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Solar Panels in Ohio: Cost and Incentives

Cost of solar panels in Ohio

While there are a variety of factors involved, the cost of solar panels in Ohio will typically fall between $3 and $5 per watt. Residential systems will usually end up being in the $15,000 to $25,000 range. Factors that impact this cost include:

  • The brand of solar panels. Some brands cost more but also may last longer or have a stronger warranty.
  • Your installer’s fees to install the solar cells.
  • The slope and style of your solar panel roof.
  • Other factors, like if your home is in a condo building or is an RV.
  • Any needed solar panel inverters.
  • Any solar battery backup systems.

The prices are much different if you choose to lease solar panels or enter a solar PPA. In many cases, a solar panel lease will have you pay a solar company a monthly rate and you’ll receive the electricity generated for your home in exchange. However, you will experience greater cost savings over time if you purchase your solar panels upfront.

Solar incentives and rebates in Ohio

Ohio has a Solar Renewable Energy Certificate system, which grants certificates for each megawatt-hour of renewable energy generated. As a residential producer, you can sell these certificates as the state works toward their benchmarks for amounts of renewable energy they want to produce. 

Ohio has also implemented net metering, which is a program that allows you to sell excess solar-generated energy back to the conventional electricity grid. The credits to your bill can enable you to pay very little for electricity even if you have to use grid energy for your cloudy-day and nighttime energy use.

If you’re using loans to finance your solar panels in Ohio, you can receive Ohio solar incentives in the form of interest rate reduction from ECO-Link. You also qualify for the federal solar panel tax credit that reduces the costs of the solar panels by 26 percent in 2021. 

Solar energy in Ohio may help lower your electric bills

Ohio electric bills may vary, but with an average rate of 11.91 cents per kWh in May 2021 and electricity usage of 895 kWh per month on average, the average monthly bill is $106.59. This means approximately $1279.13 in electric costs a year.

At this rate, an average $15,000 solar power installation would take about 12 years before it paid for itself in electricity.

Solar energy costs per watt depend on the lifespan and efficiency of the solar panel. These costs, however, have continued to come down and the more incentives you take advantage of, the lower the cost goes. 

Energy independence in Ohio can help you

Beyond the benefits of lowered energy costs and long-term investment, energy independence can bring predictability and security into your life in Ohio. Being energy independent means having the lights on even when the electric company has an outage. 

Becoming energy independent also means that you aren’t subject to big changes in electricity prices, since your solar energy has a predictable cost from any loan payments you have or a set upfront cost. With residential solar panels for your home, you will have power even if there is a major power outage in your area.

How to buy solar panels in Ohio 

To find the right solar panel installer in Ohio, you’ll need to consider a few factors as you assess the right choices for your energy needs.

Installing solar panels is an investment, and in many parts of the state of Ohio, prospective buyers will be excited to see solar panels on the roof. Solar panels on your home can increase its resale value. By calculating how much you’ll save on electricity each year and evaluating how much of a boost you’ll see in the sales price, you can roughly estimate how long you need to live in your home before selling it to make the system worthwhile.

You also might need to consider the tree coverage in your area, whether your area tends to have a lot of cloudy days, the direction your home is facing, and any homeowners association rules that could impact where you’re allowed to place your panels.

The future of energy is solar in Ohio 

The world contains only a finite amount of fossil fuels, and we’re using the ones that are easiest and cheapest to access now. Solar energy is a form of renewable energy. Using solar energy doesn’t deplete a single resource, but rather takes advantage of abundant sunshine.

Green energy is also becoming more important as people recognize that changing the atmosphere’s composition with extensive pollution and greenhouse gases has unknown effects. Solar panels do not emit greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and are much better for the environment than traditional power sources.

Solar energy FAQs

How many people use solar energy in Ohio?

Currently, there is enough solar installed to power 63,137 homes in Ohio. 

What is the life expectancy of solar panels in Ohio?

Generally solar panels last between 25 and 30 years. To get this optimum life expectancy, you’ll need to keep them serviced and follow all recommended maintenance steps. 

Is it better to buy or lease solar panels?

Buying solar panels requires a higher upfront cost but means that you’ll gain all the benefits of the panels. Often, after six to nine years, your panels will have paid for themselves in lower energy bills. Leasing reduces your upfront costs but also means you’ll pay for the solar electricity throughout the life of the panels or until you choose to discontinue your contract. Overall, purchasing solar panels will lead to the most cost savings.

What percentage of Ohio energy production is solar?

Right now, Ohio’s energy production is not primarily solar, with only 0.4 percent of all electricity coming from solar power sources. However, as solar installation grows in Ohio, that percentage will likely increase in coming years.

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