Our qualifications

We stand by our high quality solar installations and are certified by the Certification by North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), a proud member of Southern Arizona Solar Standards Board (SASSA) and accredited by the Better Business Bureau.  When you do business with Custom Solar and Leisure you can be assured that you are dealing with Solar Experts committed to high quality solar installations.

Tucson Solar Company committed to High Standard

Custom Solar and Leisure (CS&L) is proud to announce their accredited membership in the Southern Arizona Solar Standards Board (SASSB), and their Certification by North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) as a “Certified Solar PV Installer.”

“By CS&L becoming certified by the NABCEP and joining the SASSB, we are attempting to set an example to other solar installation companies by insuring premium quality solar Installation for the Tucson area. Unfortunately, over the last year we were seeing lower quality jobs being done in the Tucson area and felt that we needed to set an example for some of the solar companies locally.” -Jeff Shoemaker, SASSB Member, NABCEP Certified & CS&L, Owner

The Southern Arizona Solar Standards Board Mission is to protect consumers and ensure the long-term success of the Arizona solar industry by promoting best practices, educating the general public and encouraging solar businesses to install long-lasting quality installations. The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners mission is to support, and work with the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries, professionals, and stakeholders. The intent is to develop and implement quality credentialing and certification programs for practitioners.

“Hopefully, this membership and certification will exhibit CS&L’s commitment to quality solar installation in the greater Tucson area. If you are looking for solar installation in Tucson, we highly suggest you work with a solar installation company that is a member of the SASSB and is certified by NABCEP.” -Jeff Shoemaker,

Solar Swimming Pool Heaters

By installing a solar pool heater, one can significantly reduce swimming pool heating costs. Solar pool heating is the most cost-effective use of solar energy in many climates. Solar swimming pool heaters are cost competitive with both gas and heat pump pool heaters, and they have very low annual operating costs.

So How Do Solar Swimming Pool Heaters Work?

Majority of solar pool heating systems include the following:
•    A solar collector — the device through which pool water is circulated to be heated by the sun
•    A filter — removes debris before water is pumped through the collector
•    A pump — circulates water through the filter and collector and back to the pool
•    A flow control valve — automatic or manual device that diverts pool water through the solar collector.

Pool water is pumped through the filter and then through the solar collector(s), where it is heated before it is returned to the pool. In hot climates, the collector(s) can also be used to cool the pool during peak summer months by circulating the water through the collector(s) at night.

Some systems include sensors and an automatic or manual valve to divert water through the collector(s) when the collector temperature is sufficiently greater than the pool temperature. When the collector temperature is similar to the pool temperature, filtered water simply bypasses the collector(s) and is returned to the pool.

Solar pool collectors are made out of different materials. The type you’ll need depends on your climate and how you intend to use the collector. If you’ll only be using your pool when temperatures are above freezing, then you’ll probably only need an unglazed collector system. Unglazed collectors don’t include a glass covering (glazing). They are generally made of heavy-duty rubber or plastic treated with an ultraviolet (UV) light inhibitor to extend the life of the panels. Because of their inexpensive parts and simple design, unglazed collectors are usually less expensive than glazed collectors. These unglazed systems can even work for indoor pools in cold climates if the system is designed to drain back to the pool when not in use. Even if you have to shut the system down during cold weather, unglazed collectors may be more cost effective than installing a more expensive glazed collector system.

Glazed collector systems are generally made of copper tubing on an aluminum plate with an iron-tempered glass covering, which increases their cost. In colder weather, glazed collector systems—with heat exchangers and transfer fluids—capture solar heat more efficiently than unglazed systems. Therefore, they can be used year-round in many climates. Glazed collectors also can be used to heat domestic hot water year-round.

Both glazed and unglazed collector systems should include freeze protection if they’ll be used in colder conditions.

This information was directly taken from Energysavers.gov , please see their site for further information.

Southern Arizona Solar Standards Board

The Green Information Hub and Custom Solar and Leisure are proud to announce the formation of the Southern Arizona Solar Standards Board.  Pima Association of Governments’(PAG) Regional Council approved the establishment of Southern Arizona Solar Standards Board which was established on February 23, 2011.  The new standards board, which will be housed under PAG’s Energy Program, will act as an oversight board to work with solar installation companies to ensure “best practices” as solar installations soar in Southern Arizona.

“We created the Tucson Solar Installation Standard Board because, as Solar Installers, insuring premium quality Solar Installation for the Tucson area is one of our top priorities. Unfortunately, over the last year we were seeing lower quality jobs being done in the Tucson area and felt that we needed to form a Standards Board to insure the best quality solar for the greater Tucson area.” -Jeff Shoemaker, TSISB Member & Custom Solar and Leisure Owner

The Southern Arizona Solar Standards Board Mission is to protect consumers and ensure the long-term success of the Arizona solar industry by promoting best practices, educating the general public and encouraging solar businesses to install long-lasting quality installations.

Green Tucson

Whether for business or pleasure, people come from all across the world to visit Tucson’s blossoming green landscape. Found in the Sonoran Desert – dubbed “the greenest of deserts” – Tucson offers travelers clear skies, fresh air, stunning sunsets and rugged outdoor adventures.

The Old Pueblo’s eco-friendly stage is already set with clean air and ample sunshine, a variety of farmers’ markets offering local foods, hundreds of miles of bike paths, and smart water usage like xeriscaping. But there’s more to this Southern Arizona city than meets the typical traveler’s eye.


Green Tucson Fast Facts:

1. In 2007, Tucson was named one of 13 Solar Cities in the United States, and awarded a half-million-dollar grant to better implement solar energy. The three-phase plan includes installation of solar panels and water heaters at large city facilities, readying more facilities for future solar installations, and initiating a solar education program in the community. The program also aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 25 percent below 2005 levels, by 2030.

