An Interview with Robert Lamore, Co-Founder of Arizona Solar Solutions

Arizona Solar Solutions, a highly successful, locally owned and operated family business has been providing solar solutions for Arizona residents for years.  With many solar companies appearing on the local scene, Arizona Solar Solutions continues to be an industry leader in the Arizona solar market.  This company is committed to each and every customer offering exceptional customer service.  From sponsoring local youth athletics to hosting job fairs, Arizona Solar Solutions is fiercely committed to the local community and economy.

We recently had a chance to sit down with one of the owners of Arizona Solar Solutions, Robert Lamore, to get a better understanding of how this local company can compete and find success in such a challenging and dynamic market place.

Q:  Arizona Solar Solutions is a Valley Wide Company, initially an electrical company. Is that right?  With such a successful electrical company (Valley Wide Electric), what inspired you to create Arizona Solar Solutions?

Robert: We realized that a new market was emerging in Arizona with cutting edge technology that would change the way we buy electricity. We felt that starting Arizona Solar Solutions would be a great opportunity to bring a product (Solar) to the Arizona market place which was good for the environment, good for the people of Arizona, and good for our future generations while giving our customers a choice to purchase power from a clean renewable source while controlling their electrical bill and saving money. We also felt that the solar market in Arizona would be “unstoppable” with 300 plus day of sun shine a year and a large customer base; everyone with a roof needs to buy electricity and now they have a clean and less expensive option.

Q:  What is Arizona Solar Solution’s mission and how does that address Arizona’s unique market?

Robert:  Arizona Solar Solution’s mission is to make Arizona a better place through the integration of renewable technologies. The solar industry is in its infancy and still growing, changing, and evolving. Arizona is one of the largest adopters of residential roof top solar as an alternative to traditional electrical utility in the United States and in the next five years we anticipate that residential roof top solar will have a market penetration double or triple of what it is today. This is very exciting!  Arizona residents are becoming increasingly aware of the option to use solar generated electricity, how it works, and how it can benefit them.  This is a product that provides a winning scenario for homeowners and their pocket books, their children, and our environment. I mean, if we can save some money and decrease our carbon footprint and do something good for the environment why wouldn’t we?!  Solar energy is a source of clean, inexpensive electricity which can save the homeowner money on their electrical bill, it’s that simple.

Q:  What are some of the challenges you face with the local Arizona solar market?

Robert:  Roof Top Solar is a direct threat to the profitability of standard utility companies in Arizona. Utilities are, of course, monopolies that we are all forced to deal with.  These companies set a price and we (homeowners) have to pay it, we have never had an option In Arizona. However, residential solar systems can help break that monopoly.  Arizona Solar Solutions utilizes a new business model that offers an inexpensive and renewable source of electricity and solar electricity does a more efficient, cheaper, and cleaner job producing this electricity that we all use every day than our state electrical utility companies capable or willing to do.  The challenge we face as the solar provider is educating people that they have a choice now and making them aware of this alternative energy source and explaining that there are various ways at a variety of price points that makes this alternative possible and accessible for all homeowners at better pricing then currently offered by the electrical utility. But just as any other technological innovation grows and develops, solar energy will too.  As it becomes more prevalent and communities begin to see more solar panels on more roof tops, people will mainstream this new technology.  I predict that in the future, as society become more educated on their choices and potential savings,  both homeowners and business owners will be less willing to be told what to do and how much to pay by the utility companies, they will demand choice and completion in the market place.

Q:  As with any business, employees are critical to success.  What do you look when you hire an employee?

Robert:  This answer is twofold.  First we are a family business.  We value employees that value working in and as a family.  We are here to support one another and our community. Second, we are company with a passion for alternative energy sources therefore passion is something we look for in the people we hire here at Arizona Solar Solutions. We look for those who truly believe in the evolution of the industry and feel that renewable energy is very important to our future. We hire only employees with the enthusiasm and commitment to the solar movement as we the owners do.

Q:  And what happens after the sale?

Robert:  Many other solar companies doing business in Arizona are not local, this means that if there is ever a need for a system repair or warranty call, the customer is subject to the nuances and inconveniences of coordinating a remedy with a company and customer service agent located in a different sate and sometimes even in a different country.  With Arizona Solar Solutions all service, repair, installation, and warranty work is handled by our solar installation teams right here in Arizona, making resolution quick and easy and most importantly keeping your money here at home where it can help our neighbors and our local communities.

