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The Cost of Solar in Tucson: Understanding Federal and Arizona Solar Incentives

Cost of Solar

The journey towards harnessing solar energy in Tucson transcends environmental advocacy, unfolding as a pivotal financial decision for homeowners. Blessed with an abundance of sunshine, Tucson offers an ideal setting for solar power generation. This comprehensive guide delves into the intricacies of solar investment, spotlighting the initial costs, long-term benefits, and the pivotal role of federal and Arizona-specific incentives in making solar energy a feasible choice for Tucson residents.

Understanding the Cost of Solar in Tucson

Price Per Watt: A Tucson Perspective

Solar is Mainly price on a price per watt basis. The national average is $3 to $3.50 per watt. This typically includes the entire system such as the solar panels, inverters, mounting racks, engineering design and permitting. Opting for a cash purchase of solar panels in Tucson sidesteps interest and lender fees, an appealing path for those with upfront capital. This choice accelerates the path to ownership and return on investment, benefiting from a financial landscape where inflation has heightened fees across many sectors. For a broader understanding of solar energy's advantages, including financial incentives, the U.S. Department of Energy is a valuable resource.

The selection of solar panels has a direct impact on a home's long-term value and energy savings. Panels from top-tier brands like SunPower, known for their efficiency—SunPower Maxeon cells, for example, achieve efficiencies up to 22.8%—are pivotal for those considering solar for long-term benefits and potential property resale value. For evidence on how solar installations can enhance property values, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory provides research and data supporting the positive impact of solar energy systems on home resale values.

Here at SunPower by Nova you can expect to own solar at $2.40 to $2.80/w on average depending on the size and scope of work needed to be preformed whether you need an upgraded breaker box or a special roof mounts for tile or flat roofs.

Equipment Quality and Efficiency

The efficacy and durability of solar panels are paramount for Tucson homeowners, especially considering the region's extreme climate. High-performance panels, such as those produced by SunPower, are distinguished not only by their robustness but also by their superior efficiency. SunPower panels, for instance, boast efficiency rates upwards of 22.8%, a significant marker of their quality. This ensures optimal electricity generation throughout the panel's lifespan, which is particularly crucial in Tucson's intense heat. While these panels represent a considerable initial investment, their enduring performance and energy output promise substantial long-term savings.

Cost of Solar

However, it's critical to note that not all solar panels are equally built to withstand such conditions. Lower-quality panels are more susceptible to damage from thermal expansion, a phenomenon that can lead to weakened cells and cracks over time. In Tucson's harsh climate, this risk is exacerbated, potentially leading to reduced efficiency and, in some scenarios, complete system failure. This not only impacts the solar energy harvested but may also leave homeowners relying on traditional electricity sources, thereby incurring additional costs. For those opting for payment plans, this could mean paying for both solar and electric bills due to underperforming panels. Hence, investing in durable, high-efficiency solar panels that are built to endure Tucson's heat is not just advisable; it's essential for reliable solar energy production and financial savings over time.

Financing Solar Installation in Tucson

Direct Purchase Advantages: The Clear Path to Solar Ownership

Opting for a cash purchase of solar panels is the most straightforward route to solar energy independence in Tucson. This method eliminates the need for dealing with APRs or lender fees from financial institutions. For homeowners with available capital, this option offers the immediate benefit of ownership and the potential for swift return on investment (ROI). In an environment where inflation has nudged up interest rates across various sectors, including the auto and real estate industries, the appeal of a direct purchase is even more pronounced. By avoiding these additional costs, homeowners can enjoy the full financial benefits of solar energy from day one.

Accessible Financing Through Solar Loans: Navigating Inflation and Interest

For those intimidated by the upfront costs of solar installation, solar loans present a viable alternative, traditionally offering APRs as low as 2.99%. However, given the current economic climate where inflation has led to increased lending rates and fees, solar companies, like SunPower by Nova, propose specialized plans. These plans are designed to minimize or eliminate lender fees, although the APR might be slightly above the standard rate. The advantage here is the option for homeowners to settle their accounts earlier than anticipated, akin to a direct purchase but with the flexibility of a payment plan. This arrangement is particularly advantageous for those planning to expedite their system payoff, circumventing the long-term financial commitments typical of standard loans.

The Appeal of Solar Leasing: Understanding Escalator Clauses

Solar leasing is renowned for its minimal upfront costs, often requiring no down payment and zero APR, making solar energy immediately accessible. This financial arrangement locks homeowners into a payment plan, usually with a fixed escalator clause of around 2.99%. An escalator clause gradually increases the lease payment over time, ensuring that the leasing company can adjust for inflation and cost increases while providing the homeowner with predictable, albeit slightly rising, payments. For many, this presents a balanced compromise, allowing them to benefit from solar energy without the hefty initial investment. It's akin to the existing utility payment structure — if you're already paying for electricity, transitioning to a solar lease means you could pay less over time for the same consumption.

The key advantage of a leasing agreement with an escalator clause is the locked-in rate increase, which is typically lower than the average increase in utility rates. This foresight provides homeowners with a measure of financial predictability and savings compared to the volatility of traditional electricity bills. However, it's crucial for homeowners to weigh this against the long-term financial strategy and consider how the escalating payments fit into their budget over the lease term.


Choosing to go solar is a smart decision, and partnering with a reputable company that offers fair prices is crucial. At SunPower by Nova, we're committed to ensuring that going solar not only becomes a reality for you but also starts saving you money from day one.

With us, it's not just about switching to solar; it's about making an informed financial decision that benefits you immediately. Expect to see savings of 40 to 60% right off the bat—whether you opt for cash and long-term investment options or prefer immediate payment plans. It will always be more cost-effective than your current electricity bills.

Ready to take the first step towards substantial monthly savings and a greener future?

Leveraging Federal and Arizona Solar Incentives

Federal Solar Tax Credits: A Tucson Benefit

The Federal Solar Tax Credit, a cornerstone of the Inflation Reduction Act signed on August 16, 2022, offers homeowners the chance to deduct 30% of their solar system installation costs from federal taxes. This significant incentive not only reduces the upfront financial commitment required for adopting solar energy but also underscores the federal government's commitment to supporting renewable energy solutions.

Arizona’s Solar Tax Incentives Commitment: Enhancing Affordability

Arizona amplifies the appeal of solar with state-specific incentives such as tax credits and rebates, further mitigating the startup costs of solar installations and making it an even more enticing proposition for Tucson homeowners. Complementing federal efforts, Arizona bolsters solar adoption with state-specific incentives, such as a $1,000 tax credit for solar installations. These incentives are part of Arizona's broader strategy to make solar installations even more accessible and financially attractive for Tucson homeowners. Coupled with the Federal Solar Tax Credit, Arizona's policies make it an opportune time to explore solar energy.

Selecting a Reputable Solar Provider in Tucson

Selecting a Reputable Solar Provider in Tucson: Why Local Experience Matters

When it comes to solar energy, the difference between a satisfactory investment and an exceptional one often lies in the choice of solar provider. In Tucson's dynamic solar market, finding a provider that not only offers quality installations but also stands behind their service is crucial. It's essential for homeowners to engage in comprehensive research before making a decision. This means comparing quotes, scrutinizing online reviews, and verifying the provider's credentials and experience in the local market.

Why prioritize local expertise? Tucson's solar landscape is dotted with companies that have momentarily flourished only to disappear, leaving homeowners in a lurch. This transient nature of some providers underscores the importance of selecting a company with deep roots in the community. SunPower by Nova exemplifies the kind of local expertise and commitment homeowners should look for. With a presence that spans beyond the lifespan of the warranties they offer, SunPower by Nova ensures that your solar investment is backed by lasting support and service.

Educate Yourself: What to Look for in a Solar Provider. To aid homeowners in their quest to find the most reliable solar provider, we've compiled a detailed guide, available as a YouTube video. This resource is designed to navigate you through the intricacies of selecting a solar provider that meets your needs, highlighting the significance of local experience and reliability.

Watch Our Comprehensive Guide on Choosing the Right Solar Provider in Tucson

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