2. In May 2008, Washington DC thinktank The Brookings Institution ranked Tucson the 17th-lowest carbon emitter among the 100 largest metro cities in the country. The study analyzed each city’s per-person production of carbon dioxide from household energy use and vehicle traffic.

3. A May 2008 American Lung Association survey listed Tucson as No. 6 in the country for clean air. The survey examined each city’s production of particle pollution – ash, soot, diesel exhaust, chemicals, metals and aerosols.

4. The American Lung Association’s 2010 State of the Air report ranks Tucson as 6th in the Top 25  for cleanest year-round particle pollution.

A recent partnership survey found that 85 percent of Americans consider themselves environmentally conscious, and four in 10 would consider switching their patronage to travel suppliers that demonstrate environmental responsibility. 

To accommodate these eco-conscious travelers, Tucson’s hospitality industry has stepped up to the plate and gone well beyond simple recycling.

This information was provided/quoted from visittucson.

Tucson Electric Power (TEP) – Solar Power Incentives

Tucson Electric Power has been a strong advocate for Solar Power and alternative energy in the greater Tucson, Arizona area. Tucson has a booming solar community:

“In the first six months of 2010, nearly 1,100 homeowners installed residential solar systems with SunShare rebates from TEP. That is more residential solar systems than had been installed in the previous nine years in TEP’s service area. The city of Tucson, designated a Solar America City, has 13 solar projects planned – projects that will generate about 1.3 megawatts of power. Pima County has several solar projects completed and several more in the planning stages – projects that will save taxpayers about $552,000 per year.” – Tucson Sentinel

So what are some of the Solar Power Incentives that Tucson Electric Power is offering? 

TEP has provided residential solar electric customers with the following 20 year renewable energy credit. Residential solar providers tied to the grid or off grid receive $2.00 per Watt DC. This Up-Front Incentive provides customers with a one-time payment based on the size of the system to off set some of the initial price of the system.

Who is eligible for the incentives?
Residential Grid-Tied

  • You must be a Tucson Electric Power customer.
  • The photovoltaic system must be installed at a Tucson Electric Power service address.
  • You must purchase and install a qualifying photovoltaic system for this incentive.

Residential Off-Grid

  • You must purchase and install a qualifying photovoltaic system for this incentive.
  • The solar generator must be located within the TEP certificated service territory.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us or TEP.

Quick Guide: Arizona Solar Power Tax Incentives

What are the Arizona and Federal Solar Tax incentives in a nutshell? The Arizona tax incentives break up into two different areas: State and Federal:

Arizona State Residential Solar Tax Credit

Homeowners can claim a 25% tax credit on up to $4,000 of solar devices installed on a residence (effectively a maximum credit of $1,000). This is a one time tax credit and restricts the homeowner for additional credits for solar purchases made for the same residence in subsequent years.

Essentially, a person who is purchasing/installing solar power can receive a maximum credit of $1,000 if they spend $4,000 dollars.

Federal Residential Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

This 30% residential solar property tax credit is currently in effect for property placed in service after December 31, 2008 through to December 31, 2016. The credit enables individual taxpayers to offset AMT liability, and to carry unused credits forward to the next succeeding taxable year. For more information, please see the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) Solar Tax Policy Page.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below.

How Solar Power Works

Have you ever wondered how solar power works? Do people buy and sell electricity to the grid? What is the grid? Well thanks to a youtube and endependence we have a great 2 minute video which gives a basic break down of how solar panels, solar power and the grid all work together.

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If you have any questions, please feel free to ask questions here.

This following is a basic diagram on how photovoltaic cells work.


Tucson’s Solar Revolution

At Solar Power International 2009 a declaration was made. It was not for independence from the British, nor did Bill Pullman from the 1996 movie Independence Day make a declaration.  A Declaration for Solar Independence was made by Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)’s Rhone Resch. The eight solar rights of this declaration are:

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  1. Americans have the right to put solar on their homes or businesses.
  2. Americans have the right to connect their solar energy system to the grid with uniform national standards.
  3. Americans have the right to Net Meter and be compensated at the very least with full retail electricity rates.
  4. The solar industry has the right to a fair competitive environment.
  5. The solar industry has the right to produce clean energy on public lands.
  6. The solar industry has the right to interconnect and build new transmission lines.
  7. Americans have the right to buy solar electricity from their utility.
  8. 8. Americans have the right to – and should expect – the highest ethical treatment from the solar industry.
  9. So why does the solar industry need a Declaration of Independence? Read More…

Although a recent poll shows that 92% of Americans are in favor of solar, they really have no idea of the challenges of making solar widely available to them. The Solar Bill of Rights outlines these challenges.

So how does this relate to Tucson?

Well revolutions need a grass roots base to have any chance for success; therefore, we are asking the people of Tucson if you support solar independence, please link to the above video and/or the website.
Alternative Energy News

Tucson Solar Community

Custom Solar and Leisure is proud to announce the launch of our new Custom Solar and Leisure Green Community Information Hub.  The purpose of this information hub is to inform and interact with the greater Tucson community around the subjects of  Tucson’s Solar initiatives, Green Friendly events, the benefits of Solar, and more. Custom Solar and Leisure is dedicated to green/solar movement in Tucson and assisting people to make informed decisions. Please feel free to join our community, comment away, and express your opinion.

To start out, here are some fun Solar Facts:

  • The energy output of a 1 KW solar energy unit is roughly equivalent to the burning of 170 pounds of coal and 300 pounds of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere.
  • Solar energy use has surged at about 20 percent a year over the past 15 years, thanks to rapidly falling prices and gains in efficiency. Japan, Germany, and the United States are major markets for solar cells. With tax incentives, solar electricity can often pay for itself in five to ten years.