Q:  The competition in the residential solar market has increased dramatically over the last 5 years.  How have you been able to maintain such success in the local Arizona market?

Robert:  There are several components that have established and maintained our success in the industry.  For one, Arizona Solar Solutions has maintained a great name and reputation for our customer service.  We value our customer, their experience, and their success in having renewable energy.  Therefore, we make our team readily available and accessible for any questions, comments, or concerns a homeowner might have from the early stages in sales to the solar panel installations, to the years of warranty that follow.  From the moment that contract is signed, we are there for our customer.

Second, solar energy is a constantly evolving industry.  Our size and experience allow us to quickly adapt to the changes in the market place, ensuring that our customers are truly getting the best of the best every single day.   Third, I mentioned we are a family business committed to our community therefore becoming an employee is really like becoming part of our family.  As a result of our commitment to our employees, we have yielded a low turnover rate and our customers appreciate that.  This dedication by our employees allows us find and then keep the most educated, experienced, and passionate local solar professionals in Arizona.  Finally, it is through these best practices that we can provide the most competitive pricing with the fastest installation times in the state of Arizona, teamed with the most effective customer service team out there!  We feel good about what we do and we know we are making a difference for our family, our employees, our customers, and our furture.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Arizona is Tops in Solar

According to four specific criteria, a recent study has found that Arizona is one of the top states for solar energy. The criteria are

  1. Expensive Utility Bills – Average monthly utility bills in each state were studied. In states where the electric bill is pretty expensive, solar makes a lot of sense as a great way to save money.
  2. Economic Incentives – Some states offer generous incentives that make switching to solar affordable. The quality of the incentives was one of the measurements in this study.
  3. The Amount of Sunshine – The amount of sunny days (and the intensity of that sunshine) that a state gets was an important factor. More sunshine equals more solar power generated.
  4. Existing State Capacity for Solar – How many megawatts of solar energy is a state’s electric grid currently producing? This is an indicator of that state’s commitment to renewable energy.

Arizona finished in the top five states just behind California and Hawaii. Arizona has the second best insolation rating in the country. (Insolation is the calculation of the number of hours that the sun shines and the intensity of its rays when it beams down upon a certain latitude.) On top of that, energy consumption in Arizona is relatively high. The state offers generous rebates based on residents’ local utility, with many providing up to 50% of installation costs.  These rebates are combined with a 25% tax credit (capped at $1,000) that is applied to residents’ income taxes. On top of these incentives are state property and sales tax exemptions. Additionally, switching to solar is very easy in Arizona because there are so many ways to finance a system – including leasing.

As energy bills in the U.S. keep rising, more and more people are looking for ways to bring those costs back down. In a state like Arizona where we have tons of financial options, great incentives, and lots of sunshine, solar is the best (and easiest) way to save money. It makes sense to look into switching to solar as soon as possible!

Posted in Solar Trends | Comments Off

APS Net Metering Proposal: What you should know

Facts on APS Net Metering Proposal

“In essence, the proposed net metering proposal will cripple Arizona’s energy independence, while strengthening APS’s monopolistic stronghold on our energy choices”.

The battle between APS and Arizona’s Solar Industry is heating up (no pun intended)! It is time to do something to make sure that APS is not successful in trying to drive the solar industry out of Arizona. If you want to continue to have choices in how you obtain the power for your utilities, if you want to be able to save money, if you want to see Arizona’s economy improve, and if you care about the planet, you should contact the Arizona Corporation Commission and let them know how you feel.

The below link will take you to the Vote Solar website where you can use their email links to send an email to the commissioners asking them to deny APS’ power grab proposal.

Click on the “Take Action Now” button.

The solar industry strengthens our local economy:  APS is trying to appeal to their current “traditional” customers through a campaign which claims that they will be forced to subsidize solar customers. They want to impose fines on solar customers, basically punishing them for using solar to lower their bills and help the environment.  This will also deter traditional APS customers from switching to solar which will, in turn, harm the solar industry and Arizona’s economy with it.

The Arizona solar industry has been a powerful force for job creation. According to the Phoenix Business Journal, Arizona has 9,800 direct jobs in solar, ranking it second only to California. The national solar employment base added more than 119,000 jobs in 2012. This equals an increase of 13.2% over 2011. With Arizona having been one of the hardest hit states during the recent recession, it makes no sense to attack an industry that has brought so many good paying jobs to its economy.

According to Patrick O’Grady, Managing Editor at the Business Journal, “Arizona’s solar job base is about 65 percent installers, another 25 percent manufacturing, and the rest made up of sales, project development and other jobs.”

Studies have also shown that Arizona ranked as the best state for solar resources, second in the number of solar powered homes (138,731), with 290 solar companies in Arizona.

Home Values will decline for current solar homeowners:  APS has proposed discontinuing net metering for new customers. New customers would no longer be able to lower their bills by selling back to the grid the excess energy their solar systems create. Those who already have solar systems would be grandfathered in, but if they sell their house, the net metering would not transfer to the new owners as it does now. Business and industrial would not be touched since they already pay a demand charge that covers fixed cost recovery. However, APS has shown in the past that they can and will reverse direction.

The facts behind APS’s proposal: This means that solar powered homes in Arizona will see their energy savings from solar reduced by 50% or more (in most cases, more) – with APS hijacking those savings for their own profit. APS is also trying to assert that solar is worth very little (see numerous APS claims) when in fact, a recent study by the North American Energy Industry (and many similar studies) found that because of net metering, APS customers alone will provide $34 million in grid benefits each year. These benefits include saving on expensive conventional power generation and grid infrastructure as well as reducing electricity lost during long-distance transportation over power lines.

Solar for a healthy Arizona economy:
 Solar energy not only benefits the customers, as stated previously, it benefits Arizona’s economy, and it benefits the environment. APS needs to operate not as a monopoly, but like any other company does in a free market. It must learn to be suc

cessful by offering the customer savings and choices not by imposing fines and restrictions.

So, if you are in favor of a healthy economy and a healthy planet, let the ACC know how you feel. Here is that link again –

Click on the “Take Action Now” button.

Full Application PDF

Full Downloadable APS Application PDF


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Things You Should Know About Utility Rates, the Arizona Corporation Commission, and Solar Energy

Utility energy photoOne of our greatest and most constant resources here in Arizona is our sunshine. With over 300 sunny days a year, why aren’t we using this resource to its fullest potential? According to Nancy LaPlaca, a former advisor to the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), “Instead of leading the U.S. in the $100B global solar energy industry,” she continued, “our current commission is satisfied that only 2% of in-state electricity comes from solar while we send $2+ billion in ratepayer money every year to Texas, Colorado and New Mexico to buy coal and natural gas. Those dollars should stay in Arizona…”

Expansion in the solar industry would create good paying jobs and will help grow the economy. It would also help us face the growing issue of drought, rising temperatures, and resource shortages in the Southwest. Unfortunately, the ACC eliminated many incentives for solar as of January 2013 when the most recently elected commissioners took office.

However, the news is not completely dark for Arizona homeowners. The ACC just recently announced that they will consider deregulation of the utility industry. According to the Business Journal, Commissioners decided in early May to set up two public meetings and gather information from various stakeholders about whether Arizona will follow the path of several other states. This could possibly lead to open competition which would benefit consumers and allow them more choices. No longer would you be forced to use your current utility company as your energy provider just because you live in a certain neighborhood.

Deregulation would help break the monopoly that utility companies have on the Arizona energy market. Some utility companies have actively tried to drive solar companies out of Arizona and has been working on changes in rates that will negatively affect both their customers who have a solar system as well as those who don’t. Some utility companies feel that since they have put so much money into the infrastructure required to deliver power to Arizona households and businesses, why should they be forced to lower prices or credit their customers who produce solar energy for the grid? According to the Phoenix Business Journal, their argument is that they have to maintain the infrastructure. In other reports and articles, some utility companies have stated they should have the option to be able to begin installing solar systems without competition from independent companies in the state. A lack of competition would not necessarily be the best thing for the consumer as far as prices go. Again, more competition would give consumers more choices and lower prices. The ACC plans to hold public meetings on this issue as well.

