Ohio Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives

How much do solar panels cost in Ohio?

Written by Saltanat Berdikeeva

Edited by Hannah Hillson

Last updated 09/20/2022

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Solar power in Ohio

Photovoltaic solar generation in Ohio has seen steady growth in recent years. While the Buckeye State still ranks in the middle nationally for solar energy generation, residents should anticipate a major solar expansion in the coming years.  

Homeowners in Ohio can save money and lower their carbon footprint by going solar. Keep reading to learn the benefits of solar panels, how much they cost, and whether they’re right for you.

Ohio solar panel cost

The cost of solar panels depends on many factors, including energy consumption, system size, panel type, local labor and permitting costs, and more. According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the scientific and research arm of the U.S. Department of Energy, the total cost of installing a residential solar system in the U.S. can range between $12,286 and $45,013, depending on its size. The total cost will be lower after applying federal tax credits and other incentives. 

The costs for solar panels are in dollars per watt. A median residential solar system in the U.S. costs $3.82 per watt, and the median solar system size is 6.5 kilowatts (kW)

Despite the high solar panel costs, the financial incentives and energy savings mean you can expect to break even in Ohio in 11.5 years, using U.S. median cost estimates.

Ready to go solar? Call 866-492-8331 to be connected with a solar expert today!

Get an exact quote from our solar advisors

The SaveOnEnergy marketplace helps you search, compare, sign up and save on the right energy fit 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 advisors.

1. Complete the form below
2. Schedule an appointment with a solar advisor
3. Get an exact price quote for solar panels for your home

Ohio solar panel incentives or rebates

A residential solar system can be an expensive investment. You can take advantage of federal and state incentives to help lower the cost burden.

Net meteringUnder Ohio’s net metering policy, solar producers can sell their excess energy back to the grid in exchange for credits on their electricity bills. Net metering customers in the state receive credits at their utility’s full retail rate.
Solar renewable energy credits (SRECs)With Ohio’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS), 8.5% of the state’s electricity generation must come from renewable energy sources by 2026, including solar. To help reach the RPS target, Ohio provides solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) to solar producers, which means you receive one SREC for every megawatt-hour (MWh) of power your solar system generates. SRECs are a valuable income from solar generation for residential solar owners. 

You can sell your SRECs for cash typically through a third-party broker, such as SolSystems or SRECTrade. The cost of each SREC in Ohio fluctuates depending on market conditions. Ohio-based solar owners are eligible to sell their SRECs in Ohio and several bordering states.

Sales tax exemptionWith Ohio’s sales tax exemption incentive, homeowners and businesses in the state don’t have to pay the 5.75% sales tax on their solar energy systems.
Qualified Energy Project Tax Exemption Under the Qualified Energy Project Tax Exemption, solar producers are exempt from paying the public utility a personal property tax. To qualify for this exemption, you must complete an application and get approved by the state.
Energy Conservation for Ohioans (ECO-Link) programThe ECO-Link program provides affordable solar financing to Ohio homeowners. You can receive a 3% interest rate reduction on solar loans of up to $50,000. Check for certain restrictions and requirements to qualify for the loan. 
Federal tax credit The federal government’s Residential Clean Energy Credit (formerly known as the Investment Tax Credit) offers a 30% solar tax credit to homeowners who invest in solar panels and solar batteries for their homes. Residential solar system owners can retroactively claim the 30% credit to systems purchased and installed since the beginning of 2022 to save thousands of dollars on solar panel installation costs.

Why choose Ohio solar power?

Investing in solar panels has several key benefits, such as reducing electricity costs, gaining energy independence, and helping the environment. With the federal solar tax credit increase to 30%, now is the right time to go solar. 

Lower energy costs

Generating power from residential solar panels reduces the electricity you receive from the grid and lowers your monthly electric bill. Your solar system can save you more than $1,000 per year on energy costs and many thousands of dollars over the entire life of your solar panels.

Establish energy independence

You can increase your energy independence by reducing your reliance on the traditional electricity grid to power your home. Solar generation with a solar battery reduces your vulnerability to price hikes or power outages. When your neighbors lose their power due to a storm or downed power line, you can continue to power your home with your stored solar energy.

Go green

Burning coal, gas, and oil to generate electricity can harm the environment. Since solar power is a renewable energy source, you can reduce your home’s carbon footprint and do your part to slow climate change.

Should I buy or lease my solar panels?

There are several ways to go solar:

The most cost-effective option is buying solar panels with cash since it will pay for itself faster. Interest and loan or leasing fees for the duration of a contract can be costlier than buying a solar system outright.

Leasing solar panels is a suitable option for some homeowners if you rent your home or can’t afford to buy them with cash, since leasing requires no high upfront cost. A solar leasing company installs solar panels on your property and sets pre-determined payment amounts for a specific contract period. If your leased solar panels generate excess power, you can send it to the grid and receive a net metering credit depending on the contract terms.

Another option is entering a PPA with a solar developer. A PPA lets a solar developer physically install a solar system on your property, but you buy the generated electricity instead of owning it. The developer will own and run the system and provide all the power generated by the system at a fixed kilowatt-hour (kWh) rate.

A community solar project is yet another option. It is a relatively new solution for people whose home is not suited for panels or cannot afford to own them. Under a community solar program, customers subscribe to a solar system run by the owner of the shared community solar project. Community solar subscribers in states with net metering benefits typically receive net metering credits, which can lower their monthly electricity bills.

Ohio solar panel companies

Many trusted solar companies install solar panels in Ohio and can customize a solar system that is right for you. We vet our installers and provide you a curated customer experience. Fill out this form to get started or call us at 866-492-8331.

Important solar factors to consider

Solar power comes with plenty of financial and environmental benefits. But before installing solar panels for your home, there are a few things to consider:

  • According to the Department of Energy, south-facing roofs in good condition with slopes between 15 and 40 degrees are the ideal direction for maximum solar generation in the U.S. 
  • Whether a solar system is right for your home depends largely on how much sunlight your home gets. Consider any obstructions and heavy shading around your property that can block your solar panels from receiving sunlight.
  • Some homeowner associations (HOA) and other neighborhood organizations restrict the use of solar panels. Before pursuing solar panels, check with your HOA about any restrictions and requirements. Your solar installer can also help you work through any roadblocks.

Solar power FAQs

  • The total cost of solar can range between $12,286 and $45,013 for a system, depending on its size. The median cost of a solar system in the U.S. is $24,742. These prices do not include the federal Residential Clean Energy Credit and other incentives, which can significantly lower the total cost of solar. The cost will depend on the size of your home, energy use, the orientation of your roof, solar panel type and size, and other factors.

  • Determining the level of sunlight your home gets and your daily energy consumption can help you decide if a solar system makes financial sense for you. While the initial investment may be high, you can save money on energy over the long term. Solar panels can also boost your home value. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, solar panels can increase a home’s resale value by $15,000.

  • The federal solar tax credit and Ohio incentives can lower the upfront investment and help you save thousands of dollars. After applying the incentives, your savings will depend on your energy usage and the solar system size. Using the average electricity bill of Ohio residents in September 2022 ($125.10), we estimate that after 20 years of owning a solar system, your savings could reach over $12,600, given that energy prices rise over time.

  • SaveOnEnergy is here to answer your solar energy questions. We can help you find the right solar installer for your home. Fill out this form or call us at 866-492-8331, so we can help you connect with a solar installer near you.

  • Solar energy generation is renewable. It doesn’t emit harmful greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide or methane into the air. So, using solar power instead of traditional electricity can help reduce your home’s carbon footprint. 

Solar energy by state