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Free Solar Panels in Arizona – Everything you need to know

what you need to know about free solar panels in arizona

Free Solar Panels in Arizona?

If you’ve been on social media at all for the last couple of years, you have most likely seen one or several of these ads come across your feed: “Free solar panels in Arizona!”, “Free Solar Panels!”, “US Government Giving Away Free Solar Panels!”. And you may have thought to yourself, “is that really true? It sounds too good to be true…”  Well my friend, we are here to help clarify what this actually means. The short answer is yes, but it depends on how you look at it… Let’s dive in!

Can you really get free solar panels in Arizona?

This is where things get dicey. One might say, “yes, it is possible to obtain “free” solar panels in Arizona, because there are ways to get solar panels on your roof without having to pay for them.” But this is referring to solar programs or initiatives that offer subsidized or financed solar panel installations with little to no upfront cost to the homeowner or business owner.

Here are a few scenarios where you might encounter the idea of free solar panels in Arizona:

Solar Lease or Power Purchase Agreement (PPA):

In these arrangements, a solar company installs and maintains the solar panels on your property at no upfront cost. You sign a lease or enter into a PPA where you agree to purchase the electricity generated by the panels at a predetermined rate. The solar company retains ownership of the panels, and you benefit from reduced energy costs.

> Learn more about Solar Lease or Power Purchase Agreement vs. Financing Solar Panels

solar power purchase agreements are a bad investment

Solar Incentive Programs:

Some states, including Arizona, offer incentives and rebates to encourage the adoption of solar energy. These programs can significantly reduce the cost of installing solar panels. While the panels may not be entirely “free,” the financial incentives can make them more affordable or cost-effective for homeowners or businesses.

> Learn more about all of the state and federal tax incentives for solar in Arizona.

Details about the 30% solar tax credit with the new Inflation Reduction Act

Community Solar Programs:

Community solar projects allow multiple participants to share the benefits of a larger solar installation. In such cases, participants may not have to pay for the panels directly but instead subscribe to a portion of the solar energy produced. This enables individuals or businesses to access the benefits of solar energy without the need for installing panels on their own property.

> Learn about the Community Solar Program offered by APS here.

How community solar programs in Arizona work

It’s important to note that while these programs can reduce upfront costs or eliminate the need for direct payment, they typically involve long-term contracts or agreements. It’s essential to thoroughly review the terms and conditions, including any financial obligations or lease terms, to understand the full implications and benefits of these options for free solar panels in Arizona.

Does Arizona pay for solar?

Arizona offers various financial incentives and programs to support solar energy adoption. These incentives can help offset the costs of installing solar panels and make solar energy more financially viable for individuals and businesses. Some of the incentives available in Arizona include:

  • Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC): The federal government provides a tax credit for a percentage of the cost of installing a solar energy system. The current tax credit is a whopping 30%! However, please note that tax credits and their percentages may change over time, so it’s important to check the current status of the ITC.


  • Arizona Solar Energy Credit: Arizona has an additional state-level tax credit for solar energy systems. Arizona’s tax credit is valued at 25% of the total system cost, up to a maximum of $1,000 in total.  See Arizona Form 310 for more information on the Arizona Solar Tax Credit.


  • Net Metering: Arizona has a net metering program (now called Renewable Energy Riders) that allows solar system owners to receive credits for excess electricity they generate and send back to the grid. These credits can offset future electricity bills, effectively reducing energy costs.


  • Solar Rebates: Utility companies and other entities in Arizona may offer rebates or financial incentives for installing solar panels. These programs vary and may have specific eligibility requirements and funding availability.

What is the Arizona Power Payback Program?

solar sales scam guyThe term “Arizona Power Payback Program” isn’t actually an official program… It is a fabricated term created by dishonest solar companies… It’s important to be cautious when encountering such claims, as it is a misleading tactic aimed at combining and exaggerating the benefits of various federal and state tax incentives available for solar energy installations in Arizona.

While Arizona does offer legitimate financial incentives and programs to support solar adoption, there is no specific program called the “Arizona Power Payback Program.” It is always recommended to consult reputable sources, such as government agencies or reputable Arizona solar installers, to obtain accurate and reliable information about available incentives and their specific requirements. Awareness and careful scrutiny are crucial to protect oneself from deceptive marketing practices and ensure informed decision-making when considering solar investments.

So to wrap things up... Are free solar panels in Arizona really a thing?

They say everything has a price and a cost and the two are often different. Just because the upfront price of solar panels appears to be “free” doesn’t mean there’s not a cost. In the case of power purchase agreements and leases, the cost is often not worth the “free” price tag. So before you fall for the “Arizona Payback Program” or the next “free solar panels in Arizona” offer, do your due diligence and read between the lines! If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

It’s important to consult with reputable sources and trusted Arizona solar installers for accurate and up-to-date information so that you can make smart decisions for your Arizona solar panel installation project.

As a solar installer in Arizona since 1999, Watt Masters has been helping home and business owners go solar for over 20 years – before most solar companies in Arizona even existed! With a strong track record of success and quality built to last a lifetime, you can rest assured our helpful and skilled team will help you successfully go solar, too! Contact us today with any questions you have, we would be honored and happy to help.


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Frequently Asked Questions

You can use solar energy for little to no cost in Arizona. However, you will still have to pay for your solar panel system. Some solar companies offer free solar panels with a solar loan to qualifying customers.

The Grand Canyon State offers a solar tax credit of 25% of your installation costs, up to a maximum of $1,000. Homeowners can apply for this personal income tax credit when they file their taxes with the state.

A solar PPA has the same downsides as a solar lease — you share your energy savings with the provider while missing out on solar incentive programs. PPA contracts can also have a term of up to 25 years with penalties for early termination.

Our APS Solar Communities program is a unique opportunity for limited-income and moderate-income customers, who may not have considered solar as an option, to help advance solar in Arizona. We’ll take care of the installation and any maintenance, while you get the bill credit.

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