Solar panels on rooftop of blue home in Arizona with palm tree to the right and cacti in the foreground

How Soon Will You Break Even on Rooftop Solar? 

Rooftop solar panels save you enough money on your electric bills that they will pay for themselves over time. But just how long will it take for that to happen? 

Your solar payback period (the amount of time it takes solar panels to pay for themselves) depends on a variety of factors, and payback periods can vary significantly even for houses in the same neighborhood. 

In this guide, we explain what impacts solar panel ROI, what a good payback period for solar looks like, and how you can speed up your solar payback period. 

Average Solar Panel Break-Even Point in Arizona 

Most homeowners break even on solar in 7-10 years. But solar panel break-even points can vary significantly depending on how much electricity costs where you live and how much electricity your solar panels generate. 

In Arizona, electricity rates are average and sunshine is abundant, which means solar payback periods are often faster in Arizona than they are in other parts of the country. Some Arizona homeowners break even on their solar panels in as little as five years. 

Factors that Will Affect Your Solar Panel Payback Period 

There are a few key factors that will impact your solar payback period. 

Electricity Rates & Consumption 

The more you spend on electricity, the more you will save with solar panels and the faster you will break even. Because of this, solar panel payback periods are the fastest in states with high electricity prices and for homeowners who use a lot of power. 

Let’s say, for example, you keep your AC on around the clock, have a pool, and charge your EV at home. You’re using a lot of electricity, which means you stand to save a lot of money by switching to solar. And, the more you save, the sooner you will break even. 

Sunlight Access 

Sunlight access is one of the most important determining factors when it comes to solar payback periods. Solar panels generate more electricity—and therefore have faster payback times—in bright, sunny climates than in cloudy ones. A solar energy system installed in a sunny state like Arizona will likely have a faster payback period than a similar system installed in areas like New England where there is less sunlight throughout the year. 

Solar Panel Cost 

How much your solar panels cost will ultimately determine your payback period—the more you spend on solar panels, the longer it will take to recoup your costs. Thankfully, the cost of solar panels is going down. Solar panel costs have dropped by 42% over the past 10 years in Arizona. Meanwhile, solar incentives have only gotten better. The federal solar tax credit reduces your upfront installation costs by 30%, which means you have 30% less to recover before you break even on solar. 

How to Speed Up Your Solar Payback Period 

Solar panels last for 25-30+ years, which means you have plenty of time to earn money on your investment after you break even. But still, the faster you break even the more money you will save (and make) with solar. 

So how can you ensure the fastest payback period for solar panels? 

By installing a custom solar power system! 

Many solar companies install slightly modified versions of the same solar panel system for all their customers. But every house is different and no two homeowners use electricity the exact same way. That’s why SouthFace Solar & Electric installs custom solar energy systems. We will analyze your electricity consumption and conduct a thorough site assessment so we can design a system that maximizes output and saves you as much money as possible. 

SouthFace Solar & Electric specializes in custom solar energy systems that bring more power to you! We install rooftop solar, ground-mounted solar, solar battery storage, and off-grid solar and will help you find the best fit for your home. 

Find out how much you could be saving with solar panels! Call 480-405-6105 or contact us to get a free estimate.

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