Solar Panel Installation in Arizona Cost Guide
Updated: 19 Aug 2022
Solar Panel Installation in Arizona
Updated: Jul 29, 2021
Reviewed by Cristina Miguelez remodeling expert. Written by Fixr.com.
If you live in sunny Arizona, your home may be ideally suited to install solar panels. While Arizona has lower-than-average electricity costs, it also sees an average of more than 299 sunny days a year and scorching heat for several months. This means you may be paying a lot in energy bills to run your air conditioner. Installing solar panels can help eliminate those costs, capturing the state’s naturally sunny climate and making it work to your advantage.
The cost to install solar panels in Arizona varies depending on your location, home size, and system type. The state average cost range is $12,900 to $15,180, with most homeowners paying around $14,040 for a 6 kW system using monocrystalline panels mounted on the roof. This project’s low cost is $4,300 for a 2 kW system using polycrystalline panels mounted on the roof. The high cost is $48,000 for a 10 kW system using monocrystalline panels with a full battery backup installed on an array.
Cost to Install Solar Panels in Arizona
|Cost of Solar Panels in Arizona|
|National average cost||$14,040|
Cost of Solar Panels in Arizona by Type
Solar panels can be installed in two ways. The first type is the most common and called a grid-tied system. This means you still have access to the state’s electrical grid. At night or on a day when the sun is not as strong, you could switch to traditional electricity to power your home. The solar panels can help lower your energy costs or remove them completely, depending on the system size and type. You can install a grid-tied system of any size, from small systems that power a fraction of your home to large systems that can meet higher-than-average energy needs.
The second system is known as off-grid. In this scenario, you cut ties with the state’s electrical grid and rely solely on your solar panels, batteries, and other backup systems. Off-grid systems are much larger than grid-tied systems and require batteries to power your home at night. You can legally go off-grid in Arizona, but you need special permits and may have restrictions on the batteries and battery storage, depending on the area. Because off-grid systems are so large and require more permits and inspections, they are much more costly than grid-tied systems. Below are the average costs for both systems when installed in Arizona.
|Type||Average Cost (Installed)|
|Grid-Tied||$12,900 - $15,180|
|Off-Grid||$28,000 - $58,000|
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Solar Panel Cost per Watt in Arizona
Solar panels are typically sold and installed by the watt. The panels may generate between 250 and 400 watts per panel, with the average home in Arizona needing around 6,000 watts or 6 kilowatts to meet the energy needs with large air conditioning systems. However, you can install a smaller system to off-set some of your costs or a much larger system if you have higher-than-average energy needs. The average cost per watt in Arizona ranges from $2.15 to $2.53 a watt.
|System Size||Panels Needed||Average Cost (Installed)|
|2 kW||5 - 8||$4,300 - $5,060|
|3 kW||8 - 12||$6,450 - $7,590|
|4 kW||10 - 16||$8,600 - $10,120|
|5 kW||13 - 20||$10,750 - $12,650|
|6 kW||15 - 24||$12,900 - $15,180|
|7 kW||18 - 28||$15,050 - $17,710|
|8 kW||20 - 32||$17,200 - $20,240|
|10 kW||25 - 40||$21,500 - $25,300|
|12 kW||30 - 48||$25,800 - $30,360|
|15 kW||38 - 60||$32,250 - $37,950|
|18 kW||45 - 72||$38,700 - $45,540|
Average Cost of Solar Panels in Arizona per Square Foot
While you can install a system of any size on any home size, larger homes tend to have higher energy needs than smaller homes. For this reason, larger homes tend to require larger solar panel systems and have higher installation costs. However, there can be a wide range of costs for homes of varying sizes. You may not want to install a system that can handle all your needs, focusing on powering specific things. You can also have higher-than-average energy needs and want to cover them, plus have surplus for future energy growth. This means that while a larger home generally has higher costs than a smaller home, there can be overlap between the sizes and a wide range of costs. Below are the average ranges for solar panel systems in Arizona based on different home sizes.
|House Size||Average Cost (Installed)|
|1,000 sq.ft.||$4,300 - $20,240|
|1,500 sq.ft.||$5,060 - $25,800|
|2,000 sq.ft.||$8,600 - $25,300|
|2,500 sq.ft.||$12,900 - $30,360|
Cost of Solar Panels in Arizona by Cell Type
Solar panels can be found in several forms, which can be broken into three basic types. The two types you most often see in Arizona are polycrystalline and monocrystalline panels. Polycrystalline panels use fragments of silicon crystals that are pieced together. They are less expensive but not as efficient at producing energy as monocrystalline panels. In a very sunny climate like Arizona, polycrystalline panels may be able to meet your needs, but they are more visible with a bright blue color and a slightly higher profile.
