If your energy bill is higher than you’d like and recent rate hikes have you down, generating some of your own energy might sound more and more attractive.
Luckily for you, there are local and federal incentives that will make your clean energy switch much easier in Ohio. The most important federal incentive is a major tax credit that was included in the Inflation Reduction Act, providing a 30% rebate on the cost of any clean energy additions you make to your home when it rolls around to tax season.
Ohio also have several local incentives to encourage homeowners to install a solar panel system. Net metering policies let you return excess energy generated to the grid for credits that will let you pull that same amount of energy from the grid in months where you can’t generate as much energy. Additionally, a property tax exemption on solar panel systems may help eligible homeowners make clean energy additions to their household.
Can solar panels save you money?
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To decide if solar is right for you, you’ll need to take into account your specific situation: your roof’s condition and shading, your energy use, the price you’re quoted and more. It’s part of the reason you should get multiple quotes to weigh before making your decision — so here are the best solar installers to consult with before you make that decision.
The best solar panel companies in Ohio
Local Ohio solar installers
You don’t have to go with a major national company to install your solar panels. Many smaller, local companies offer solar panel installation and other services. Here are a couple we found.
How to determine which solar panel company in Ohio is best for me
According to the Solar Energy Industry Association, Ohioans have 73 solar installers to choose from. Some solar companies hire installers, while others keep the entire process in-house. Ask your selected solar company about its process, so you know who to contact from start to finish.
Most importantly, get quotes from multiple companies and compare them based on their prices, products, warranties and reputation. Ask friends and neighbors who have gone solar about their experiences, and consult online reviews to see if a company follows through on its promises.
Average cost of solar panels in Ohio
Here’s a look at the average cash price for the average solar panel system in Ohio before factoring in tax credits and incentives, according to data from FindEnergy.com. Your system might be more expensive depending on the installer you choose and whether you include solar batteries or additional equipment in your purchase.
Average cost of solar panels in Ohio
|Typical system size (kW)
|Price per watt
|Total installed cost
|Cost after 30% federal tax credit
This cost infographic provides the average total price, cost per watt and system size for solar panel systems across the United States, according to data from FindEnergy.com. The prices shown are not representative of any potential reductions from tax credits or state solar incentives. If FindEnergy doesn’t have solar data for a state, it appears grayed out on the map.
Ohio solar panel incentives and rebates
Adding solar panels to your home is an investment, even with decreased solar prices. Solar tax credits and incentives make choosing green energy more affordable in Ohio.
The federal solar tax credit, known as the Residential Clean Energy Credit, offers 30% of the cost of a solar system as a credit when you file your taxes. The credit applies to solar systems purchased from the beginning of 2022 through 2032.
Local incentives include net metering and a property tax exemption.
Net metering allows homeowners with solar panel systems to return excess energy produced to the grid to earn credits, which are then used during months with less sunlight, where the solar panel system can’t produce enough energy to power the entire household. This eases any potential financial burden you might feel during these times of year.
Eligible homeowners are also able to receive a property tax exemption on clean energy additions to the household, meaning you won’t be paying additional taxes for the extra value these clean energy generating installations add to your home.
Here’s a chart to breakdown the incentives and benefits of going solar in Ohio in a quick and easy way:
Ohio solar incentives
|A program where excess energy generated from your solar system is sold back to the utility company for credits on your next electricity bill. Check with your local utility company for net metering details.
|Qualified Energy Property Tax Exemption
|Owners or lessees of renewable clean energy projects, like solar systems, may qualify for property tax exemptions. Qualified energy projects are exempt from taxation if the project meets exemption requirements.
|Residential Clean Energy Credit
|Apply through the IRS for a 30% federal tax credit for solar systems installed from the beginning of 2022 through 2032. The credit decreases to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034. Unless it’s renewed, the credit expires in 2035.
How to pay for solar panels in Ohio
As with any major purchase, you will want to think about where the money for the panels will come from. It’s important to keep in mind that the money from the tax credit won’t be yours until after you’ve filed your taxes for the year the panels are installed.
Here are some ways to pay for solar panels:
- Solar loan: Your solar installer likely has a relationship with a bank or other financial institution to offer a loan designed for solar panels. This can be a great deal, but you’ll want to get multiple offers to ensure the rates and terms are the best.
- Cash: This is the simplest approach, but it works only if you happen to have tens of thousands of dollars sitting around in a bank account. If you don’t have that yet but want solar panels in the future, consider saving money in a high-yield savings account. Interest rates are high right now, and this can help you save faster.
- Personal loan: You can also borrow money through a personal loan. The main difference between a personal loan and a home equity loan is that a personal loan is typically unsecured. That means your house isn’t at risk. The downside is they tend to have shorter terms and higher interest rates than home equity products.
- Home equity: You don’t have to use a loan from your solar company. Financial institutions offer home equity loans and lines of credit, also known as HELOCs, that are commonly used for home improvement projects. These loans can be used for basically any purpose, and they may be a good fit for your solar project. Shop around and make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Read more: Want something smaller than a whole-home solar system? See our picks for the best portable solar panels and solar generators.
Installation factors to consider
Here are five things to consider when deciding if installing a solar system is right for you. Consider what type of solar panel system you want. Among other differences, some solar panels are more efficient than others.
|Are you a homeowner or renter?
|Homeowners have more decision-making power than renters when it comes to making changes to the property. Solar options for renters include community solar programs, which are subscription-style services from companies like Arcadia.
|Where is your home located?
|Solar panels work best when they absorb direct sunlight for at least four hours daily. The panels will generate less energy if your home is shaded most of the day.
|What is the condition of your roof?
|Installers should inspect your roof before you move forward to determine any required maintenance and repairs.
|Do you need to consider HOA or neighborhood rules?
|HOAs are allowed to restrict or prohibit solar panels in Ohio. Review your HOA or other neighborhood association rules regarding solar devices before installation.
|Have you checked your insurance coverage?
|Check if your homeowner’s insurance policy includes solar panels. If not, contact your agency.