If you reside in Arizona and are considering installing solar panels, you’ve come to the perfect spot to answer your question, “Are solar panels worth it in Arizona?”. In this article we break down how and why home and commercial solar installation in Phoenix Arizona and the surrounding cities throughout all of Arizona is more often than not ABSOLUTELY worth it, and who would make a good candidate for solar.
Home solar installation in Phoenix is at an all-time high. The renewable energy growth rate worldwide grew by 45 percent in 2020, the fastest pace of growth since 1999, and is expected to exponentially increase in the coming years.
Due to its simplicity and low installation costs, solar energy remains the most popular renewable energy among homes.
That’s all well and good, but you want to know… Are solar panels worth it in Arizona??
Solar panel installation in Arizona is worth it, 100% no questions asked. Phoenix, Arizona has a Global Horizontal Irradiation (GHI) average of 5.78 kWh/M2, making it one of the best places in the United States to install residential solar panels on your home.
Are solar panels worth it in Arizona?
In order to properly answer this question, we need to look at a few factors:
- In Arizona, how much would a solar system cost?
- In Arizona, how many solar panels do I need for my home?
- In Arizona, how long until solar panels pay for themselves?
Installing solar panels on your Arizona house is likely to be worthwhile if you have enough roof space and are not shadowed by a dense canopy of trees.
To put it simply, solar panels need a lot of sunshine in order to work at their optimum. Arizona has plenty of sunshine.
So, when it comes to light exposure, you don’t have to be concerned; your solar panels will be able to absorb enough of it.
Let’s take a closer look at Arizona’ general environment. You’ll be able to determine whether or not installing solar panels in this sun-drenched state is worthwhile.
Understanding Arizona's Environment
Arizona offers a wide range of climates. In the west, it’s dry and semi-arid, whereas, in the east, it’s humid and subtropical.
The sun crosses the equator straight in March. In June, it reaches its furthest north point in the sky and crosses the equator in September. In general, March through September are optimum for peak solar output in Arizona, but as all Phoenix residents know, the sun is kind of unending here regardless of the time of year!
Arizona offers the optimum weather conditions for a solar panel system to generate a constant quantity of electricity.
How many hours of sunlight does Arizona get?
Arizona gets roughly 4.8 kWh/M2 on average. If you’d want to view your specific peak sunshine hours, though, we suggest looking at the map below:
Why might knowing the peak sunshine hours in your location be useful to you?
This information (together with your power use) is crucial in determining the size of the solar system that would best meet your requirements.
You also need to know how much a solar system will cost and how long it would take to return your initial investment.
Once you have this information, you can determine if solar panels are appropriate for your scenario, thus answering the question for you – “are solar panels worth it in Arizona?”
The following factors determine the price of your solar system:
- Your monthly energy consumption
- How many hours of direct sunshine do you get throughout the day?
- The solar panel type you choose
- Which solar brand would you choose
What Is Your Electricity Consumption?
First and foremost, you must determine your monthly power use. To calculate your monthly use, look at your yearly power statement and divide the kWh usage by 31.
In Arizona, the average monthly usage is 1,140kWh.
How Many Sunlight Hours Do You Get During the Day?
As we’ve previously established, Arizona gets roughly 6.6 hours of peak sunshine every day. Compared to other states, the greater Phoenix, AZ area has an immense potential for generating solar energy, so much so that you can offset your electric bill 100%.
What Kind of Solar Panels Are You Looking For?
Monocrystalline solar panels are the wiser, more efficient option and are gaining favor globally, especially in Germany.
They are, however, somewhat more costly.
Polycrystalline solar panels are another alternative; they are less efficient but more inexpensive.
Which Solar Panel Manufacturer Should You Pick?
Your solar panel system’s ultimate cost will be influenced by the solar panel brand you choose. We’ve included a table below that breaks down the cost per watt for all solar farms in the US.
