Arizona Solar Rebates And Incentives

Rebates list

Arizona Rebates and Incentives Summary

Arizona

Arizona is probably the sunniest state in the U.S. and it’s firmly in the U.S.’s sunbelt, making it an ideal state for solar installations. As such some of the world’s largest solar farms are being built in the state’s borders. Some of which is being used to power its bigger neighbor, California, some used within the state. Arizona’s renewable portfolio standard, which mandates utilities are required to acquire 15 percent of their electricity from renewable resources by 2025. Of that, 30 percent must come from distributed generation like on homes and businesses. As such the state and utilities in the state have programs that offer incentives for solar on people’s homes and businesses. These include net-metering and rebates through utilities and other incentives from the state and from municipalities. Such incentives include personal, property and sales tax credits. 

Tax credits and rebates are available to property owners who upgrade or maintain renewable energy sources. One such program is Arizona’s Energy Equipment Property Tax Exemption, under which renewable electric generation, including solar thermal electric, photovoltaics, landfill gas, wind and biomass is not considered by the state to add. In addition, solar and wind-energy-generating equipment are exempted from sales tax.

Under Arizona’s net-metering rules homeowners and variety of other entities including businesses and municipal entities, among others, renewable energy installations up to 125 percent of their energy usage can qualify for net-metering. Under the rules, net excess generation can carry forward over a year period until it’s reimbursed to the person or entity at the utility’s avoided-cost rate.

Many utilities in Arizona offer rebates or payback programs to customers who install solar- or wind-power-generating equipment on their property. Depending on the rebate program, the utility may reimburse the system based on how many kilowatt hours the system is anticipated to produce over a 20-year lifespan. The utility will use those calculations to determine what the rebate for a system is. However, reimbursement funds are limited, so it's a good idea to check with both solar installers and local utilities to determine what current rebates are. Installers will also help home or business owners understand how much they can expect in incentives and rebates. 

Search Federal Programs, Rebates or Incentives

APS - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Rebates are also available for duct sealing through the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program, and are capped at $250 per unit, five units max.

APS customers can have a home checkup for as low as $99 (a $400 value) and have a specially trained contractor identify energy savings upgrades and options that best fits them and their lifestyle.  Visit the program website for specific details and program requirements.

APS - Solar Water Heating Incentive Program

Through the Renewable Incentive Program, Arizona Public Service (APS) offers customers who install solar water heating systems the opportunity to sell the renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with the energy generated to APS. APS uses the RECs to demonstrate compliance with the state's Renewable Energy Standard (RES). While there are no longer any up-front incentives or production-based incentives available for grid-tied PV systems, APS offers a streamlined process to interconnect renewable distributed generation. Please see www.aps.com/dg for applications and resources.

See website above for complete details. 

Building Energy Code

Note: Much of the information presented in this summary is drawn from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). For more detailed information about building energy codes, visit the DOE and BCAP web sites. 

Arizona is a home rule state; thus, codes are adopted and enforced at the local level. Developing a statewide code would require legislative action.

City of Chandler - Green Building Requirement for City Buildings

The mayor and city council of Chandler, AZ adopted Resolution 4199 in June 2008, establishing a requirement for all new occupied city buildings larger than 5,000 square feet to be designed and built to achieve the Silver level of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program, and to strive for higher levels of certification whenever project resources and conditions permit. To maintain cost control, city building projects may be exempt from the requirement if the payback period necessary to recover the initial costs is more than ten years. If a project is deemed infeasible, the project shall

City of Phoenix - Renewable Energy Goal

In 2008, the Phoenix City Council approved a renewable energy goal for the city. The city aims for 15% of the electricity used by the city to come from renewable energy sources by 2025. This goal mirrors Arizona's Renewable Energy Standard of 15% of electricity from renewable energy by 2025. The city plans to achieve this goal through renewable energy installations that are either city-owned or city-sponsored, primarily through public-private partnerships. The city council will periodically review progress towards meeting the goal and will set milestones to track progress. The Environmental Quality Commission and Public Works Department collaborated to develop

City of Scottsdale - Green Building Incentives

Scottsdale’s Green Building Program, established in 1998, was the first such program in Arizona with an emphasis on residential home construction. It was developed to encourage environmentally responsible building in the Sonoran Desert region by incorporating healthy, resource- and energy-efficient materials and methods in the design and construction of homes. The program’s goals are to reduce the environmental impact of building; achieve both short and long-term savings of energy, water and other natural resources; and encourage a healthier indoor environment.