Monocrystalline panels are made with whole silicon crystals, making them more expensive and energy-efficient. They have a sleek black appearance and a slightly lower profile than polycrystalline. Monocrystalline panels work the best when installed in full bright sunlight, so they are often recommended for very sunny areas like Arizona.
The third type uses thin film panels. They are lower in cost and profile for a more subtle appearance. However, they do not perform as well in very sunny climates, tending to do better in more moderate sunlight. For this reason, you are less likely to see this panel in Arizona. Below are the average costs to install a 6 kW solar panel system using the three types.
|Cell Type||Average Cost (Installed)|
|Polycrystalline||$11,000 - $14,000|
|Thin-Film||$11,000 - $14,000|
|Monocrystalline||$12,000 - $17,000|
Labor Cost to Install Solar Panels in Arizona
The cost to install your solar panels in Arizona ranges in costs, depending on the location, system type, and how it is installed. The average cost of labor is between $0.86 and $0.92 a watt, making the labor costs for a 6 kW system between $5,160 and $5,520.
Labor costs vary by area, with cities like Phoenix having higher labor costs than some suburbs. Your costs can also vary based on the inverters you install and where the panels are located. Installing your panels on your roof is the least expensive method, while installing them on the ground as a ground-mounted array and running cables to your home has higher labor costs. Below are the average labor costs for solar panel installation in Arizona based on the various sizes.
|System Size||Average Labor Costs|
|2 kW||$1,720 - $1,840|
|3 kW||$2,580 - $2,760|
|4 kW||$3,440 - $3,680|
|5 kW||$4,300 - $4,600|
|6 kW||$5,160 - $5,520|
|7 kW||$6,020 - $6,440|
|8 kW||$6,880 - $7,360|
|10 kW||$8,600 - $9,200|
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Which Direction Should Solar Panels Face in Arizona?
Most solar panel installations are done facing the south, including in Arizona. A south or a southwest placement helps generate the most even amount of energy over the day. There can be a drop in production if the panels face other directions, but depending on what direction your home is facing, a southwest or southeast installation should be adequate as well. Your installer can work with you to find the best position for your solar panels.
Cost to Install Solar Panels in Arizona by Location
While most solar panels are mounted on the roof of the home, you can also mount them on the ground in an array. If your roof is older and cannot support the solar panels, your home is positioned in a way that you cannot angle the panels properly for the best exposure, or your system is too large to install on the roof, a ground-mounted array can give you a spot for your solar panels. Many off-grid installations are done on a ground-mounted array because of their size.
Ground-mounted arrays are more expensive to purchase and install. They also require you to run the cables from the panels underground to your home rather than straight down from your roof. This can also increase costs, depending on the distance to home, soil type, and the array size. Below are the average costs to have a 6 kW solar panel system installed on your roof or the ground in Arizona.
|System Location||Average Costs (Installed)|
|Roof||$12,900 - $15,180|
|Ground||$16,100 - $19,200|
Arizona Solar Tax Credit 2022
Arizona has many incentives and benefits for homeowners looking to invest in solar power. These include a solar tax credit of 25% of the installation cost up to $1,000 on your personal state tax returns. You are also eligible for the 2022 federal tax credit of 30% of the total cost of the project, which can be claimed on your taxes. For a 6 kW installation, this credit equals $3,870 to $4,554 for the average installation.
Arizona waives sales tax on solar panel installations, and they also waive property tax increases that may occur when the solar panels raise your home’s value. Finally, many individual towns and cities in Arizona have local incentives. Reach out to your local municipality to find out more information on what may be available in your area.
Solar Inverter Cost by Type
You need a solar inverter for each solar panel so that your home can utilize the energy produced by your panels. The inverter converts the energy that your panel produces into energy that your home can use. They come in several types.
String inverters are the least expensive and one of the most common types. String inverters work by having several panels connected together into a string, with several strings going to an inverter. The downside of this system is that if one panel stops working, it stops the entire string from working and lowers total output.