Keep in mind that you will not need a huge solar system. All you’ll need to balance your energy use is likely a 2.5 kW solar system.
Further down in the post, we’ll show you how to calculate exactly how many solar panels you’ll need for your house. If solar panels cost less than the estimates below, they are likely to be worthwhile for you.
In Arizona, how many solar panels do I need for my home?
We need to teach you the method for sizing your solar system to determine how much solar panels will cost for your house in Arizona.
All of the information listed in the four points above is already in your possession.
It’s now just a question of bringing everything together.
To determine the number of solar panels required for your house, use the following formula: Monthly power use multiplied by 1000 times the monthly peak solar hours. After that, multiply the result by the solar panel’s power rating (400 watts, for example).
Let’s go through the actions you’ll need to follow using the formula above (simply replace your information where applicable).
- Step 1: Calculate your monthly power use. In this case, you consume 1,140 kW.
- Step 2: What are the monthly peak sun hours in Arizona? We know that the average for the whole state of Arizona is 4.8 hours per day, so we multiply it by 31 days to obtain the monthly value: 4.8 x 31 = 148,8 hours of peak sunlight.
- Step 3: Decide on the wattage and type of solar panels you’ll use. In Arizona, most homeowners choose 400-watt solar panels. Let’s use the brand Canadian Solar as an example.
- Step 4: Use the formula above to solve the problem.
7.6 7.6 x 1000 = 7600 watts = 1,140kW divided by 148,8 solar hours = 7.6 7.6 x 1000 = 7600 watts
dividing 7600 watts by 400 watts is 19
Your property in Arizona will need the installation of 19 solar panels.
Our 7600-watt solar system will cost $22,496 if we purchase our panels from Canadian Solar at $2.96 per watt.
As you can see, the cost of your solar system is mostly determined by your power use and the number of hours of sunlight available.
If you lived somewhere with fewer sun hours than Arizona but used the same amount of power, you’d need a much larger solar system to balance your energy use.
This would need a larger initial expenditure since more solar panels would be required.
In Arizona, how long until solar panels pay for themselves?
This is determined by how much power you use each month and the size of the solar system you purchased.
The average monthly power use in Arizona is 1,140kWh. In Arizona, the average cost per kWh is 12.3 cents per kWh.
As a result, the typical Arizona house may expect to spend $140.22 per month for power.
To balance this level of use, you’d require a 7.6kW (7600 watts) solar system, as previously mentioned. A 7.6kW solar system would cost roughly $18,000 in total (before rebates and tax incentives – which can offset up to 50%!).
Residential customers in Arizona are eligible for a 25% tax credit on purchasing and installing solar systems. And the federal solar tax credit is currently at 26% until the end of 2022!
As a result, the total cost of your solar system would be $8,820.
1,140 kWh (per month) x 12 months = 13,680 kWh per year
13,680 x .123 (avg cost per kWh) = $1,682.64 electricity cost per year in Arizona
$8,820 (rough cost of 7.6kW solar system after tax incentives and rebates) / $1,682.64 = 5.24 years for the system to pay for itself!
As we all know, electricity rates continue to increase, so at a minimum, in this instance, it will take just over 5 years for your solar panel cost to pay for itself.
Solar panels typically endure between 25 and 30 years.
This translates to over 20 years of free electricity and a savings of over $33,000 during that period!!
Are solar panels really worth it in Arizona?
To help you decide whether solar panels are worth it, we’ve provided you with an estimate of the cost of a solar system for your home.
When it comes to solar power, only you know what your budget is and how much money you can save.
If you reside in Arizona, we believe that installing solar panels is one of the best choices you can make.
Do you reside in Arizona and are interested in taking the next step to get a free solar panel evaluation and quote? We would be honored and love to help you – click here to contact us. As one of Arizona’s first, most experienced and best solar installation companies we are a trustworthy source of quality workmanship with solar panel installations that are built to last a lifetime.