So what can you do as someone who lives in Arizona? You can contact your commissioner and/or attend the upcoming public meetings. Write to your local newspaper and voice your opinion. Educate yourself. Monopolies and trusts are a thing of the past – a modern day free economy exists in order to benefit the consumer.

Posted in Solar Trends | Tagged , | Comments Off

Residential Solar Affordable for All

Solar energy is affordable at all income levelsIt turns out that more and more medium income families are turning to solar in order to lower their energy costs. At one time, solar panels were mostly for rich people– but not anymore. A recent study conducted by PV Solar Report, a leading industry analyst organization, showed that 62% of installations in California in 2011 were for families with incomes between $40,000 and $84,999. The study looked at 1,639 zip codes, broken down by median household income statistics, and cross-referenced the data with the number of photovoltaic (PV) energy installations in the corresponding zip codes.

Arizona is right behind California installations. Arizona fell just short of topping California in solar power installations during the third quarter of 2012, according to a new study from the Solar Energy Industries Association. The U.S. Solar Market Insight study, which SEIA produces in conjunction with GTM Research, showed Arizona had installed 192.1 megawatts of solar panels in the third quarter. By comparison, 193.6 megawatts were installed in California during the same period.

Solar is becoming more and more affordable for several reasons. Stronger financial markets coupled with solar technology advancements (to include 30 year production guarantees) have made purchasing solar energy a favorable residential investment for the smart homeowner. Leasing helps make solar affordable by reducing your upfront costs but if you would rather own than lease your solar panels, banks have realized that solar is a great addition to the value of a home and are offering more and more loans as a result. Another reason is due to the prices on installations continuing to drop as solar companies are getting better economies of scale, streamlining their processes, and becoming more efficient. Additionally, grants from the government, tax breaks, and other incentives have really put solar within reach of the middle class. If you haven’t looked into solar lately because you thought that it wouldn’t be affordable now is the time to reconsider.  The solar industry has been changing rapidly, especially in the last few months, making solar a wise investment for any household.  And with rising energy costs, it is almost as if you can’t afford not to go solar!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Next Steps for Solar?

Energy storage for residential is becoming a reality

Germany is a country that has been a leader in adopting solar technology with generous bank loans and subsidies from its government. Now, it looks like the German government may be subsidizing solar energy storage. According to, the German government has pledged grant funds of $65 million to develop this technology. The final word is due on May 1st.

Basically, the result would be batteries that store solar energy installed along with your solar panels. Batteries would ensure that the energy supply wouldn’t be too volatile and would help keep an even flow going to the grid. It would also help drive down costs for commercial solar energy owners as well as homeowners. According to Bloomberg, some companies in the United States have also started looking at installing batteries along with the solar energy system. So far though, batteries are not usually part of a solar homeowner’s system. says, “…battery backup for solar panels has been too expensive to justify for all but the wealthiest of homeowners. Simply put, batteries are too expensive, and the price of power too cheap, to justify the expense.

That’s too bad, because battery backup could really help solve some of the larger-scale problems associated with connecting lots of intermittent, on-again, off-again solar power to the grid. Energy storage could help mitigate the distribution grid voltage surges and sags that can occur when clouds pass over neighborhoods with lots of rooftop solar, for example. It could also help shift stored solar power to cover peak loads that may occur slightly later in the afternoon than solar’s peak production times.”

With Germany putting so much money into battery installations and solar energy power storage, however, this should help the cost go down. Japan is also funding solar batteries as part of solar energy systems. Right now, the batteries are typically lead acid technology but as prices fall, they could be lithium or another technology. Companies in the U.S. who are installing batteries as part of a solar energy system are also looking at ways to make the cost of the system be eligible for federal tax incentives. This would drive down the cost to homeowners by a third. It is possible too that local utility companies may see the value of managing peak grid power and may begin reinstating subsidies for home and business owners.

So this is good news for us consumers. It is basic supply and demand. As governments like Germany and Japan increase the supply of energy storage systems it will help drive down the cost for the rest of us. Will our federal government jump on board – or for that matter our local governments? I hope so, because not only will it benefit the consumer to be able to store solar energy, it will benefit the public utilities. It seems to me it is a win-win to try and make this technology affordable and available to all.

