Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels convert energy from the sun into electricity. Arizona is an ideal location to install solar systems because we receive a relatively high amount of annual sunshine.
What are the benefits of solar power?
- Produces no emissions and is replenished naturally
- By offsetting fossil-fueled-power, it avoids the release of 2 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) and 0.5 gallons of water for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) produced
- Makes use of one of Arizona’s greatest natural resources – sunshine
- May reduce monthly electric bills for participating customers
Are utility incentives available?
TEP does not offer financial incentives to customers who install solar electric PV systems at their home or business. Thanks to falling PV prices, such incentives are no longer necessary to encourage widespread adoption of solar power systems. This helps keep TEP’s rates down, since previous incentives were funded through customer-funded surcharges.
Homeowners who purchase a PV system may qualify for federal and state tax credits to reduce the cost of the system. Talk with a tax professional about current tax credits available to you for a renewable energy system. You can also view federal and state tax credits at dsireusa.org.
Is solar generation right for me?
The decision to install a photovoltaic system on your property should be made after you consider a variety of factors. Local building codes, availability of sunlight, maintenance requirements and the cost of other alternative energy options such as wind, should all enter into your decision to install solar generation. In most populated areas of Arizona a solar generator is more cost effective than other forms of renewable generation, such as wind. This is especially true if your house has a south facing roof slope that is free of shade for the majority of the day.
How can I connect to TEP's grid?
The forms below must be completed, signed and submitted to TEP before your system can be connected to our local distribution system. Submit completed forms via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Tucson Electric Power, Renewable Energy Department (Mail Stop HQE502), 88 E. Broadway, Tucson, AZ 85701.
The following form must be signed by the main TEP account holder and submitted in PDF format. Please note TEP does not accept Electronic Signature (EX; Docusign).
How do I get started?
Review the “FAQs” and “Technical Requirements” tabs for more information. The “Installer Resources” section has information on how you can find a licensed solar installer and how your installer can submit the appropriate solar application to connect to TEP’s grid.
A typical Tucson household uses about 11,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year. One kilowatt of solar power will produce approximately 1,900 kWh per year. Your system size will depend on how much of your power you would like to generate with solar and on the availability of unshaded space on your rooftop. A field visit with a qualified installer will help determine an appropriate system size.
To request a electricity consumption report specific to your house contact us. These reports cost $8.00. TEP does not recommend a solar electric system that exceeds annual power usage.
The contractor installing your system must have a license from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (AZROC) that authorizes them to install the kind of system that you purchase. TEP does not endorse any contractor/installer. A customer may hire any qualified, licensed contractor of their choice. TEP does require the installer to also possess an Arizona business license that is active and in good standing.
Contractors are required to pass a solar trade exam with the AZROC in order to obtain the proper license classification. Some license classifications can be confusing and a contractor's license status may change at any given time. Please refer to the Arizona Registrar of Contractors website for the most up to date information and for appropriate licensing guidelines at AZROC.
TEP recommends that customers meet with at least three licensed solar installers. Evaluate each candidate's experience and consider other factors such as: Do they have any unresolved complaints, judgments or liens? Will they provide a list of references?
Download a copy of the application process – PDF 69 KB
The productivity of photovoltaic systems is sensitive to the specifics of the installation method and location. In particular, these systems are impacted by shading, photovoltaic panel horizontal tilt angle and azimuth .
|kW System||Estimated Annual System Production|
|1 kW||1,900 kWh|
|2 kW||3,800 kWh|
|3 kW||5,700 kWh|
|4 kW||7,600 kWh|
|5 kW||9,500 kWh|
|6 kW||11,400 kWh|
|7 kW||13,300 kWh|
|8 kW||15,200 kWh|
|9 kW||17,100 kWh|
|10 kW||19,000 kWh|
The typical Tucson household uses 11,000 kWh per year. The average system size in Tucson is 7 kW and produces 13,300 kWh per year, 1,108 kWh per month or 36.4 kWh per day.