Incentives include technical assistance, green building permits and inspections, monthly educational lectures, a homeowner’s manual, recognition on the city website,

City of Scottsdale - Green Building Policy for Public Buildings

In 2005, Scottsdale approved a green building policy for new city buildings and remodels. The resolution requires all new, occupied city buildings of any size to be designed, contracted and built to achieve certification by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Program at the "Gold" certification level as long as there is a payback period of no more than five years for projects designed to the Gold Standard. Where the payback is anticipated to be more than five years, city staff recommends to the City Council which level of LEED certification is appropriate. In

City of Tucson - Solar Design Requirement for Homes

Tucson adopted an ordinance in June 2008 that requires all new single-family homes and duplexes in Tucson to be "solar-ready." The ordinance was developed by a stakeholder group which included Technicians for Sustainability, the Tucson Association of Realtors, the Sierra Club, the Southern Arizona Homebuilders Association, architectural professionals, solar energy companies and elements of the city government. The ordinance requires all new homes either to have a photovoltaic (PV) and solar water heating system installed, or to have all the necessary hardware installed so that a system can easily be installed at a later date.

To comply with this requirement,

Duncan Valley Electric Cooperative - SunWatts Rebate Program

Duncan Valley Electric Cooperative is providing rebates to for the purchase of renewable energy systems through its SunWatts program. Photovoltaic (PV) and wind energy systems 10 kilowatts (kW) or less can receive an upfront rebate of $0.05 per watt, up to $500. Solar water heating systems can receive a rebate of $0.50 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of estimated energy savings in the first year. 

Energy Efficiency Standards for State Buildings

Arizona has energy requirements for state buildings contained within their statutes. A.R.S. § 34-451 requires the Department of Administration, the Department of Transportation, and the Arizona Board of Regents to reduce their energy use by 15% by July 1, 2011 using July 1, 2001 through June 30, 2002 as the baseline year. As a whole, the three building systems reduced their energy usage on a BTU per square foot basis by 15.8% by July 2011, meeting the requirements of the statute.

The statute also requires all departments to purchase products certified by Energy Star or the Federal Energy Management Program

Energy Equipment Property Tax Exemption

Arizona’s property tax exemption was established in June 2006 (H.B. 2429) and originally applied only to “solar energy devices and any other device or system designed for the production of solar energy for on-site consumption.” For property tax assessment purposes, these devices are considered to add no value to the property.

A "solar energy device" for the purpose of this incentive is defined as "a system or series of mechanisms designed primarily to provide heating, to provide cooling, to produce electrical power, to produce mechanical power, to provide solar daylighting or to provide any combination of the foregoing

Interconnection Guidelines

Note: In June 2007, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) initiated a rulemaking process (Docket No. RE-00000A-07-0609) to establish statewide interconnection standards for distributed generation (DG). Draft proposed rules were published for comment in June 2015. This proceeding is still in progress. Until new official rules go into effect, the commission has recommended that the utilities use the Interconnection Document as a guide. This document applies to systems up to 10 megawatts (MW) in capacity. 

The state's utilities independently developed interconnection agreements for distributed generation (DG) prior to the ACC's ongoing proceeding to establish statewide standards. The Salt River Project (SRP),

Maricopa Assn. of Governments - Solar Domestic Water Heating Permitting Standards

On June 18, 2003, the Maricopa Association of Governmetns (MAG) passed permit submission requirements for residential solar domestic water heating systems in an effort to promote uniformity. The MAG is a Council of Governments that serves as the regional agency for the metropolitan Phoenix area. These standards were most recently revised in Mary 2012.