Posted in Solar Trends | Comments Off

Arizona Solar Power For Your Business

If you are a business owner, you understand the importance of keeping a strict budget and trying to minimize creeping overhead that can dip into revenues and reduce the amount of money you can utilize to further invest into and expand your business.  Unless you’re one of the few that has a business that requires no lights, telephones, computers or printers, somewhere the cost of electricity plays a factor in your overall business expenses.         Solar power has been an option that many businesses have looked at in the past but chose not to go forward with due to prohibitive costs or the uncertainty of the technology.

Today the price of solar power has decreased tremendously and thousands of businesses around the country are using solar power to help control and reduce their electric energy expenses.  Solar has become a far more affordable option than it was 3 or 4 years ago, prices have decreased by 60% or more have improved the overall return on investment, all while utility rates continue to climb and the cost of electricity increases nationwide.  With various utility incentives, state and federal tax credits as well as depreciation, a solar power system can be a tremendous investment for a business, with a short return on investment.

A diverse amount of businesses have chosen to go solar, from car washes to restaurants to professional sports teams, car dealerships, grocery stores, banks and many more.  If you haven’t looked at solar in a few years, or perhaps you’ve never looked at solar at all, now is a great time to get a quote and see what is available, what the pricing looks like and how much solar can save for your business.  There are a variety of financing options available to help turn your empty roof-space into a savings-generating tool.        Solar provides another avenue of marketing opportunity as well, showing environmental awareness by producing clean, green energy from the sun.

If you’d like to see how solar can work for your business, contact us here at Arizona Solar Solutions and we’ll be glad to work with you to design a solar system that will provide consistent savings on electricity for the long-term future.

For further information on solar power products for your business or home, please fill out our FREE quote request form and an Arizona Solar Solutions representative will be in contact with you shortly.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Arizona Residential Solar Incentive Updates

Solar panel incentives in Arizona have been creeping downwards slowly this year and several utilities have run out of solar incentive money altogether or will do so in the near future.  Currently SRP and TEP have the highest solar incentive level out of the major utility companies although with the tremendous popularity of solar, and specifically solar leases, those funds are being utilized fairly rapidly.

APS-APS recently decreased their solar rebates from $0.50 a watt down to $0.20 a watt and over 90% of their annual residential solar funding has been used up.  It is thought that the existing rebate levels will drop as more and more APS homeowners turn to solar.

SRP-SRP offers one of the best solar incentives in Arizona.  They offer $0.50 a watt up to 5 kilowatts which represents tremendous value considering the price of solar, making solar purchase and solar lease much more affordable.  As the popularity of their solar incentive program grows, these incentives will also continue to run down.

TEP-TEP offers a current $0.50 per watt incentive, providing great value to customers looking at home solar power in the TEP territories in and around Tucson.

Unisource-Unisource is out of incentive funding for this year.  Solar can still be done in anticipation of future incentives, however there is no guaranteed price per watt currently available for UNS customers in Lake Havasu City, Kingman, Nogales and other areas.

Other utilities and co-ops have varying incentive levels with certain restrictions.    Customers of Trico, Electric District 3, Mohave County Co-Op and others should contact Arizona Solar Solutions for further information on solar incentive availability in their areas.

For further information on solar leasing or purchase, please fill out our FREE quote request form and an Arizona Solar Solutions representative will be in contact with you shortly.

Posted in Solar Financing | Comments Off

Solar Leasing:Who Is Providing Your Lease?

Solar leasing is something that has caught on tremendously here in Arizona and across the nation.   One of the biggest reasons for this is that the existence of these leases makes solar affordable for far more people than conventional solar financing which was the only option available previously.   Customers can choose a solar lease that features no money down,no money out of pocket and fixed monthly payments that are notably less than what they are currently paying for electricity, most importantly, those payments will never increase in cost.

Additionally customers can choose a prepaid lease which offers all the benefits of ownership plus the additional benefits of full 20 year warranty, insurance, monitoring and power production guarantee for substantially less than buying a home solar system.

While there are a tremendous potential benefits to going solar with a lease, it is important to pay attention to the type of lease and who is ultimately backing that lease.    There are over a dozen different types of solar leases, there are large nationwide companies that exist as sole lease providers and installers, there are well-financed solar leasing providers that partner with local solar installers  who understand their craft and the local market and finally you have smaller, local-based installers who are providing an in-house lease.

