax Exemption


Grade: A

Arizona's Solar Property Tax Exemptions grade

As a homeowner with solar panels in Arizona, you get two other great benefits from the state: your solar purchase is exempt from higher property taxes due to the increased value of your home and...

Sales Tax Exemption


Grade: A

Arizona's Solar Sales Tax Exemption grade
In addition to the property tax incentive, you save up-front on solar in Arizona because the state exempts solar equipment and installation from taxation.
Learn more about tax exemptions for solar

Low-income Solar Programs


Grade: F

Arizona's Solar Sales Tax Exemption grade Learn more about low-income solar programs available in the U.S.

The consensus on Arizona solar power rebates and incentives

While things aren’t as good as they used to be in Arizona, it’s still a top state for solar, for more reasons than just its latitudinal positioning. Still, without good net metering rules, a solid solar carve out and great tax exemptions can only take you so far. We commend Arizona for its forethought, but wonder what’s going on now, when so many more people could benefit from strong net metering protections?

32 thoughts on “Home Solar Panels in Arizona | 2020 Solar Rebates, Tax Credits and Incentives

  1. Avatar for prospector prospector says:

    SRP charges a monthly connection fee around $50.00 so it’s clear they are trying to make it uneconomic for people to install solar panels.

  2. Avatar for tony serhal tony serhal says:

    we own 40 acres of raw land in the tortolita area and we are very close to considering moving to AZ and building energy and water efficient home. can this or these programs come to play for us and how? we do have power line at property. a well must be drilled though’ awaiting your intake on this

  3. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    If I get a $100/kW credit from the utility company, does that mean the volume of energy my system puts out for me (even though I use it all behind my meter) counts towards meeting my utility’s RPS obligation? If so, it seems, adding solar and taking the utility incentive, makes my solar non-additive and it therefore saves no CO2 as it is just displacing my utility’s other obligations to install renewables for RPS. Can you confirm or clarify the case? Thank you.

  4. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    stop calling me.

  5. Avatar for zigg parky zigg parky says:

    JFK said ask not….
    And that is what this solar rage all about. Every comment mentions what they could “get” never thinking about who is the “giver”. That 30% you got from the gov was from YOU! And your state “subsidy” for going solar was from YOU. And if we could bust the nasty ol utilities by demanding this and that and making my meter spin backwards all sounds like we crossed the true line of entering the ME generation that does not realize the importance of having a financial healthy grid operator/service provider.
    Think about if a 100% of the people ALL did the 125% PV system and everyone sold their extra to their provider. Numbers don’t work out.
    Someday PV will stand own two feet ,but not until people are willing to see that 25K solar system is an investment in the future and your 25K+ vehicle is not

  6. Avatar for Tom Solar Man Tom Solar Man says:

    I liked your infographic for how long it would take for your solar panels to make a return on investment. Might use that in future with permission.

  7. Avatar for Clarence Clarence says:

    I give solar in Arizona an “F”. Electricity at 0.11 per kwh is just too cheap to make it work. Anyone with an accounting background will tell you this. My friend in California, however, who pays 0.35 per kwh, was justified in getting his system.

    Your analysis is woefully inadequate. It doesn’t account for maintenance, loss of efficiency over time and most importantly, the return one could get simply by investing the money used for the solar panels in something else. Also, the rebates you site are non-existent. By the time you account for these factors, you will NEVER break even with simply investing your money in bank CDs.

  8. Avatar for Shane Shane says:

    APS rebate is not correct. It’s only $0.10 a watt now.

  9. Avatar for Warner Warner says:

    I was talking with a mate last week that’s studying to become a domestic electrician, I think he is in an apprenticeship right now. They couldn’t
    stop complaining about the job though, it appears a lot of his job was
    in poor conditions or he ended up carrying out a lot of paperwork.
    He will get used to it all!

  10. Avatar for Jamie Jamie says:

    I second Adams’ comment. I study solar energy policy in AZ, and have never heard of any state rebate, let alone one for as much as $7500. Please share the source of this rebate, or recalculate to give an accurate cost of solar installation in AZ. Thank you.

  11. Avatar for Adams Adams says:

    “State Rebate: subtract $7,500 ($1,500/kW x 5)”
    I live in Arizona, I am installing a PV system, and I have never heard of this state rebate. I went to the DoR website, and still couldn’t find. Can you please pass me a link?

  12. Avatar for GreenTucson GreenTucson says:

    Hey thanks for the great solar article. I am doing some research for my blog and this really helped.

  13. Avatar for George George says:

    I bought a 5000 Watt solar sytem for my house in Prescott Valley. It was turned on 9/10/2010 and has generated some power evry single day even in heavy rain and snow. From Sept thru Dec it has generated more power per month than used from APS. My electic bills for those months was the minimum of $9.50. I just recieved by net metering results from APS which shows 830KWh credit for the year and a $51 credit to my account for only 3.5 months (the worst 3 months for solar). Bottom line, APS will be paying me!

    1. Avatar for Tom Tom says:

      Lucky you George! Too bad APS was allowed to kill net metering.but when you can slide some $$ under the table to your pals in the state legislature, you can get away with murder.

  14. Avatar for Leslie Leslie says:

    You are eligible to receive an Off-Grid rebate as long as you are a current subscriber to the local Utility Company. Navajo County, is that APS? Are you currently tied to the grid? You can start by contacting your utility company. If you are not a current rate-payer then I would find out who your provider would be and contact them. Sorry I couldn’t be much help. Feel free to check out for all rebate information.

  15. Avatar for Michael Michael says:

    We are planning to install a Solar-Wind Off-Grid system in the near future. Location: Navajo County, near Holbrook.

