Skip to content
Solar projects for home. How long do solar panels really last?

Solar projects for home. How long do solar panels really last?

    Investing in renewable solar energy

    Rooftop solar panels can increase your property value and help you offset your energy use with clean, renewable power.

    Beware of scams. If a company claims to partner with SRP, make sure they’re on our approved list by calling (602) 889-2657 (602) 889-2657. We’re available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday. You can also email

    While rooftop solar benefits individual homes and businesses, SRP is committed to investing in solar energy on a large scale. Utility-scale solar energy is produced in a commercial facility, like a solar farm, and it can be shared with customers across the Valley – even those who don’t have solar panels. Learn more.

    solar, projects, home, long

    Solar installation costs

    Here’s a look at the costs involved:

    • Materials: Cost of panels, racking and mounting, inverter, etc.
    • Permit: Ensures that installation meets electrical codes
    • Design: Placing panels for maximum access to sunlight
    • Labor: A qualified installer to ensure efficiency and safety
    • Your SRP bill: Pay for access to grid energy (when you use more than you’ve generated)
    • Maintenance: Checkup and repairs to ensure peak performance

    Learn more about how solar and battery storage works.

    Are you considering installing a rooftop solar system for your home? Try out SRP’s solar calculator in SRP My Account™ to help estimate the costs.

    SRP solar price plans and monthly costs

    Even with solar panels installed on your home, you’ll still have an SRP bill. SRP offers several price plans to help rooftop solar customers save. Explore our solar price plans.

    On any solar price plan, you’ll pay a monthly service charge that includes the cost of energy supplied by SRP. At certain times of the day, it’s not unusual for your energy use to exceed what your panels have generated. When that happens, your house will pull power from SRP’s electric grid, and you’ll be charged for that energy.

    Your monthly costs can be affected by many factors, such as the placement of your panels and the season of the year.

    Understanding energy and demand

    While SRP no longer offers incentives for solar installations now that the solar market has matured, we offer other rebates to help you save money — and the environment.

    Demand Management Systems Rebate

    Get 250 from SRP with the purchase and installation of a new rooftop Demand Management System installed by an SRP Preferred Solar Installer. These systems help you avoid running major appliances at the same time during on-peak hours.

    Solar tax credits

    A variety of state and federal incentives are available to help Arizonans invest in solar technologies. The current federal residential solar energy credit offers:

    • 30% tax credit for systems installed between 2022–2032
    • 26% tax credit for systems installed in 2033 and 22% for systems installed in 2034 ( )

    For other rebates, search the Database of State Incentives for Renewables Efficiency ®. To see if you qualify for these credits, consult a tax professional.

    Experience Peace of Mind for Decades to Come with Sunrun Rooftop Solar Panels

    When you team up with a solar company like Sunrun, you can create your own affordable, clean energy and gain independence from your utility company. A Sunrun solar installation can help power your home when the sun is out while you boost control over your energy usage and reduce your dependence on fossil fuels.

    Solar 4.0: Ultra Efficient Solar Panel Breakthrough

    We offer several residential solar plans to help you start your solar journey. Find out which is the ideal fit for your budget and unique energy needs.

    We offer some of the best solar rooftop panel systems on the market, and you can bring them home through a lease payment plan, flexible solar financing, or by paying outright. Our made-to-fit solar solutions, paired with exceptional service and our industry-leading solar guarantee, have positioned us as the leading residential solar and energy storage company in the U.S. 1

    Solar panels are just one part of the solution to experience energy freedom and security. To ensure you get the most out of your home energy system, consider adding a solar battery back-up service like Sunrun’s Brightbox. Hundreds of millions of people were affected by blackouts from 2008 to 2017. 2 With Brightbox, you can keep your lights on and your food fresh during outages with a Smart, affordable, and reliable back-up power system.

    Benefits of Adding Sunrun’s Battery Storage Service to Your Solar Panels

    Brightbox doesn’t need dangerous, expensive, and toxic fossil fuels to work. 3 When the sun is out, it can store clean and affordable back-up power for later use.

    Brightbox paired with a Tesla Powerwall can help you back up your entire home, or you can back up just the rooms you need with an LG Chem solar battery.

    Tesla Powerwall and LG Chem solar batteries can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years, and they typically come with a 10-year manufacturer warranty for your peace of mind.

    Solar with incentives

    Our Automated Site Modeling tool is a revolutionary technology that allows us to design a custom Sunrun home solar energy system based on your roof’s unique dimensions and layout.