Maricopa County - Renewable Energy Systems Zoning Ordinance

The Maricopa County Zoning Ordinance contains provisions for siting renewable energy systems. Renewable energy systems other than utility-scale electric generating facilities are allowed as an accessory use within any zoning district as long as certain siting requirements are met. Utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) or concentrating solar power (CSP) facilities are allowed as a primary or accessory use within any IND-3 zoning district, subject to the district's zoning standards and that any water consumed in the production of electricity is supplied from a renewable water source.

Lot Coverage: Small wind systems and dish type collectors do not constitute an increase to

Mohave Electric Cooperative - Heat Pump Rebate Program

Mohave Electric Cooperative is a non-profit that serves the communities of Bullhead City, Fort Mohave, Mohave Valley, Wikieup, Hackberry and Peach Springs. Mohave Electric Cooperative offers rebates for installation of energy efficient heat pumps. Installations must meet all program efficiency requirements in order to receive rebate. To see forms and additional information on these rebates, please go to the website above.

Additionally, Mohave Electric offers periodic discounts on shade trees to utility customers. Shade trees planted on the sunny side of a house can contribute significantly to exterior wall temperature reduction, saving money on cooling indoors.

Mohave Electric Cooperative - Renewable Energy Incentive Program

Mohave Electric Cooperative provides incentives for its customers to install renewable energy systems on their homes and businesses. Mohave Electric Cooperative will provide rebates for residential and commercial photovoltaic (PV) and wind systems. Rebates for solar water heating are available only for residential systems. Customers must meet all the applicable terms and conditions and submit the appropriate forms provided at the website listed above.

Net Billing

Note: In December 2016, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) voted to replace net metering with "net billing", where new customer-generators will be credited at an avoided cost rate for energy exported to the grid. Although this entry is categorized as net metering, the policy adopted by the ACC does not meet DSIRE's definition of net metering, as excess generation will no longer be netted one-to-one against consumption over the billing period.

Eligibility and Availability

Net billing is available to investor-owned utility and electric cooperative customers who generate electricity using solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass, biogas, combined heat and power, or

Non-Residential Solar & Wind Tax Credit (Corporate)

Arizona’s tax credit for solar and wind installations in commercial and industrial applications was established in June 2006 (HB 2429). The credit is available to all non-residential entities who install qualified systems on their facilities, or entities who finance, install, or manufacture a qualified system and is the transferee of tax credits secured by the purchaser of the device. Tax exempt entities are also eligible for the credit if they are subject to tax on unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) if the relevant tax credits relate to activities that generate UBTI.

The tax credit, which may be applied against

Non-Residential Solar & Wind Tax Credit (Personal)

Arizona’s tax credit for solar and wind installations in commercial and industrial applications was established in June 2006 (H.B. 2429). In May 2007, the credit was revised by H.B. 2491 to extend the credit to all non-residential entities, including those that are tax-exempt. Third parties who install or manufacture the system are now eligible as well; not only those that finance a system as allowed in the original legislation. These provisions are retroactive to January 1, 2006.

The tax credit, which may be applied against corporate or personal taxes, is equal to 10% of the installed cost of

Phoenix City - Municipal Code 232 Residential Solar PV System Permit

The City of Phoenix offers permitting plans for solar PV. The specifics of the permitting plans can be found in the city’s application found here. For all the options below the existing electric service is to remain and the installer must be present for the inspection.

