Using a solar energy system to take advantage of Arizona’s sunny climate is a smart investment for homeowners. Solar panels will lower your utility bills and increase your home value. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best solar energy companies in Tucson to guide your switch to renewable energy.
Arizona ranks 3rd in the U.S. in solar power use, and half a million homes in the state use solar energy to power their homes. Tucson is one of the leaders in solar power and has the second largest cluster of solar companies, behind only Phoenix.
Solar power systems are becoming more affordable, and some companies offer systems for no money down. There are multiple ways to finance a residential solar power system, including:
Lease: Some companies lease solar energy systems to Tucson residents. While the lease costs will prevent you from receiving the same savings as owning a system, leasing can be a good way to get a solar energy system for the minimum upfront cost.
Power purchase agreement (PPA): Under a PPA, a solar energy developer will install a solar energy system on your home and sell you the energy at a fixed rate that is usually lower than the local utility’s rate.
Purchase upfront: Purchasing the equipment has the highest upfront costs, but it lets you enjoy the benefits of energy savings immediately with no additional costs for the system other than regular maintenance.
Financing: Many companies offer financing options to purchase solar energy systems, or you can use funds from a personal loan. These plans reduce your upfront cost while also providing you with the higher savings that come from owning your system.
The cost of your solar power system will vary depending on the size of your house and how much energy you need the system to produce. Prices range from $7,000 for a small system up to $28,000 or more for larger systems, and the average cost for a system in Tucson is around $15,000. Most solar energy companies offer free estimates.
Besides the immediate savings you’ll see on your utility bills, you can also help offset the costs of installing a solar power system with the current federal renewable energy credit. Arizona also offers state incentives to encourage residents to install solar power systems.
Installing solar energy systems in Tucson
While solar panels will fit easily on the roofs of many Tucson homes, other options are available if necessary. Panels can also be installed in your yard, and some communities choose to share panels. Many companies also offer battery options that will let you store solar energy to be used at night and will need to be installed inside your home. Talk with your solar energy company to decide what options work best for you.
Most residential solar energy installations in Tucson use polycrystalline or monocrystalline solar panels. Which one you use may depend on your location, solar energy system provider and budget.
Polycrystalline vs. monocrystalline panels
13% to 16% average
Requires more space due to lower efficiency
Requires less space due to better efficiency
Not good for low light and heat
Good for low light
Repairing and maintaining solar power systems in Tucson
Whether you purchase or lease your solar power system, your chosen provider will install the panels and other equipment. If you lease your equipment or install it under a PPA, the provider will maintain and repair the equipment. If you purchase the equipment, you’re responsible for repairs and maintenance.
Most companies in Tucson offer warranties on their products, so be sure to compare what’s covered and for how long when purchasing a system. Solar panels are durable and usually do not require much maintenance besides cleaning every few months to make sure they’re operating at peak efficiency. Your solar system company may provide maintenance service if you prefer to have this done professionally, however.
Your homeowners insurance or home warranty may cover your solar energy system. Ask your insurance or warranty provider if your plans extend to a solar energy system and under what conditions.
Tucson area customers choose Zenernet for its up-front pricing and long warranties on their solar panels. Reviewers from Arizona say they were satisfied with the smooth installation and customer service.
SunPower is a major player in the industry with an impressive list of clients that includes FedEx, Toyota and Walmart. The company provides free estimates and custom financing. SunPower designs, engineers and manufactures every system it sells. Customers in Tucson rate the company highly for its outstanding customer service.
Sunrun has more than 200,000 customers across 22 states, and the company’s most popular plan requires no money down. The company offers loans and custom-designed plans based on your individual and home needs. Tucson customers appreciate the professional and knowledgeable technicians who installed their systems.
Net Zero Solar
Based in Tucson, Net Zero Solar provides commercial and residential installations. The locally owned and operated company offers free site evaluations and estimates, and it handles all permitting issues necessary for the installation of your solar energy system. Tucson residents appreciate the careful explanation of how the equipment works.
Technicians for Sustainability
Technicians for Sustainability emphasizes environmental impact monitoring and has installed more than 2,500 solar power systems in the Tucson area. The company offers battery storage solutions that will let you use excess energy produced by your system. Customers in Tucson say the staff is communicative and detail-oriented.