The Best Solar Companies in Arizona of 2023

For those living in Arizona, the sunniest state of all, going solar could be a bright idea. Homeowners can make the switch with one of the best solar companies in Arizona.

By Glenda Taylor and Mark Wolfe | Updated Apr 14, 2023 10:39 AM

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The Best Solar Companies in Arizona

Photo: istockphoto.com

If there is one thing that Arizona has to offer, it’s sunshine. The clear, dry air and southern latitude set up plentiful year-round sun exposure throughout the state. Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Tucson all rank in the top 25 sunniest cities in the nation, with Phoenix taking the top spot. With such an ample supply of clean energy, switching to solar energy is a natural decision for many Arizonans.

In Arizona’s bright, arid climate, solar panels produce up to 70 percent more electricity than in low-light regions like the Northeast. But to take full advantage of that plentiful power potential and not go broke installing the necessary equipment, it’s important to work with the best solar company available. For homeowners ready to make the switch and save money on monthly power bills, this guide can help.

We’ve already researched dozens of solar installers in Arizona and selected our top picks to help narrow the search. These companies come equipped with the experience and expertise to help their clients navigate the intricacies of solar design, equipment choices, installation, maintenance, and even incentive programs to achieve the best return on investment. Ahead, find out more about our search criteria and why we count these businesses among the best solar companies in Arizona.

  1. BEST OVERALL: SunPower
  2. RUNNER-UP: ADT Solar
  3. BEST CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE: Momentum Solar
  4. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Blue Raven Solar
  5. ALSO CONSIDER: Sun Valley Solar Solutions
The Best Solar Companies in Arizona Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Solar Companies in Arizona

When it comes to installing residential or commercial solar panels in Arizona, knowledge, experience, and reputation count, but there are more things to consider during this early phase. Before hiring anyone, it’s important for homeowners to factor in current power consumption and plans for improved efficiency, the home’s design and construction, neighborhood requirements, and the motivation and goals for the solar installation. Some of these issues may be foggy at first, but the homeowner will want to clarify them while researching.

For optimal power and performance from the best solar panels, theyshould be installed where they will receive maximum direct sunlight. Placement is determined by the home’s position and location, the type of panel, and any landscape features that may block sunlight. Before a homeowner hires one of the top solar companies in Arizona, it’s wise to consider all of these performance and lifestyle factors that could affect the choices.

Home Location and Roof Type

Location is critical when installing solar panels. Location isn’t limited to the general area; it also pertains to whether tall trees or buildings will block the sun’s rays for a substantial part of the day. Roof type is also a consideration. A sloped roof that faces south is optimal for installing solar panels, but some homes’ roof structure may not be sound enough to support a solar array. The installer may need to install the panels on a freestanding ground unit rather than on the roof, or they’ll need to modify the roof.

Type of Panels

Solar panels all generate electricity, but they do it differently. The two main types of solar panels are photovoltaic and thermal. Within those categories are a few more or less common varieties.
Photovoltaic: Photovoltaic panels incorporate solar cells that convert sunlight to electrical power, and they are the most common type of solar panel installed today. Those looking to power a large percentage of their home’s energy needs will typically have photovoltaic panels installed.

  • Thermal: Solar thermal panels incorporate mirrors that reflect and concentrate the sun’s rays to create electricity. They are not as common as photovoltaic panels, but they’re still useful. Thermal solar technology is more likely to be used for small energy purposes, such as powering a solar floodlight.
  • Monocrystalline: These panels are produced from a single (mono) silicon crystal and are dark black in color. They’re among the most expensive, but they’re long-lasting and compact. They come with efficiency ratings of 20 to 25 percent (see “Efficiency and Performance” below). They are considered to be among the best solar panels for home use.
  • Polycrystalline: These solar panels are made from silicon fragments rather than a large silicon crystal. They’re more affordable than monocrystalline but not as efficient. They range in efficiency from about 15 to 17 percent.
  • PERC: This is a new technology that improves the efficiency of monocrystalline panels. The acronym stands for Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell. The highest efficiency of all, PERC panels can be up to 5 percent more efficient than traditional monocrystalline panels.
  • Thin-film: Thin-film panels do not contain pricey crystalline silicon, which makes them more affordable, but they’re not quite as efficient as other types of panels. Depending on the quality of the individual panel, it will typically range from 6 to 15 percent efficiency.

On-Grid vs. Off-Grid

Homeowners can install an off-grid, stand-alone solar array or a grid-tie (also known as an on-grid) array. Both come with a few benefits and considerations.