  • Option A - Over-the-Counter Review : $600 Plan Review and 3 Inspections
  • Option B - Over-the-Counter Review : $450 Plan Review and 2 Inspections
  • Option C - No Plan Review : $375 Administrative Fee and 2 Inspections
  • Option D - Over-the-Counter Review : $300 Plan Review and 1 Inspection
  • Option E - No

Pima County - Solar & Wind Permitting Requirements

Pima County has outlined its solar and wind permitting standards. The general requirements include a site plan and cut sheets for all system equipment. For solar photovoltaic (PV) systems a one line diagram with conductor and conduit sizes and types must be included. Click here for more information on solar PV system requirements. Solar hot water systems require a solar hot water schematic which includes the temperature relief valve. Wind energy systems are allowed one tower per residential lot.

It should be noted that depending on the project scope, your application may require prior approval from Regional Flood Control District (RFCD).


Property Tax Assessment for Renewable Energy Equipment

For the purpose of determining property tax, renewable energy equipment owned by utilities and other entities operating in Arizona is assessed at 20% of the "taxable original cost" after deducting depreciation. "Renewable energy equipment" is defined as "electric generation facilities, electric transmission, electric distribution, gas distribution or combination gas and electric transmission and distribution and transmission and distribution cooperative property that is located in this state, that is used or useful for the generation, storage, transmission or distribution of electric power, energy or fuel derived from solar, wind or other nonpetroleum renewable sources not intended for self-consumption, including materials and

Qualifying Wood Stove Deduction

This incentive allows Arizona taxpayers to deduct the cost of converting an existing wood fireplace to a qualifying wood stove, a qualified wood fireplace, or a qualified gas-fired fireplace. The cost to purchase and install all necessary equipment is tax deductible, up to a maximum $500 deduction. Qualifying wood stoves and fireplaces must meet the standards of performance for new wood heaters manufactured after July 1990, or sold after July 1992 pursuant to 40 Code of Federal Regulations part 60, subpart AAA. This deduction is for taxable years after December 31, 1993.

Renewable Energy Business Tax Incentives

Note: H.B. 2528, enacted in May 2017, repeals these tax incentives beginning in 2018.

S.B. 1403, signed in July of 2009, created tax incentives intended to draw renewable energy product manufacturers to Arizona. Specifically, income tax credits and property tax incentives are available for companies choosing to establish or expand their manufacturing facilities and corporate headquarters in Arizona. To be eligible, the business must meet certain minimum requirements for the quantity and quality of new jobs created. Some of these requirements were amended in May 2010 by S.B. 1201. Different incentive levels are available depending on how many

Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (Corporate)

S.B. 1254 of 2010 created a tax credit for electricity produced by certain renewable resources. Qualified renewable energy systems installed on or after December 31, 2010, may be eligible for the tax credit based on the amount of electricity produced annually for a 10-year period. The Arizona Department of Revenue (DOR) will accept applications annually between January 2 and January 31 of the year following the year for which the credit is being claimed. The DOR will approve the applications on a first-come, first-served basis until the annual cap of $20 million has been reached. This cap includes both personal

Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (Personal)

S.B. 1254 of 2010 created a tax credit for electricity produced by certain renewable resources. Qualified renewable energy systems installed on or after December 31, 2010, may be eligible for the tax credit based on the amount of electricity produced annually for a 10-year period. The Arizona Department of Revenue (DOR) will accept applications annually between January 2 and January 31 of the year following the year for which the credit is being claimed. The DOR will approve the applications on a first-come, first-served basis until the annual cap of $20 million has been reached. This cap includes both personal

Renewable Energy Standard

Note: The Arizona Corporation Commission is currently considering changes to the state's Renewable Energy Standard in Docket No. E-00000Q-16-0289.

In November 2006, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) adopted final rules to expand the state's Renewable Energy Standard (RES) to 15% by 2025, with 30% of the renewable energy to be derived from distributed energy technologies. In June 2007, the state attorney general certified the rule as constitutional, allowing the new rules to go forward, and they took effect 60 days later. Investor-owned utilities and electric power cooperatives serving retail customers in Arizona, with the exception of distribution companies with

Renewable Energy Tax Credit for International Operations Centers (Corporate)

Note: H.B. 2528, enacted in May 2017, amended this tax credit so that it will no longer available to manufacturing facilities beginning in 2018. 