The latter example is currently the source of much contention as local newspaper stories have focused on local installers who attempted to act as both the lease provider and the installer.  These companies have struggled to complete installations amidst complicated government paperwork and guidelines that are difficult for any smaller company to handle.

Arizona Solar Solutions does not attempt any in-house solar leasing and instead partners with nationwide lease providers who have long business histories, are publicly traded and have the financial wherewithal to handle all the periphery financial issues while Arizona Solar Solutions focuses on doing what we do best, designing and putting up the best quality solar systems in Arizona.  Our agreements with our partners provide additional peace of mind to our customers as we have an agreement with both our partners and the customer to install the solar systems in an expedient manner utilizing only the industry’s highest installation standards.

For further information on solar leasing or purchase, please fill out our FREE quote request form and an Arizona Solar Solutions representative will be in contact with you shortly.

Posted in Solar Financing | Comments Off

Leasing Vs Owning: Solar Panel Installation and The Right Decision For You

If you’re looking at solar panel installation for your home there are currently a myriad of options out there, significantly more than used to be available. Besides the traditional purchase option and its many varied methods of financing, there are a few solar leasing options such as a prepaid lease, a zero-down monthly lease option and a hybrid monthly lease with down-payment. Below you will find a brief description of each type of solar purchase and lease option and the pros and cons of those particular choices.

Traditional solar purchase
A purchase allows for full and immediate ownership of the system but requires the largest up-front initial investment. With a purchase, a customer can expect to receive a standard 25 year warranty on the modules and 10 years on the inverter(s). Purchase allows for the utilization of federal tax credits and future system customization. As of 8/5/2012, the purchase option gives the homeowner several incentives including utility incentives, state tax credits and a 30% federal tax credit.

This lease is appropriate for those who wish to modify their system in the future and have the ability to either pay for or finance a large up-front payment.

Prepaid Solar Lease
A prepaid solar lease offers many of the same benefits of ownership for a lower up-front cost than purchasing. With one up-front payment there are no other additional costs involved for the life of the lease. This option provides full warranty on all components for 20 years, along with system insurance, monitoring and a power production guarantee. This lease is easily transferable and in most cases doesn’t need to be approved by a new home-buyer for transferal.

In some cases this lease can be bought out early should the homeowner decide to take full ownership although by doing so, the homeowner will lose the additional lease warranty, insurance and power production benefits.

This option is most beneficial for those who are willing to put forth a larger investment up-front to see substantial savings down the road. This solar lease option provides the fastest overall return-on-investment and is especially useful for those who cannot utilize the 30% tax credit.

Zero-Down Monthly Solar Lease
The zero-down solar lease offers fixed monthly payments that are less than your current electric utility expenditure. This is a good option for those who don’t want any up-front investment.The lease provides a warranty for 20 years with the same system insurance, monitoring and power production guarantee. The lease is fully transferable should you choose to sell your home and because the payments are fixed, the savings will increase on an annual basis.

This option is appropriate for someone who wishes to reduce their overall utility costs without making any initial investments out-of-pocket. This is great for those who are looking to set an energy budget as it allows for reducing the impact of future electric utility costs.

If you’d like more information on solar panel installation for one, or even all of these options you may use our free energy evaluation on the top right hand of the page and an Arizona Solar Solutions representative will get back to you as soon as possible.

Posted in Solar Financing | Comments Off

Going Solar Saves

When you partner with Arizona Solar Solutions, the savings go even further

Average Utility Company Price
Solar with Cash Purchase
Solar with Loan Purchase
Solar with Prepaid Lease
Solar with Monthly Lease

Lock in the lowest electricity costs in Arizona's history before utility rates go up again Click here

How Much Can You Save?
Find out with our fast & easy solar quote
Start Saving Now
Questions About Solar?
Get a super-fast response
Leave a Message
Is Going Solar the Right Choice For Me?
Get a FREE, no-obligation energy evaluation today
Let's Get Started
Why Arizona Solar Solutions?
We're Arizona's best solar installers for lots of reasons
Why Choose Us