    Sunrun’s Automated Site Modeling tool will use your roof’s individual profile, including shading, pitch, sun exposure, seasonality, and roof obstacles. This will ensure that the designed Sunrun solar panel system matches your home’s structure and unique energy needs. A customized system can let you know your potential control over your future electricity bills

    Sunrun’s Product Selector is an innovative and simple tool. It lets you know in minutes which solar plan, with or without a home battery, can give you and your family more benefits in the long run, depending on where you live.

    Sunrun’s Product Selector will use information about your roof’s type and pitch, your household size, and other important aspects, like if you have a home office or if you need back-up power, to recommend the best Sunrun home solar plan for you. This can help secure the peace of mind you deserve during rising energy costs and power outages while reducing your carbon footprint.

    Does my state offer incentives to go solar?

    See the states where Sunrun is currently available and the solar incentives that might be offered where you live. Some of the most common solar incentives include tax credits, property tax exemptions, and rebates. No matter what state you live in, you may be eligible for the Federal Solar Tax Credit (ITC) if you decide to purchase a home solar energy system.

    You can get a Sunrun monthly plan to lease your solar panels or prepay for your renewable energy through a solar power purchase agreement or PPA plan. As a result, any incentive savings you would receive through tax credits and rebates with a system purchase can be passed to you in the form of a lower solar bill.

    How do solar panels work?

    You can’t talk about solar panels without talking about silicon. Silicon is a non-metallic element and the second-most abundant material on earth. 4 It can also convert sunlight into electricity, and it’s a key component in a solar system (also known as a photovoltaic, or PV system). 5

    Solar panels, solar cells, or PV cells, are made by slicing crystalline silicon (also known as wafers) that are millimeters thin. These wafers are sandwiched between protective glass, insulation, and a protective back sheet, which make a solar panel. The back sheet helps to regulate the temperature and humidity to optimize the solar panel’s efficiency. 6 Multiple solar panels connected together create a solar array, and ultimately, a solar system.

    Then there’s the physics of how solar cells work: Electricity is made when electrons move between atoms. The top and bottom of a silicon wafer in the solar cell are treated with small amounts of atoms of extra materials—such as boron, gallium, or phosphorus—so that the top layer has more electrons and the bottom layer has less. When the sun activates the electrons in these oppositely charged layers, the electrons move through a circuit attached to the panels. This flow of electrons through the circuit is what generates the electrical current that ultimately powers a home. 7

    What are the different types of solar panels?

    Monocrystalline solar panels:

    Monocrystalline solar panels have the highest efficiency and power capacity out of all other types of solar panels. Another reason why people choose them is because of how they look. The solar cells within monocrystalline panels are square-shaped and have a single, flat black color, making them the most popular type of solar panels among homeowners. 8 Sunrun uses monocrystalline PV modules in all its home solar systems.

    I Installed a Power Plant Myself | HUGE DIY Solar Panel System

    Polycrystalline solar panels:

    The manufacturing process of polycrystalline solar panels is less costly than monocrystalline panels, but it also makes them less efficient. Usually, polycrystalline solar panels don’t have the corners cut off of them, so you won’t see the large white spaces on the front of the panel that you see on monocrystalline panels. 8

    Thin-film solar panels:

    Thin-film solar panels are less costly and easier to install than their counterparts. Still, they aren’t the best option for a home solar installation due to their efficiency, lightweight material, and durability. 8

    Making Electricity With Solar Power Made Simple

    The sun produces heat and light, so how do we turn energy from the sun into electricity that people can use? The infographic below provides a brief explanation of how the sun, solar panels, and batteries or other devices work together to convert the sun’s energy into electricity. For a more detailed explanation, see the LetsGoSolar page How Solar Panels Work.

    How Solar Panels Work

    The sun sends energy in the form of photons. These particles of sunlight bump into solar panels.

    When photons reach a solar panel, the panel converts them into electrons that flow through the panel and become electricity.

    Solar panels are often called photovoltaic (PV) panels because they use the process of turning photons into electricity, or voltage.

    Some devices can use the power that comes straight from a solar panel as long as the panel gets enough light. Others use rechargeable batteries to store the solar electricity and discharge it when needed.

    Solar Projects for Teens

    Building solar-powered toys isn’t ideal for everyone, especially older kids and teenagers who are more drawn to practical projects than mechanical dinosaurs and cars. That doesn’t mean that teens have to miss out on the fun. There are tons of solar project tutorials available to teens, whether they’re fascinated by science and engineering or just want to try an eco-friendly DIY project. Solar ovens and simple solar cellphone chargers are two popular projects that teenagers can do inexpensively on their own.