An off-grid solar array is the best choice for those who want to be completely energy independent. Off-grid solar arrays allow the user to generate all their power. If a storm results in a municipal power outage, an off-grid system will continue to operate. Excess power is usually stored in large batteries to help supplement electricity when it’s cloudy. But if the off-grid system isn’t generating power and battery stores are empty, there is no alternate source of electricity.

Many homeowners opt for a grid-tie or on-grid system because they can usually sell the excess energy back to the utility company (called net metering). If it’s cloudy, the home can still draw power from the utility. However, if the utility company experiences an outage, a grid-tied system immediately shuts down. This is for safety reasons; it would be dangerous for a technician to work on a downed power line if someone’s home solar array were sending electricity into the line. Those with grid-tie systems can minimize outages by installing battery storage.

Efficiency and Performance

Solar panels are becoming more efficient as manufacturers incorporate better technology, but how can customers judge whether a specific panel is better than another? It’s all about percentages. The majority of solar panels have efficiency ratings of 15 to 20 percent. This means that when the sun’s rays hit the panel, the panel will convert from 15 to 20 percent of the sun’s energy into electrical power.

A few high-efficiency solar panels are up to 25 percent efficient, but for the most part, the top efficiency available today is about 22.5 percent. Researchers are working on ways to increase solar panel efficiency, and lab tests show panels available in the future could be up to 40 percent efficient.

Manufacturers vs. Installers

Many solar companies are certified to install one or more brands of solar panels, while a few solar companies both manufacture and install solar panels. The difference may not be significant to some consumers, especially those looking to get good deals on panel installation, but it often affects the installation company’s guarantee. Companies that both make and install solar arrays often have stronger and clearer warranties and claims processes, benefiting consumers. On the flip side, a company that installs panels but doesn’t make them may require the customer to contact the manufacturer directly with any issues.

Service Area

Many solar installation companies are located in larger metropolitan areas. Still, with the growing popularity of this energy-saving product, more and more companies are setting up shop in rural areas. Many companies will consider anywhere within a 30-minute commute from its home office to be in its area, but the exact radius will vary by company. Those living outside a company’s service area may pay an additional travel fee.

Consultation Process

Most solar energy companies offer a free consultation. This process includes (but is not limited to) analyzing and evaluating the home’s location and determining the amount of direct sunlight it receives. The company will often recommend a specific type of solar panel array as part of the process. The consultation should be able to give the homeowner an estimate of how much they stand to save on their current utility bill.

Pricing and Financing

In general, the cost of solar panels in Arizona ranges from around $10,072 to $13,628. Most homeowners will pay an average of around $11,850.

Financing may be available through the solar company or a private lender. Homeowners may want to consider that private lenders will often want homeowners to take out a second mortgage on their residence to secure solar loans in Arizona.

Some homeowners find PPAs (power purchase agreements) or leasing solar panels to be a reasonable alternative. This allows the homeowner to reduce their carbon footprint and save money while the leasing company owns the panels. Leases can last anywhere from 5 to 25 years. However, homeowners don’t get to benefit from any tax incentives or federal or state rebates.

Permits

A permit is necessary to have solar panels installed in many communities. The cost of a permit varies, but the installer will usually factor it into the installation price. In addition, the installer will take the required steps to pull the permit.

By obtaining a permit, the homeowner alerts the local building authority that they intend to install solar panels. The building authority will often send out an inspector to examine the panels, batteries, and wiring installation before the system is officially turned on.

Installation

Installation is an exciting process, and the installer will make any necessary modifications to the roof to support the array. Next, the wiring system will be installed, and the panels will be mounted and connected to the system.

The final process of switching the new system on has to wait until an inspector checks everything out. The installer typically notifies the inspector ahead of time, so there’s little downtime between the final installation and turning the system on.

Guarantees

In the solar panel industry, a limited 25-year guarantee is typical. It includes replacing components or repairing panels that fail due to installation errors or factory defects. But homeowners will want to be careful because not all warranties are the same. Some cover only the cost of replacement parts, leaving the homeowner responsible for paying the repair technicians. Others guarantee specific aspects of the system for shorter durations. For example, a company may offer a 25-year warranty on panel performance but only guarantee the inverter for half that length of time.

