Are Solar Panels Worth it in Phoenix? Some Things to Consider Before Going Solar

Have you been thinking about going solar in Phoenix? Here is a breakdown that may help in making this decision a little easier for you. With such a large investment, you’ll want to take some time to do your research. Learning the ins and outs of going solar in Phoenix, you may want to get a quote right away. Here are some important considerations before going solar:

1. Amount of Sunlight

Phoenix is the sunniest major city in the United States with an average of 211 completely clear days each year. With 3,872 hours of sunshine, solar companies in Phoenix have their work cut out for them! Solar panels in Phoenix can be more efficient than in any other major city with 85% sunshine. The shade trees that may hang over your roof are also a factor in deciding where to put your new solar panels. If there is too much shade, you may consider removing some trees to maximize the effectiveness of your solar panels. Phoenix is an excellent place to go solar due to a maximum amount of sunlight and a minimum amount of shade trees.

2. Roof Condition

Roof condition is a key consideration before going solar. In Arizona, solar companies recommend that you get your roof replaced if it will be in need of replacement within the next five to ten years. There is an added cost to replacing your roof, but don’t worry!  In addition to solar, you can take the federal government tax credit of 26% on your roof repair or replacement in 2020 (see #7 below). The important thing to know is that when going solar, it’s a great time to consider roof repairs and upgrades.

3. Get Multiple Quotes

Solar companies in Arizona have to compete to give their customers the best bid with the highest quality of service. By understanding your electrical usage, your specialist can build a custom system to offset 100% of the electricity you are using each year. Arizona solar incentives, federal solar tax credits, and warranties come into play when you want to get the best quote to maximize your return on investment (ROI). Receiving quotes from multiple solar companies in Phoenix, AZ holds companies accountable as you seek the one that’s right for you.

4. Lease vs Purchase

When you lease a system, a third party actually owns the equipment. That means you may need to sign a power purchase agreement (PPA).   Through a lease, you actually pay for the energy your system creates rather than the equipment itself. You’re more likely to be interested in leasing if you don’t want the responsibility of maintaining the system or if you pay little to no income tax making it difficult to take advantage of the government’s tax incentives.  When you decide to purchase a system with cash or obtain a solar loan, then you own the system and the energy it produces. While the environmental benefits are important, most people who choose to purchase their system are considering the financial benefits of a rapid ROI and an increased market value for their home.

5. Can an HOA Ban the Installation of Solar Panels?

In many states, including the state of Arizona, “solar access rights” laws have been enacted in order to prevent homeowner’s associations from banning the installation of solar panels. HOA’s can have control over where and how the panels are installed, but they may not affect the efficiency or cost of the project in any way. In other words; you’re in the clear to install solar if you are living in an HOA community.

6. Rate Changes and Plans

It is good to keep a close eye on the rates of your local utility company. Most of the population of Phoenix is serviced by Arizona Public Service (APS). The cost of electricity in Arizona has increased by $0.224 per kWh between the years 2007 to 2017. Going solar with APS is better than most Arizona utility companies because they are regulated by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC). The ACC is a publicly elected body.  By regulating rate changes, this body ensures that the utility company doesn’t operate as a monopoly. APS services residential solar customers in Arizona by buying back a system’s overproduction of the energy through a process called net metering. Every year since 2017, the ACC has voted to decrease their solar buyback rate by 10%, the maximum annual decrease allowed.. The good news is that when you sign up for net-metering through APS, you will be grandfathered at the then-current buyback rate for ten years. 

7. Tax Credits

Federal tax credits are a good way to reduce the initial investment of purchasing solar panels in Phoenix. If your new system is installed before the end of 2019, then you will receive 30% of your investment back. That percentage drops to 26% in 2020 then again in 2021 to 22%. In 2022, the federal tax refund will be completely phased out, so there is not going to be a better time to go solar! There is also an Arizona state solar tax credit with a value of 25% up to $1,000. 


In Arizona, solar panels have an overwhelming ability to reduce carbon in the atmosphere while also optimizing your return on investment (ROI). If you finish reading and decide that solar isn’t the best fit for you right now but you would still like to save money on electricity and reduce your carbon footprint, there is a lot you can do to increase energy efficiency and savings in your home. Learn about the different ways you can save money just by increasing energy efficiency. If you think solar is something that would be beneficial for you and your family, just fill out the form at the top of this page to get more info or a free evaluation to see if solar is right for you!

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