Ohio is home to a growing solar market, as more homeowners recognize the benefits of going green. With solar costs falling 43 percent over the past five years, experts anticipate a strong growth projection for solar systems in the Buckeye State.
If you live in Ohio, there are plenty of reasons to consider investing in solar. Not only can you drive down your electricity costs, but you can also help the environment and add long-term value to your home. Below, you’ll find everything you should know about solar panels in Ohio, including costs, incentives, and providers.
Ohio solar panel cost
If you’re thinking about going solar, one of your first questions will probably be about the cost of solar panels in Ohio. Let’s look at the average price for a residential solar system.
Generally speaking, the price of your system will depend on a few key factors, including size, configuration, and installation charges. In the industry, the cost of solar panels is measured in dollars per watt, and the typical residential system runs between $3 – $5 per watt. Overall, this equates to an average of $15,000 – $25,000 for a home solar system (prior to any applicable solar tax credits or other incentives). This cost typically pays for itself within six to nine years.
Although this might sound like a lot of money, you don’t necessarily need to cover all of the costs upfront. Instead, you could sign up for a financing plan or decide to lease your solar panels instead of purchasing them. We’ll cover the pros and cons of buying and leasing later in this guide.
Why choose Ohio solar power?
When you invest in solar panels in Ohio, you’ll enjoy perks such as lower energy costs, energy independence, and a smaller carbon footprint. Here’s a quick explanation of each of these solar energy benefits.
Lower energy costs
Of course, one of the most attractive selling points of solar is that it can reduce your monthly energy bills. When you have a solar system at your home, you’ll be able to generate your own electricity from the sun and use it to power your home. As a result, you won’t need to pay your local electric company for your energy usage.
At the same time, purchasing a solar system can also add long-term value to your property. If you sell your home, you can secure a higher asking price because many buyers would love to buy a home that comes with a working solar system.
Establish energy independence
With a home solar system, you won’t need to rely on the local power grid for your electricity. This is beneficial in several ways, but most importantly, it means that you won’t be affected by power outages in your area. Also, you won’t be hit with higher electricity rates during periods of high demand.
Using solar panels at home also allows you to decrease your carbon footprint and put less of a strain on the environment. When you get your energy from traditional sources like oil and gas, it emits carbon dioxide and contributes to climate change. However, with renewable or green energy (like solar), the impact is minimal.
Ohio solar panel incentives or rebates
Installing solar panels often requires a sizable financial commitment, which is why the federal and some state governments provide incentives and rebates to bring down the upfront costs.
For example, the U.S. government currently offers a 22 percent tax credit for homeowners who add solar to their primary or secondary residence in 2021. There’s no maximum that you can claim with this credit, so you’ll receive that fixed percentage no matter how big your system is. It’s important to note that this credit is set to expire in 2024, so you’ll need to get your system installed before then to ensure that you qualify.
At the state level, there are also a couple of Ohio solar incentives that you should know about. First, if you generate power through your solar panels, you can earn Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) from the state. These credits can be exchanged for cash, allowing you to pull in a bit of extra income each year. It also operates the ECO-Link program, which offers an interest rate reduction if you take out loans to make energy-focused upgrades to your property.
Finally, like many other states, Ohio has a net metering offer that lets you sell your excess energy back to the grid as long as your system is connected to your utility company’s distribution grid.
Should I buy or lease my solar panels?
Before installing your system, you’ll need to decide whether you want to buy or lease your solar panels. Each side has its advantages, but to put it simply, you will save far more over time by buying your panels.
One of the biggest benefits of purchasing solar panels upfront is that this allows you to benefit from the federal tax credit (and leasing does not). Similarly, owning your system adds value to your home. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, a working solar system increases your property’s resale value by $15,000.
So what are the perks of leasing your system? Most importantly, having the option to lease creates more access for families that couldn’t otherwise afford a solar investment. This includes community solar projects, which allow multiple households (such as renters) to split the costs of solar.
Ohio solar panel companies
Many companies sell solar panels in Ohio, giving you plenty of options when it comes to choosing a provider. As you search for the right solar company in Ohio, remember to thoroughly research your options. Ask for customer testimonials, look up the company’s business history, and ask about warranty options or satisfaction guarantees. You can also use SaveOnEnergy’s solar resources to better understand the solar energy industry before making your decision.
The history of solar power in Ohio
As of 2021, Ohio ranks 25th in the nation for solar power, down from 18th in 2020. However, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) predicts that the Buckeye State will rise to 11th in the next five years. Solar continues to grow, with more than 8,300 installations in the state.
Currently, there are a handful of operational solar installations in Ohio, including the Wyandot Solar Facility. Plus, several major companies in the state (including Campbell’s Soup) have opted to go solar. There are also many solar projects under construction across the state.
Important solar installation factors to consider
When you’re considering a solar investment, you should understand how different factors play a role in the effectiveness of solar panels on your property. Keep these things in mind when deciding whether or not solar is right for you:
- The age, angle, and condition of your roof: In order to take advantage of the maximum amount of sunlight, your roof should be in good condition, facing southward, and not in need of immediate repairs or replacement.
- The amount of sunshine that you receive: As you might expect, solar panels are best suited in regions that get large amounts of sunshine. Also, if you have lots of trees covering your roof, your system could be less effective.
- Any relevant neighborhood or HOA regulations: Make sure to check if you’re subject to HOA rules that require you to get approval for solar installation.
Solar power FAQs
How much would solar cost in Ohio?
On average, you will pay between $15,000 – $25,000 for a residential solar system, based on a price of $3 – $5 per watt. However, you could lower the price of your panels by taking advantage of the federal tax credit or Ohio solar incentives. If you don’t want to buy the panels yourself, you can explore renting or find out if there are solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) in your area.
Is solar power a good investment in Ohio?
A home solar system can be a fantastic long-term investment. With solar panels, you’ll be equipped to produce your own power, which cuts down on your monthly energy bills and reduces your reliance on the public grid. Plus, solar adds value to your home, which can earn you a higher asking price when you sell.
How much could I save by investing in solar?
It depends on a few different factors. For example, if your roof is positioned to receive lots of sunshine, then you’ll get the most value from your system. Also, if you’re currently paying high energy rates to your electric company, you could cut electricity costs by investing in solar.
Where can I find a good solar panel installer in Ohio?
To begin, use the resources found on this page to ensure you fully understand what to look for in a solar system. There are a variety of good solar panel installers available in Ohio. Do your research and compare your options before signing a contract on home solar panels.
How does solar power help the environment?
By switching to solar power, you’ll be using a renewable energy source that doesn’t emit carbon dioxide. This is in contrast to traditional energy sources, which cause greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to climate change. Solar allows you to reduce your environmental footprint and make a more positive impact on the earth.