Rebates and Tax Incentives

A tax credit allows homeowners to deduct a certain percentage of their solar panel expenses from their income tax liability. Systems installed through 2032 are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit. For example, if the solar panels cost $10,000 and the tax credit was 30 percent, the homeowner could reduce their income tax liability by $3,000. Arizona customers may be eligible for additional state tax credits.

Customer Support

Buying a solar array is an expensive prospect, and if something goes wrong, it’s comforting to know the solar company is there to handle the problem promptly. Virtually all solar companies have a call-in customer service number, and many have an emergency number for after-hours calls. Some companies offer online support via chat or email. The more options a company offers, the higher the customer satisfaction in most cases.

Our Top Picks

Solar makes a sensible renewable energy choice for Arizona homeowners. Some customers want to be totally off-grid and self-sufficient. Others want to stay connected, reduce monthly bills, and sell their excess clean electricity to the grid. Either way, the best solar companies in Arizona can help make it happen.

Best Overall

Photo: sunpower.com

Why It Made the Cut: After nearly 40 years of leading the home solar industry, SunPower continues its successful strategy of designing simple, reliable, efficient systems using high-quality solar equipment.

Since the mid-1980s, SunPower has led the home solar industry by designing easy-to-operate, reliable solar systems powered by top-quality solar equipment. It serves clients throughout the United States, including Arizona. The company offers some of the best solar products, such as Maxeon monocrystalline solar panels. With an efficiency rate of 22.8 percent, these are some of the best solar panels on the market. They feature a sleek, low profile and integrated microinverters to minimize the impact on the home’s curb appeal.

In addition to the performance and peace of mind that comes with its efficient and reliable solar panels, SunPower’s design process is streamlined for client convenience. The interactive online design studio makes it easy to tackle this step virtually. And SunPower’s equipment features Cradle to Cradle certification, meaning it maintains a minimal environmental impact through sustainable, circular production. Prospective customers initiate contact with a SunPower support representative with a phone call.

Specs

  • Type of panels: Maxeon monocrystalline
  • Payment options: Buy, finance, lease
  • Guarantee: 25-year complete-system warranty
  • Customer support: Phone

Pros

  • High 22.8 percent efficiency rate
  • Cradle to Cradle–certified equipment
  • Interactive online design studio feature
  • Sleek design with built-in microinverters

Cons

  • Customer service only available by phone

Runner-Up

The Best Solar Companies in Arizona Option ADT Solar
Photo: goadtsolar.com

Why It Made the Cut: ADT Solar boasts a strong reputation for installing equipment from top manufacturers and backing its work with an industry-leading 25-year comprehensive warranty.

In 2021, ADT acquired Sunpro Solar and rebranded itself ADT Solar. It is now one of the top solar companies in Arizona. In an industry known for high equipment prices, ADT Solar stands out from the competition by covering the equipment it installs with an outstanding warranty. It guarantees that the systems it installs will produce at the estimated level for 25 years after purchase. However, because ADT Solar does not manufacture the products it installs, variation in system components may occur from project to project depending on availability. Luckily, phone and email customer support is readily available to answer questions.

ADT Solar also supports its customers with 24/7 solar monitoring to ensure that the system is running properly at all times. If need be, the company’s solar installation technicians can also make roofing repairs required for a solar panel installation. This can streamline the process and means that a homeowner doesn’t need to hire an additional contractor.

Specs

  • Type of panels: Not specified
  • Payment options: Buy, finance, lease
  • Guarantee: 25-year power-production guarantee
  • Customer support: Phone, email

Pros

  • Generous 25-year power-production guarantee
  • 24/7 solar monitoring
  • Additional roofing repair services available

Cons

  • Solar panel information not readily available

Best Customer Experience

The Best Solar Companies in Arizona Option Momentum Solar
Photo: momentumsolar.com

Why It Made the Cut: Momentum Solar adheres to a uniquely personalized service approach, with a single point of client contact from consultation through installation to make the entire process easier for homeowners.

Momentum Solar opened its doors in 2009, and for the past dozen years has continued to grow its position in the residential solar market. Customers especially appreciate its one-on-one sales and service approach: They work with the same Momentum Solar representative from initial contact and consultation all the way through installation and system start-up.

Momentum Solar’s personal approach builds outstanding customer relationships by minimizing communication breakdowns and fostering greater accountability. The company handles all paperwork and permits, and helps clients take full advantage of regional and local clean energy incentive programs. It all makes for a low-stress, high-satisfaction experience. The information readily available on Momentum’s website is slim, but customers can contact a representative via phone or email with any pressing questions.

Specs

  • Type of panels: Monocrystalline (various manufacturers)
  • Payment options: Buy, finance, lease
  • Guarantee: 25-year equipment and labor warranty
  • Customer support: Phone, email

Pros

  • Streamlined “concierge” service offered
  • All paperwork and permits handled on behalf of the customer

Cons

  • Somewhat limited information available online
  • No solar batteries available

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Solar Companies in Arizona Option Blue Raven Solar
Photo: blueravensolar.com

Why It Made the Cut: Blue Raven Solar makes start-up easy with free financing for up to 18 months before the first payment is due, making solar a more accessible option to Arizonans.

Homeowners in the Phoenix, Arizona, area will want to consider Blue Raven Solar for some of the best solar deals. Since its startup in 2014, Blue Raven Solar has been one of the fastest- growing providers of home solar systems, now serving 17 states. Its goal is to maximize homeowner access to low-cost clean energy alternatives through free 18-month financing and system ownership, rather than solar leases or PPAs.

Blue Raven Solar offers reliable, low-cost solar panel and inverter installations. It installs high-efficiency monocrystalline panels from several reputable, budget-friendly brands like Canadian Solar and Trina. It does not install battery backups at this time. Instead, excess solar electricity produced is sold back to the grid electricity provider to offset the cost of power consumption at night or when it’s too cloudy to operate. The Blue Raven Smart Start program allows customers to pay a reduced monthly price. As an added bonus, customers can receive an energy-saving kit with an LED light package and smart thermostat at no extra cost to help them save even more money.

Specs

  • Type of panels: Monocrystalline (various manufacturers)
  • Payment options: Buy, finance
  • Guarantee: 25-year manufacturer warranty, 10-year labor warranty
  • Customer support: Phone, email

Pros

  • Flexible and relatively affordable BluePower Plus+ financing option
  • Money-saving Smart Start program available
  • Complimentary energy-saving kit

Cons

  • Service area restricted to Phoenix metro area
  • No solar lease option
  • No solar batteries available

Also Consider

The Best Solar Companies in Arizona Option Sun Valley Solar Solutions
Photo: sunvalleysolar.com

Why It Made the Cut: Sun Valley Solar Solutions is a local Arizona-based company with a strong reputation for quality, efficiency, and excellent customer support for more than 15 years.

Those who prefer to work with a locally owned and operated company will want to take a close look at Sun Valley Solar Solutions. It’s been in business in Chandler, Arizona, since 2006 and has a great reputation for clean, fast, quality work. As an Arizona-based company, it specializes in products and designs proven to withstand the hot, arid climate. With Sun Valley Solar Solutions, everything is done in-house, from the initial site evaluation and custom solar system design through installation and maintenance.

Sun Valley Solar Solutions creates and installs fully customized solar power systems. It offers both purchase and lease programs for grid-tied or off-grid projects. It also installs whole-home and emergency battery backup systems, including Tesla Powerwall and Generac PWRcell. Residential installations are backed by a 25-year warranty, and the company offers system service and maintenance as well. The website does not offer details regarding types of solar panels and inverters used, but a quick email or phone call to customer service will provide answers to any questions.

Specs

  • Type of panels: Not specified
  • Payment options: Buy, finance, lease
  • Guarantee: 25- to 30-year manufacturer warranty, 10-year labor warranty
  • Customer support: Phone, email

Pros

  • End-to-end in-house process
  • Metal conduits built to withstand high Arizona temperatures
  • Sleek all-black and invisible tile options

Cons

  • Solar panel information not specified

Our Verdict

With thousands of dollars at stake, deciding which solar company is right for the project may be challenging. For most new solar construction or conversion from conventional grid power to home solar, we favored SunPower. It’s a trusted brand with a strong reputation for customer service and long-lasting equipment. Customers with less equipment brand loyalty and a willingness to trust an experienced installer’s recommendations may prefer ADT Solar’s approach. It installs dependable equipment from numerous manufacturers and backs its installations with a generous 25-year warranty.

How We Chose the Best Solar Companies in Arizona

Changing from utility electricity to renewable solar power requires a major commitment on the homeowner’s part. Locating a trusted installer presents challenges. Nearly 300 solar installers operate in Arizona, including plenty of inexperienced operators along with sales and marketing companies that subcontract the work. We filtered the field to identify a shorter list of companies that keep the design and install in-house and have plenty of 4- and 5-star reviews on Google and with the Better Business Bureau to support their work.

Our team researched the top local and nationwide businesses to identify the best solar companies in Arizona. Because each customer and installation is unique, we favored businesses that exhibit operational flexibility and transparency. In addition to customer reviews and ratings, we valued industry certifications and awards. Then we dug deeper to confirm that business processes were in place to continue garnering those high ratings in the future.

Home solar equipment and installation are significant up-front expenses that eventually pay off through reduced utility bills. With this financial burden in mind, our team ensured that the companies we recommend offer customer assistance for access to applicable incentive programs.

Before You Work With One of the Best Solar Companies in Arizona

Before preparing to spend tens of thousands of dollars, it’s a good idea for homeowners to take a few steps and protect themselves.

Prior to setting up a consultation with any solar company, the homeowner will want to find out if the company can live up to the project requirements. First, they’ll want to consider where the company is physically located and where its shop or warehouse is located. If those are not within a reasonable distance from the installation site, warranty, service, and maintenance service appointments could become problematic later on.

The company should provide a detailed plan before the customer signs a contract or pays a deposit. This includes itemized equipment to be installed, a schematic of the installation, and a work timeline. Homeowners will want to review the materials to ensure that the contractor arranges the pre-work permitting process and post-work inspections.

It’s important to understand that many of the companies selling solar in Arizona are sales and marketing agencies that outsource installation work to subcontractors. In this scenario, accountability for warranty work can be cloudy. The safest bet is to work with a company that installs the products it sells.
Homeowners can clarify if the company subcontracts out the installation. If so, it’s important to learn about the vetting process. Is the subcontractor licensed, insured, and trained to install the equipment in the contract? Has the contracted company even worked with this particular subcontractor in the past? Who from the contracted company oversees the subcontractors? Will that person be on-site during installation?

Cost of Working With One of the Best Solar Companies in Arizona

The average cost of solar installation in Arizona is $2.37 per watt, or between $10,072 to $13,628 for a whole-house system. Other costs beyond the price of equipment and installation influence actual expenses and savings.

Buyers assume the full financial burden of installation along with ongoing maintenance responsibilities. For instance, they may want to hire one of the best solar panel cleaning services to keep panels running efficiently. Paying for the system in full upon installation typically leads to the lowest total cost and highest potential savings. Financing the system extends the payment period and may add interest or other fees. However, financing still affords the benefits of tax incentives and significant operational savings thanks to the ability to sell excess electricity to the power company.

Customers who lease solar systems and therefore do not own them benefit from a reduced power bill, but not the additional offset from selling power back to the utility. Also, lease customers do not qualify for the tax incentives buyers receive. Those who lease end up paying the most for solar in the long run.

The Advantages of Working With One of the Best Solar Companies in Arizona

With so many solar companies to choose from in Arizona, it pays to spend time finding the best contractor for the project. The best Arizona solar companies have a proven track record of high-quality work and superior customer service. Plus, they offer added benefits like:

  • Expert design and installation of solar systems tailored to the client’s property and needs.
  • Proactive communication and customer service that minimizes problems and maximizes access to renewable energy incentives.
  • Durable equipment options at fair prices that deliver dependable, efficient, cost-effective home power generation.

FAQs

Homeowners who are considering contracting with one of the best solar panel companies in Arizona may still have a few questions. The following information should help answer the most frequently asked questions.

Q. Do I need a permit for building a solar system in Arizona?

Solar installations do require permits in Arizona. You’ll want to check with your local building authority for details based on the type, size, and location.

Q. Is Arizona state a good place for solar panels?

Arizona is the top state in the U.S. for solar power generation. The climate is extremely favorable, and top-notch installers are available throughout the state.

Q. How much does solar panel installation cost in Arizona on average?

Arizona solar installation prices average $2.37 per watt. For a whole-home system, plan on spending between $10,072 and $13,628. These are average residential prices after receiving the federal tax credit.

Q. Do I pay taxes on AZ solar panels?

In Arizona, solar equipment is sales-tax exempt, and the added value of a solar installation is property-tax exempt. On the contrary, solar creates tax benefits. Arizona homeowners who purchase solar could qualify for a federal tax credit on up to 30 percent of the system cost, as well as a 25 percent state solar tax credit (maximum available credit of $1,000).

Q. Do solar companies in AZ charge for consultations?

While each company sets its own prices and policies, the vast majority of solar companies in Arizona do not charge consultation fees.

Sources: Moving.org, SEIA, EnergySage, Energy.gov