    Solar ovens really work for cooking food on sunny days. Plus, you can make a solar oven in an afternoon with materials found around the house or easily obtained from the grocery store. Instructions vary by project, but most call for a box, aluminum foil, clear plastic wrap, a box cutter, and tape. Because a wide range of tutorials is available, teens who don’t have the exact materials for one set of instructions can easily find other sets to match what they have on hand. Don’t have a packing box with flaps, but there’s a pizza box waiting to go into the recycling bin? Follow a pizza box solar oven tutorial.

    A solar-curious teen looking for something a bit more advanced might be interested in building a solar cellphone charger. Chargers can be made for around 20, and they’re great for camping trips, dorm rooms with limited outlets and general energy-saving goodness. Charging time will depend on the capacity of the solar panel used, and adding a power bank allows for charging even when the panel isn’t in direct sunlight. Though this project isn’t as fast and easy to build as a solar oven, teens will end up with a rewarding and practical product they made themselves.

    Solar Resources for Parents Teachers

    • Florida Solar Energy Center: The FSEC provides solar energy curricula and professional development resources for K–12 teachers.
    • National Renewable Energy Laboratory: The NREL provides renewable-energy lesson plans and teaching resources appropriate for elementary, middle and high school students and for teacher development.
    • New York State Energy Research and Development Authority: Access more than 30 hands-on solar-energy science projects appropriate for students in fourth through 12th grade.
    • Origin Energy – Energy Savers: This Australian site provides useful solar-related lessons and activities that extend beyond science and into other subjects.
    • U.S. Energy Information Administration: K–12 teachers can find energy-related lesson plans, activities, science fair experiments, field trip ideas and additional resources.
    • NASA’s Climate Kids: Read, watch videos and make projects to learn about solar energy and other ways to protect the earth.
    • Energy Kids: Kids can play games, conduct experiments and learn about energy and its different sources on this site presented by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
    • Energy Star Kids: Energy Star Kids is packed with information on renewable energy resources, environmental responsibility and how kids can help save energy.
    • Go SEEK!: Suitable for elementary, middle and high school students alike, Go SEEK! (an acronym for Solar Energy Eco Knowledge) breaks down complex solar energy principles into easy-to-understand terms and offers many fun and useful resources for kids to explore.
    • NeoK12: Games, lessons and short educational videos help kids learn about different aspects of solar energy.
    • Solar Kids!: Fun animations, videos, and activities guide kids through solar-power and electricity basics.


    Stay up-to-date with solar. Join our email list to receive the quarterly newsletter.

    How Do Solar Panels Work?

    You’ve probably seen solar panels all over that power houses, schools, car charging stations, street lights, pool heaters, and more. Scientists and engineers are working to develop powered transportation like trains and cars, too!

    Next time you’re out and about, check your surroundings to see if you can spot some solar panels.

    solar, projects, home, long

    Solar panels harness energy from the sun and turn it into electricity. Panels are made up of many photovoltaic cells that absorb photon light particles. When the sun hits the cell, the photons in the sun excite the electrons in the cell. These electrons move within the solar cell until they reach an electrode where the electricity is captured.

    The current produced is direct current (DC), but your house needs alternating current (AC) to power appliances, lights and more. The panel also includes an inverter to change it to the right format. Homeowners with solar panels can power their own house plus send their extra electricity to the power grid thereby helping their neighbors too!

    Solar-Powered Paper House Supplies

    First up you’ll need the paper house template. It includes a helpful circuit diagram to make wiring the house easy. Just enter your info below and it will be emailed to you within a few minutes.

    Download your free Solar Powered Paper House Template by entering your information below.

    This project takes a few special supplies but they’re easy to source online and well worth the trouble. I’ve shared links to the version I used.

    • Solar Powered Paper House Template
    • Cardstock
    • Art supplies (optional)
    • Scissors
    • Box cutter
    • Ruler
    • Repositionable double-sided tape
    • Mini solar panel (5V)
    • 5 mm or 10 mm LED bulb
    • Copper tape

    How to Build a Solar-Powered Paper House


    • First, print out your template on cardstock. Decorate if desired.
    • Cut cardstock around the solid black lines. To cut out the Windows, grab an adult and a box cutter.
    • Fold the house along the dotted lines. A ruler can help you make a straight fold.
    • Add double-sided tape to the flaps on the bottom of the house and tape it to the base. Save the roof for the next step.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *