Going Green in Arizona: The Economics of Solar Panel Installation
In Arizona, solar panels cost $2.50 to $2.65 per watt for residential installations. A 5 and 6 kilowatt (kW) installation ranges from $12,500 to $13,250 for the 5kW and $15,000 to $15,900 for the 6kW.
Applying the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) brings these amounts to $8,750 to $9,275 for a 5kW solar installation and $10,500 to $11,130 for a 6kW solar system.
The solar installation cost in Arizona per watt is 17- 47% lower than the national average of $3 to $5 per watt. In addition, Arizona solar panel costs up to 10.58 cents per kilowatt hour, lower than the retail cost of electricity in Arizona, which is 15.3 cents per kilowatt hour.
Note: Arizonans typically need a higher capacity solar panel system installed because of an above-national average use of energy of over 1,040kWh per month to the national average of 890kWh.
Average Solar Panel Cost in Arizona
|Size||Solar Panel Cost||System Cost After Solar Credit||Home Size|
|3 kW||$7,500 - $7,950||$5,250 - $5,656||700 sq ft|
|5 kW||$12,500 - $13,250||$8,750 - $9,275||900 sq ft|
|8 kW||$20,000 - $21,200||$14,000 - $14,840||1,100 sq ft|
|9 kW||$22,500 - $23,850||$15,750 - $16,695||1,300 sq. ft.|
|11 kW||$27,500 - $29,150||$19,250 - $20,405||1,700 sq ft|
|13 kW||$32,500 - $34,450||$22,750 - $24,115||2,100 sq ft|
|14 kW||$35,000 - $37,100||$24,500 - $25,970||2,300 sq ft|
|15 kW||$37,500 - $39,750||$25,250 - $27,825||> 2,400 sq ft|
Arizonians also have access to a state-provided 25% solar energy credit for buying and installing solar panels.
As a resident of Arizona, your decision to buy or lease solar panels depends on factors such as your finances, energy consumption, and personal preferences. Buying or leasing offer varying benefits. Some of these include:
The number of solar panels you need in Arizona depends on several factors such as your energy needs, the power rating (wattage) of the solar panels you buy, and the production ratio of your solar panel system.
Other factors that influence how many solar panels you need in Arizona include your geographical location, hours of sunlight, the efficiency of the solar panel, rated power, and your energy consumption patterns.
To calculate the number of solar panels you need, you need to divide your annual electricity consumption by your area’s production ratio and then divide the answer by the power output of your solar panels. You can figure out your home's electricity use from your previous electricity utility bills. You require your kilowatt hour (kWh) consumption for the year.
The average Arizona household uses 12,480kWh per year. (1,040kWh monthly).
Using the popular solar panel size capacity of 400 watts, and an average production ratio of 1.5, the number of panels can be calculated as 12,480kWh / 1.5 * 400, which is 21 solar panels.
Twenty one 400-watt solar panels provide a system size of 8,400 W or 8.4kW. Smaller capacity solar panels at 250 watts to 300 watts in the same power usage scenario will be calculated as below:
The size of your home roof is also a factor in your solar panel installation. A small and unusually shaped roof may require you to go for higher-wattage solar panels to reduce the number you need on your roof. Alternatively, a large roof gives you the freedom to be uninhabited in your choice of wattage and the number of solar panels.
The average 3-bedroom house in Arizona, has a floor area of about 1,614 square feet. This floor size amounts to a solar panel system size of about 11kW.
Depending on the size of the solar panels, you require the system size divided by the wattage of the solar panels to determine how many you need. The calculations below show how many solar panels you need for 250 watts to 400 watts solar panel systems.
Your energy consumption habits influence the number of solar panels you need. Your consumption can make your solar panel needs higher or lower than the average.
The average 4-bedroom house in Arizona has a floor area of 1,788 square feet. This translates to an appropriate solar panel system size of about 12kW.
The output capacity of the solar panel you buy will now determine the number of solar panels you need. You calculate the number of panels by dividing the solar panel system size by the capacity of solar panels as in the calculations below:
All solar panels do not produce the same energy in the same use scenario. Most consumer solar panels designed for home installation are rated with different wattage (power rating) and produce energy typically from 250 to 400 watts.
Solar panels efficiency is another factor that differentiates solar panels. The difference in their efficiency means that they do not produce the same energy even when rated the same. The average efficiency of solar panels ranges from 15 - 20 percent.
For example, Tesla solar panels in Arizona have an estimated efficiency of 19 - 20% (as of 2022). Panels with higher efficiency will produce higher energy compared to ones with lower efficiency.
Solar panels tend to produce less energy as their temperature increases. This loss of energy per 1 degree Celsius (33.8 degrees Fahrenheit) increase is called the temperature coefficient.
Monocrystalline panels and polycrystalline solar panels have a temperature coefficient greater than that of thin-film solar panels: (-0.3% / degrees Celsius to -0.5% compared to -0.2% /degrees Celsius). Thin-film solar panels, therefore, do better in producing energy in some hotter environments when temperatures exceed 25 degrees centigrade (77 degrees Fahrenheit).
Monocrystalline panels in Arizona are the most efficient, but they cost more. Residents of Arizona can take advantage of Arizona’s high sun exposure to opt for a mix of efficiency and cost when choosing the type of solar panel best for home use in the Grand Canyon State.
Solar panels for consumer home uses come in different types depending on the type of silicon used. The most widely available are monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film types. The more efficient solar panels are, the more expensive they will be.
The advantages and disadvantages of these three types of solar panels can be found below:
Yes, you can run a house solely on solar panels in Arizona. You will require enough solar panels to power your house and power backup in the form of batteries to store the extra electricity for when the sun is obstructed and at sundown.
Running your house on solar is possible because solar panels and batteries have gotten cheaper over time. To run a house solely on solar panels in Arizona, you need to:
Going off-grid in Arizona means complete disconnection of your home from the local electricity supply. You can do this by using electricity generated from solar systems.
You will also require a means to store the electricity generated by your solar panels, such as solar batteries. To determine how many solar panels you will need in Arizona, you need to:
|System Size||Number of Panels||Estimated Space||Estimated Cost.|
|3 kW||9||159 sq. ft.||$7,950|
|5 kW||15||264 sq. ft.||$13,250|
|8 kW||23||404 sq. ft.||$21,200|
|9 kW||26||458 sq. ft.||$23,850|
|11 kW||32||564 sq. ft.||$29,150|
|13 kW||38||669 sq. ft.||$34,450|
|14 kW||40||704 sq. ft.||$37,100|
|15 kW||43||757 sq. ft.||$39,750|
Note: In the table above, solar panels are priced at $2.65 per watt, and 350-watt solar panels are used.