S.B. 1484 of 2014 provides a tax credit for new renewable energy systems that produce energy for self-consumption and are used primarily for manufacturing. H.B. 2670 of 2015 expanded this credit to include renewable energy systems that produce energy for self-consumption by “international operations centers”. H.B. 2528 of 2017 removes eligibility for manufacturers beginning in 2018.

Eligible systems must have a capacity of at least 20 megawatts (MW) or have a typical annual generation of at least

Renewable Energy Tax Credit for International Operations Centers (Personal)

Note: H.B. 2528, enacted in May 2017, amended this tax credit so that it will no longer available to manufacturing facilities beginning in 2018. 

S.B. 1484 of 2014 provides a tax credit for new renewable energy systems that produce energy for self-consumption and are used primarily for manufacturing. H.B. 2670 of 2015 expanded this credit to include renewable energy systems that produce energy for self-consumption by “international operations centers.” H.B. 2528 of 2017 removes eligibility for manufacturers beginning in 2018.

Eligible systems must have a capacity of at least 20 megawatts (MW) or have a typical annual generation of at least

Residential Solar and Wind Energy Systems Tax Credit

Arizona's Solar Energy Credit is available to individual taxpayers who install a solar or wind energy device at the taxpayer's Arizona residence. The credit is allowed against the taxpayer's personal income tax in the amount of 25% of the cost of a solar or wind energy device, with a $1,000 maximum allowable limit, regardless of the number of energy devices installed. The credit is claimed in the year of installation. If the amount of the credit exceeds a taxpayer’s liability in a certain year, the unused portion of the credit may be carried forward for up to five years. Taxpayers

Solar & Wind Equipment Certification

Collectors, heat exchangers, and storage units of solar energy systems -- and the installation of these systems -- sold or installed in Arizona must have a warranty of at least two years or guarantee the energy production output for two years. The remaining components of the system and their installation must have a warranty of at least one year. Solar energy systems are subject to random inspections by the state's registrar of contractors.

Any person manufacturing, furnishing for installation, or installing a solar energy system must provide a written statement of warranty, responsibilities assumed or disclaimed, and performance data as

Solar and Wind Equipment Sales Tax Exemption

Arizona provides a sales tax exemption* for the retail sale of solar energy devices and for the installation of solar energy devices by contractors. The statutory definition of "solar energy device" includes wind electric generators and wind-powered water pumps in addition to daylighting, passive solar heating, active solar space heating, solar water heating, and solar photovoltaics. The sales tax exemption does not apply to batteries, controls, etc., that are not part of the system. (Note that H.B. 2429, enacted in June 2006, eliminated the $5,000 limit per device.)

S.B. 1229 of 2012 extended this exemption to net metering transactions

Solar Construction Permitting Standards

Owners of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and solar water heating systems in Arizona are required to obtain a building permit before their systems may be installed. Permits are handled at the local level and awarded by counties and municipalities. Traditionally, counties and municipalities in Arizona have been free to adopt their own requirements and assign their own fees for a permit. With exceptions, these fees are generally derived from a formula that takes into account the cost and size of the project along with the cost of conducting inspections. H.B. 2615, signed in May 2008, established specific standards for

Solar Contractor Licensing

Solar Photovoltaics

The Arizona Registrar of Contractors does not offer a general solar electric contractor license, but the state's R-11 and C-11 electrical licenses cover solar electric installations. R-11 licenses are required for electrical work on residential property and C-11 licenses apply to commercial installations. Contractors can also acquire a CR-11 license to work on both residential and commercial installations.