    I figure my out of pocket will be $25k (Plug & Play).

    We are Canadian.

    Are we exempt from Arizona / USA Solar/Wind Rebates, or are we able to receive these Rebates as well?

    We are planning on a permanent move to the state, eventually becomming Nationalized Citizens.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  16. Avatar for Terri Terri says:

    Just to give an update, the excellent incentives by the larger utilities have been severely slashed which is bad news for we installers trying to sell solar. APS has gone from $3/watt up to 50% of the system down to $2.15/watt which was supposed to last for awhile, however, even though this was news was just released we already received an email from APS stating that with all of the apps put on hold while the corporation commission ruled on its request to lower its incentive, the 3 megawatts set aside for that $2.15/watt have already been used up and so now they are at $1.95/watt for any future systems. SRP’s i thought was great to, until I realized that they have a cap of $13,500, which makes their true rebate average about $1.75/watt or so depending on systems size. So AZ is not rocking near as hard as it did. Just thought you would like the update.

  17. Avatar for Mallik Mallik says:

    If I were a residential solar panel installer , which top three state should I be targeting ?

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

      Check out our State by State report card and go for the top. Although that data’s a little old now, much still applies.

  18. Avatar for Paul Paul says:

    I signed a contract for solar panels and paid half in October. Installation was promised in December. Panels were not delivered, so installation is delayed until well into 2010. I want to claim the tax credits for 2009–can I?

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:


      I’d love to tell you one way or another, but this is beyond our expertise. Please consult with a tax person. Sorry.

  19. Avatar for Brad Traver Brad Traver says:

    I’m penciling out whether to pay APS the $15k they want to bring power to my site (so I could install a grid-tied system)or to go with an off-grid system. It comes down to whether APS will make good on the $2/watt rebate they advertise for off-grid systems. Have you heard of any difficulties getting this rebate? Thanks.

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

      Brad, We haven’t heard of any issues. But just be sure that you or your installer comply with all of the code requirements and any other regulations. If you put panels up and claim to them that they will generate so much power, be sure that’s accurate and that your angles, wires, and other inefficiencies are taken into account. Don’t try to fudge anything, because there’s a good chance they will audit all of your figures before giving you the rebate with a site visit.

      Hope that helps.

  20. Avatar for Lars Pettersen Lars Pettersen says:

    Lars Pettersen, Peoria, Arizona. Very informative except for SRP caps out at $13,500 where APS goes to 50% up to $75,000 Great webb site!! From American Way Solar, Lars Pettersen

  21. Avatar for jerry jerry says:

    We are thinking about building in oracle, az but the electrical utility, BIA San Carlos Irrigation Project, does not allow net metering. I believe the only utility in state after january 1, 2010 to not allow. Anyone with suggestions on how to get SCIP on board?

  22. Avatar for Richard Richard says:

    Although the current incentives are good (and real money), the payback analysis is flawed (as of 2009). If you are on any of the TOU plans, power you generate is credited to the future purchase of the SAME TIME CLASS of power. That is, power you generate at on-peak times is not applied to off-peak use. APS has only one plan without this gotcha – their “Standard” rate. Also, for every KWh you buy from APS, you pay for “system benefits”, transmission, and delivery charges per KWh but you don’t get paid back for these charges when you put the power back on the grid. You only get credited for the “generation” part of the calculation. Unfortunately, the bottom line is that the power company is in business to make money and they will play numbers games as necessary in order to make what they want from you.

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

      Good info, Richard. Thanks! These are always estimates we do with software, but they do get out of date. The differences here, as you noted, could extend your payback time, depending on your usage, time of usage, and utility. Thanks again for commenting!

  23. Avatar for Forrest Deleot Forrest Deleot says:

    Can you please explain what Tennessee has to offer in regards to incentives for larger commercial solar pv systems.

  24. Avatar for Guin Guin says:

    The new net metering law went into effect, and now Sulpher Springs will have to pay for any power that goes back into the grid, as long as you didn’t sign the agreement that went with the rebate on the system. Don’t take the incentive, and you get the net-metering pay.

  25. Avatar for Scott Smusz Scott Smusz says:

    In the last 3 years I’ve wittnessed the cost of a solar systems for residential use DOUBLE in price! What the heck do you think the reason? We are being ripped off again! Solar companies are gouging the customer and taking all the incentives up front and the customer ends up paying through the nose. I hate these people and I hate the utilities companies. I’ll build my own system and screw you all!

  26. Avatar for John John says:

    What gets me is that the utility companies control the rebates. Sulpher Springs won’t rebate anyone who wants a off-grid system. The lack of net-metering also means that during the day when I’m at work, the majority of the electricity generated by my system will go into the grid, to someone else’s building, and Sulphur Springs will get paid for my electicity that I won’t get credit for.

  27. Avatar for Tony Tony says:

    I am a strong proponent of using all options available to reduce utility costs. the one BIG complaint I have with the current rebate / tax structure is that there are more options available to reduce initial out of pocket costs for companies than individuals. The exact size solar system that I install will cost me more out of pocket than a company. there are more homes than businesses. shouldn’t the push to solar or wind power be directed, at the least, equally ? Reducing CO2, reducing stress on the existing grid, etc is the same regardless of where similar solar systems are installed. If you ask me, all new homes in southern CA, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas should come with solar panels on the roof. With government restrictions on new power plant construction, local battles against their construction (NIMBY), power companies should PUT them on any home that agrees to them. Run the house and any and all excess is pushed to the grid for everyone else to use. 8 hours a day I’m at work so little if any electrical device is in use.

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