Everything You Wanted To Know About Ohio Solar Energy

The first question on your mind is probably: is it worth going solar in Ohio? In this blog we will give you all the ins and outs of going solar in Ohio.. but just to answer your question; Yes, it is worth going solar in Ohio!

There is an average of about 4 hours of sunlight per day throughout the year in Ohio, making it more than suitable for Ohio solar energy generation. Especially during the summer months, there is a significant solar potential. On top of that, Ohio residents can enjoy multiple tax credits, incentives and rebates for installing solar systems. There are federal, state and sometimes local programs for those interested in going solar, like:

  • Net metering;
  • Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs);
  • Qualified Energy Project Tax Exemption;
  • Energy Conservation for Ohioans (ECO-Link) program;
  • Solar Sales Tax Exemption.

Below, we will dive into these incentives one by one. The best part is that they’re not mutually exclusive; you can benefit from more and saving even more money going solar.

Ohio Net metering

Ohio’s net metering policies allow solar panel owners to receive credits for the excess electricity they generate and feed back into the grid. This gives homeowners and businesses the opportunity to not only offset their electricity bills, but also potentially earn revenue from their solar installation. Learn more about Ohio’s net metering on the Ohio Public Utilities Commission website.

Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs)

As one of few states, Ohio residents can take advantage of SRECs. The SRECs are incentives that earn additional income from solar electricity generation. Homeowners can earn one Solar Renewable Energy Credit for each megawatt-hour (MWh, or 1,000 KWh) of electricity their solar panel system generates. You can sell SRECs for cash in the SREC market.

SREC prices vary depending on your utility and market conditions. They fluctuate on average between $6.50 and $7.00, netting about $52 to $100 per year if your system produces 1 SREC per month.

For more details on SRECs, you can visit the Ohio Legislative Service Commission website.

Qualified Energy Project Tax Exemption

Ohio’s average sales tax is 5.7%. But Solar energy projects that meet specific criteria can benefit from a Solar Sale Tax Exemption.

To qualify, these projects must check off several boxes, including timely application submissions, construction timelines and obtaining necessary approvals. Once certified, these projects’ tangible personal and commercial property is exempt from taxation for specified tax years.

For more detailed information and to see if your solar project could qualify, visit the Ohio Department of Development website.

Energy Conservation for Ohioans (ECO-Link) Program

ECO-Link is a collaboration between the Office of the Ohio Treasurer of State and local banks to help Ohio residents save on home improvement projects, including solar PV systems. It enables you to finance your solar panel purchase and installation. For up to seven years, you can save up to 3% on interest rates from bank loans. This is another great incentive to encourage residents to go green in Ohio.

For more information, here’s the ECO-Link Program application process.

Ohio Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing

The Ohio PACE program coordinates with local governments and connects property owners with private PCAE-approved capital providers and contractors. The program offers fixed-rate PACE loans with net terms of 15 to 25 years. Through this program, commercial and residential property owners can receive 100% of the cost of an energy program upfront.

For more information, visit the PACE website.

Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

The ITC is a nationwide, one-time tax credit that deducts 30% of the overall cost of purchasing and installing a solar PV system from your taxes on the year of the installation. This also includes the costs of materials and labor. This is the country’s most significant tax credit program for solar power and was recently extended through 2032. ITC credits work as follows:

  • 30% base credit for systems installed in 2022 to 2032
  • 26% base credit for systems installed from 2033
  • 22% base credit for systems installed in 2034

The PV system must be in US territory and you must own it (not lease it). You can apply for it by filing Form 5695 as part of your tax return.

Is Ohio Solar Energy Worth It?

So, let’s circle back to the question we started with in the first place. Yes, it’s worth investing in a solar system in the state of Ohio. Electricity bills in the state have been steadily increasing in recent years, with a 14% increase from 2022 to 2023, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). While installing a solar PV system has high initial costs, you will enjoy the following benefits:

  • Lower energy bills: Going solar can help partially or totally offset your energy costs.
  • Possibility of credits: If your system generates more energy than you use, utility companies give you credits you can use to offset future bills, further saving on energy costs.
  • Energy independence: Since solar panels continue to produce electricity as long as the sun shines, you can keep producing energy during outages.
  • Reduce your carbon footprint: Solar panels don’t produce greenhouse emissions or air pollution.
  • Higher home market value: Homes with solar panels generally sell faster and for higher values.

On top of that, the costs of solar PV systems have gradually been going down in the past decade, so there is no better time to go solar. Let National Renewable Energy Partners help you enjoy all these benefits and reach out to us today to get your free quote.

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