Many people avoid this issue with power optimizers or microinverters, which do not link panels together in a string. Both are more expensive than string inverters, but they offer other benefits.
Microinverters are installed directly onto each solar panel. While they cost less per inverter than string inverters, you need more of them, which increases total costs.
Power optimizers work with string inverters, and also install directly onto each panel. In the event that one panel is in shade or otherwise compromised, the power optimizers keep the other panels at full output, rather than lowering the output from all of them.
In Arizona, expect your inverter costs to make up between $0.23 and $0.28 per watt of your total installation costs.
If you have battery backup for your solar installation, you need battery inverters as well. Battery inverters convert the energy from the battery into energy your home can use; you need one per battery. Below are the average costs per inverter based on type.
|Inverter Type||Average Costs (Materials Only)|
|Power Optimizer||$125 - $150|
|Micro Inverter||$150 - $215|
|String Inverter||$1,000 - $2,000|
|Battery-Based||$2,000 - $2,300|
Cost to Run and Maintain Solar Panels in Arizona
Your solar panels must be maintained for them to run properly. In Arizona, this typically means cleaning and inspecting your panels roughly twice yearly. During this cleaning and inspection, the panels are checked for things like worn wires and parts, and dust and contaminants on the panels that could reduce their efficiency are removed. Small repairs that must be done to help the panels work optimally can be done during this process. The average cost of this service in Arizona is between $150 and $330 a visit, or between $300 and $660 a year.
Tesla Roof in Arizona Cost
If you need to replace your roof before you can install solar panels or you do not love the look of solar panels on your roof, consider installing a Tesla solar roof. This is a series of photovoltaic and standard roof tiles that install over your entire roof. The appearance is seamless, unlike with traditional solar panels installed over the portion of the roof. Tiles in areas of shade or out of direct sun are standard roofing tiles, with the tiles on the south and west of the home being solar tiles.
This has a range of costs depending on your roof size and shape. Tesla roofs can also use a Powerwall battery which can increase costs by $10,000, but which can also help lower your dependency on the grid. The total average cost for installing a Tesla solar roof in Arizona ranges from $56,000 to $66,000 fully installed, with costs varying based on the size and complexity of your roof.
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Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Solar Water Heater in Arizona
With the number of sunny days in Arizona, you may want to invest in a solar water heater. Solar water heaters warm the water you use throughout your home and are not connected to your solar panel system. In Arizona, solar water heater costs range from $3,000 to $9,000, which is lower than the national average cost.
Solar Pool Heater Arizona
If you have a pool in Arizona, you can also install a solar pool heater. These heaters circulate sun-warmed water to warm your pool. They cost between $3,500 and $5,500 fully installed.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Permits. You are required to have permits to install solar panels in Arizona. These vary by system and area, so check with your local municipality for more information.
- Licenses. Ensure your installers are properly licensed by the state to install your system. Check with your local municipality for more information.
- Warranties. Solar panel systems can have a range of warranties based on brand and style. Ask your installer about what warranties may be available to you.
- HOAs. If you live in an HOA, you may be subjected to restrictions on the system type and style you can install. Check with your local HOA before beginning this project.
- Environmental zoning. Parts of Arizona may be zoned as environmentally sensitive. If this is the case where you live, you may be subject to more permits or inspections before installation.
- Home value. Solar panels increase your home’s value in Arizona by about 2% to 3%, depending on the system type and size.
- How much does it cost to install solar panels in AZ?
The cost to install your solar panels varies, depending on the system type and size. The state average cost is $12,900 to $15,180 for a 6 kW system.
- How much do solar panels cost for a 1,500 square foot house in Arizona?
Homes of this size can have a wide range of power needs, meaning you can install solar systems of many sizes. The cost range for homes of this size is $5,060 to $25,800.
- Does Arizona have a solar tax credit?
Yes, Arizona has a solar tax credit worth 25% of your installation costs, up to $1,000.
- How much value does solar add to a home in Arizona?
Solar panels add roughly a 2% to 3% value to your home in Arizona.
- Can you sell excess solar energy in Arizona?
Arizona does not have net metering, but it does have net billing. If you have an excess supply of power, you can return it to the grid for a credit that is less than the cost of electricity for the same amount.
- How long do solar panels last in Arizona?
Most solar panels in Arizona last 25 to 30 years. However, they may reach lifespans of 40 to 60 years when well maintained.
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