Electricity rates in the US have increased in the past year, including a nearly 14.5% jump in Ohio. Meanwhile, the cost of residential solar has decreased by 52% in the last 10 years, and there are more available incentives to offset solar costs.
Solar power now provides one-fifth of renewable energy in Ohio. You can lower your carbon footprint and save on energy costs by switching to solar. Residents who choose to go solar can also accessincentives, such as net metering programs.
According to October 2022 data from CNET's sister publication, SaveOnEnergy, the average monthly electricity bill in Ohio totals about $134 each month or nearly $1,600 per year. Investing in a solar system that covers your home's energy needs could save $1,600 a year after your solar system's payback period.
Best Solar Companies of 2023
Ohio solar panel costs
Your solar system's total cost will be determined by factors like the number of solar panels, installation costs and equipment (like solar batteries). Find Energy estimates Ohioans need a 9kW solar system to cover most of their electricity needs. Based on Find Energy and the Lawrence Berkeley National Labdata, the price-per-watt in Ohio is $3.73, slightly higher than the US average price of $3.67. Your home's solar system size will depend on if you buy a system to cover your entire home's energy consumption. Here's how the total cost in Ohio compares to the rest of the country (not counting any incentives or rebates).
Ohio vs. the US
| ||System size (kW)||Price per watt||Total cost|
Solar financing options in Ohio
There are several payment options for solar panels in Ohio, including a cash purchase, solar loans or leases, power purchase agreements or joining a community solar program. Each payment method has its benefits and drawbacks. Take time to consider and determine the best option for you.
Advertiser Disclosure: SaveOnEnergy, owned by CNET's parent company Red Ventures, can help you find the right energy fit for your home. The SaveOnEnergy marketplace helps you search, compare, sign up and save on the right energy for your home -- all for free. If you're interested in solar, answer a few questions to get an exact price quote from our solar advisers.
Ohio solar panel incentives and rebates
Adding solar panels to your home is a considerable 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.
Ohio offers additional incentives from the state and local governments. The following are a few you should know.
Ohio solar incentives
|Energy Conservation for Ohioans (ECO-Link)||A 3% interest rate reduction on loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy home upgrades, including solar systems.|
|Net metering||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.|
Solar panel companies in Ohio
According to the Solar Energy Industry Association, Ohioans have 56 solar installers. 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. We narrowed down the best solar companies in Ohio based on industry trends and customer reviews.
Founded in 2011, ADT Solar installs solar panels and batteries in 24 US states. The solar company prioritizes customer satisfaction with a 25-year manufacturer warranty and a 25-year production guarantee. Additionally, ADT Solar provides a price-match guarantee to ensure you get the best market price.
ADT Solar installs quality name-brand products like the Tesla Powerwall and Enphase microinverters. The company offers solar systems for cash purchases or solar loans. ADT does not offer solar leases or PPAs.
Ohio Power Solutions
Ohio Power Solutions is a family-owned local solar installer headquartered in London, Ohio. The company serves cities such as Columbus, Dayton and surrounding areas. Its goal is to provide accessible and affordable solar products to meet customers' needs.
Ohio Power Solutions installs Silfab and Q Cell solar panels, which both come with at least a 25-year warranty on the products. Solar battery options include SolarEdge and Enphase. The company includes a 15-year quality-of-work warranty for proper installation and service. The main benefit of choosing a local, family-owned installer is that the entire solar installation process is completed in-house, from sale to activating your system, instead of having subcontractors or other companies involved.
As one of the largest solar companies in the US, Palmetto Solar also installs solar systems in Ohio. The company is committed to making green energy accessible to homeowners and businesses by offering many financing options, including cash purchases, solar leases and PPAs. Choose from top solar panel manufacturers like Q Cells and REC Alpha, which include a 25-year performance warranty.
Palmetto's digital experience differentiates the company by providing online access to your solar system's information. Utilize the Palmetto Solar account to track your performance, receive insights and request support.
Founded in 1985, SunPower is CNET's pick for best overall solar company. You can view potential money savings with a free online solar system estimate and consultation.
Financing options from SunPower include cash purchase, solar lease or solar loan. Solar system products come from top manufacturers, including Maxeon and Enphase, with a 25-year system warranty.
Since 2009, Yellowlite has provided solar energy systems to residential and commercial customers in Ohio. Start with a free consultation and evaluation detailing recommended products, system size and 30-year potential savings.
Yellowlite's certified professionals install name-brand products from companies like LG, SunPower and Tesla. The company offers a 10-year quality-of-work warranty in addition to the solar products manufacturer warranty.
Installation factors to consider
Here are five things to consider when deciding if installing a solar system is right for you.
|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.|
Ohio solar panels FAQs
Are solar panels worth it in Ohio?
Yes. Due to rising electricity rates, solar systems can save money over time on electricity costs. The upfront cost of a solar system may be high, depending on your method of financing, but loans, leases or community solar may be suitable for just about any budget.
Does Ohio have a solar tax credit?
No. Ohio does not have a state-level solar tax credit, but residents can apply for the Residential Clean Energy Credit from the federal government. The Clean Energy Credit reduces solar system costs with a 30% tax credit. You can also apply for state-specific programs such as net metering, ECO-Link and a property tax exemption.
Is solar power good for the environment?
Yes. Solar energy is a renewable source that does not emit harmful greenhouse gas into the air or negatively impact the environment and air quality. Choosing solar power as a green alternative to fossil fuels helps to reduce your home's carbon footprint.
More solar advice
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- Here's the Scoop on What New Jersey Residents Need to Know About Solar Panels
- Should You Go Solar if You Live on the East Coast: What You Want to Know