The simplest way to calculate this is as follows:
- Calculate your system cost after federal/state credits.
- Estimate the electricity you will not be buying from TEP. This is your system production. This estimate is calculated by multiplying your system size in kilowatts by 1,900.
- Multiply your annual system production by your electricity rate. This is your annual savings.
- Divide your system cost – calculated in step 1 – by your annual savings – calculated in step 3. This is the years to payback.
While this is an example, real payback depends on several factors including usage, system size, ability to take tax credits, your actual installed system cost, type of PV technology used in the system, and others. The installer will be able to assist with running these calculations when you contact them.
The PV array size must at least 1.2 kW for grid-tied systems.
Yes. All photovoltaic modules must be certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory as meeting the requirements of UL-1703. All other electrical components must be UL listed. This includes the inverter, which must be certified as meeting the requirements of IEEE-1547 and must be UL-1741 certified.
Yes. Installation must follow applicable codes and standards. TEP reserves the right to discontinue this option if TEP finds self-installed systems do not adhere to applicable codes and standards or exhibit poor quality workmanship.
Consult with a tax professional about current tax credits available to you for a renewable energy system. You can also view federal and state tax credits at dsireusa.org.
Absolutely! As customers use the energy from their solar PV systems, they use less power from the utility. This allows us to reduce the amount of fuel used at our power plants, thus reducing emissions. Together, we are working today for a bright tomorrow.
- All systems shall be installed with a horizontal tilt angle between 10 degrees and 60 degrees, and an azimuth angle of +/- 100 degrees of due south.
- A system must include a dedicated performance meter (on grid-tied systems, supplied by TEP) to allow for monitoring of the amount of electricity produced.
- Photovoltaic modules must be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty of at least 20 years.
- All photovoltaic modules must be certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory as meeting the requirements of UL Standard 1703.
- All other electrical components must be UL listed.
- The inverter must be certified as meeting the requirements of IEEE-1547 — Recommended Practice for Utility Interface of Photovoltaic Systems — and it must be UL 1741 certified.
- The utility meter, inverter, and utility disconnect will be installed in a location readily accessible by TEP during normal business hours.
- PV Production meter sets and net meter exchanges will be delayed for any project that has not followed the Non-Incentive Residential PV Application Process.
- Contact a licensed solar installer for an estimate. Please refer to the AZROC website.
- Meet with your installer to complete all required TEP program documents. Installer is responsible for submitting the appropriate application for your system.
- TEP will review your online application and submitted program documents, to ensure it conforms to program requirements
- TEP will respond with an acceptance letter. The letter will be emailed direct to the customer within 30 days upon receipt of properly completed program documents and online application.
- Installer will pick up Materials at Border States. Material Pickup information
- Installer notifies TEP that installation is complete by submitting the Certificate of Completion to TEP.
- TEP, at their discretion, will perform an acceptance test to verify system performance.
- TEP installs solar production meter and will exchange billing meter for a net-billing meter upon receiving the Certification of Completion from installer and notification of approved final electrical inspection form.
- TEP Builder Attachment A & B
- New Installer's Packet
- TEP Attachment A & B (Net Metering Disclaimer and Service Requirement Acknowledgement)
- Must be signed by Main TEP Account Holder
- Submitted in PDF format
- Has a real customer signature (Electronic signatures will NOT be accepted)
- TEP Service Requirements for Small Interconnected DG Sources (SR-1.22)
- TEP Service Requirements for Medium-sized Interconnected DG Sources (SR-1.23)
- Senate Bill 1465
- TEP Consumer Acknowledgement
Inquires regarding Meter sets, Consumption reports, receipts of clearance and general program information should be directed to TEP's customer care department.
Questions regarding PTO's, A & B forms, Certificates of completion and Project Approvals can be submitted to Sunshare@tep.com