Solar Water Heating

The Arizona Registrar of Contractors does have a specific plumbing license which includes solar water heaters. R-37 is required for contractors installing or performing maintenance on residential solar water heaters, and C-77 or C-78 are required for

Solar Design Standards for State Buildings

Arizona law requires that new state building projects over 6,000 square feet follow prescribed solar design standards. Solar improvements should be evaluated on the basis of life cycle costs. Affected buildings include buildings designed and constructed by the department of administration, school districts and universities. These projects must include an evaluation of: (a) proper site orientation; (b) active and passive solar energy systems for space heating; (c) solar water heating; and (d) use of solar daylighting devices. 


Solar Rights

Arizona law protects individual homeowners’ private property rights to solar access by dissolving any local covenant, restriction, or condition attached to a property deed that restricts the use of solar energy.

This law sustained a legal challenge in 2000. A Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled in favor of homeowners in a lawsuit filed by their homeowners association seeking to force the homeowners to remove rooftop solar panels. The judge found that the association's "guidelines combined with [its] conduct 'effectively prohibited' the defendants from placing solar heating devices on their residence, contrary to the provisions of A.R.S.-33-439 (A)."

Senate Bill

Southwest Gas Corporation - Commercial High-Efficiency Equipment Rebate Program

Southwest Gas Corporation (SWG) offers rebates to commercial customers in Arizona who purchase energy efficient natural gas equipment. Customers may apply for custom incentives. Interested commercial customers should refer to the web site above for more information. A list of available rebates can be found here.

SRP - Net Metering

Note: Salt River Project (SRP) modified its existing net-metering program for residential customers in February 2015. These changes are effective with the April 2015 billing cycle.

Residential customers that generate part of their electricity requirements on-site are billed under SRP's Customer Generation Price Plan (Schedule E-27). Customers that have purchased their distributed energy system or signed a lease agreement before December 8, 2014 may keep their original net metering rate plan for 20 years, however.

Under the self-generation plan, customers pay a fixed monthly service fee based on the size of their electricity service and a grid, or demand, charge

SRP - Solar Water Heating Program

Salt River Project's Solar Water Heating Program provides incentives to its residential customers who purchase solar water-heating systems as electric back-up systems. The incentive for residential solar water heating systems is $0.30 per kilowatt hour (kWh) of estimated annual energy savings. Incentives are prorated ($0.24 per kWh) for systems with solar collectors installed in sub-optimal locations. 

Sulphur Springs Valley EC - Residential Energy Efficiency Loan Program

Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative (SSVEC) is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative. SSVEC offers the Member Loan Program to residential customers to improve the energy efficiency of eligible homes. The program assists individuals who have been members for at least one year with no more than two delinquencies in the past year. Qualified members may apply for the loan online with a $20 processing fee and $30 recording fee, payable at the time loan papers are signed.

See the program website for further information, or contact SSVEC directly.

Sulphur Springs Valley EC - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate

Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative (SSVEC) is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative. SSVEC's residential rebate program offers a $500 rebate for the installation of 15 SEER or higher electric heat pumps and a $200 rebate for the installation of 16 SEER or higher dual fuel heat pumps. Split systems will also require an efficiency of 16 SEER. A SSVEC Energy Management Specialist can also assist you in determining the energy efficient needs for your home by providing a free home energy audit. Members may also receive $100 rebates per home on water heaters, depending on whether they are replacing a fossil

Tucson City - Solar Farm Permit Requirements

The City of Tucson has several permits that are needed for the authorization of solar farms. This table provides the information about regulations that will most likely be needed in order to develop a large solar facility.

Examples of permits include a groundwater / surface water management permit, a site plan / development plan review, a engineering preconstruction, and an electrical permit. Permits can last 1 day or 14 months depending on the individual permit.

It should be noted that some permits on this table will not be needed, and many can be approved during the processing of other permits.

Tucson Electric Power (TEP) - Business Energy Savings Tips

Tucson Electric Power offers energy savings tips on motors, refrigeration equipment, chillers, cooling systems, lighting, and more, drawing information from the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, National Electrical Manufacturers Association, DOE Office of Industrial Technologies, and Energy Star.