10 years ago, solar panels used to cost a whole lot more. But over the last decade, the cost of professional solar installation has dropped by nearly 90%.
Solar power is no longer reserved for the rich. Today, most homeowners making the median national income can make solar power at their homes a reality.
But the effectiveness and ROI of solar panel installation vary greatly. The biggest factor is where you live. Certain states have high electricity costs and a lot of sunshine, making solar energy a no-brainer.
But some states don’t get as much sunshine, and already have low electricity costs, making solar a debatable investment.
Wondering where Ohio sits on that spectrum? Want to see if the solar power cost is worth the investment in the Buckeye state? Keep reading below to if the solar power Ohio residents crave is worth it.
1. Ohio Sunshine
The sunniest state in the US in Arizona, with about 193 clear sunny days a year. Vermont is the state with the least amount of sunny days, with 58 clear sunny days per year.
Ohio isn’t particularly sunny, getting about 71 clear, sunny days each calendar year. However, a handful of cities in Ohio do get adequate amounts of sunshine per year.
Dayton, Toledo, Columbus, and Cleveland get between 49% and 53% of their possible sunshine each year. In these areas, the benefits of solar power will outweigh the cost.
In other parts of Ohio, you can certainly still invest in solar power. But your payoff period will be a bit long as a result of less sunshine.
2. Federal Investment Tax Credit
While this tax credit isn’t unique to Ohio residents, it is available to Ohio residents. The Federal Investment Tax Credit (FITC) is the nation’s main incentive for installing residential solar panels.
If you install panels by the end of 2022, you’ll receive a 26% tax credit on the total installation costs. Considering the average cost of solar panel installation is about $15,000, that tax credit can save you about $4,000 off the sticker price.
If you wait until 2023 to install panels, the tax credit drops to 22%. Currently, this tax credit is set to end in 2024. However, they have extended this credit for the last few years, so we don’t really know if it will continue or not.
The tax credit is available to you whether you purchase your system with cash or take out a loan to finance it long-term.
3. Net Metering
Ohio is known for its strong net metering program. Net metering is the process of linking your solar panel setup to your local power grid.
When your panels are generating more electricity than your home can use at any given moment, the excess isn’t wasted. Instead, it’s sent to your power company and sold for credits.
The number of credits you receive is equal to the current cost of electricity per kWh.
Then, when your panels aren’t generating enough solar power (such as nighttime), you’ll draw power from your power grid. Instead of paying, you’ll use up any credits you’ve earned from selling your electricity.
If you have any excess credit left over at the end of the year, you’ll receive a check, helping you to make additional money with your panels.
As a state, Ohio has made a commitment to procuring at least 12.5% of its total electricity from renewable energy sources by the year 2027. To do this, the state purchases solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs).
If you have solar panels installed at your Ohio home, for each megawatt-hour (MWh) your system produces, you will earn an SREC. The state then buys these SRECs from its residents for about $10 apiece.
A standard system in Ohio might produce eight MWh, meaning you might earn an additional $80 per year. It isn’t much, but it’s still something. And it means the Buckeye state will be one of the leading solar states in the US.
5. Reputable Solar Installers
While Ohio isn’t the first state you think of when you heard the term solar power, it’s building quite a solar reputation for itself among the nation.
There are plenty of top solar installers located in Ohio. For example, Blue Raven Solar has locations nationwide and is one of the leading solar installers.
With flexible financing options that allow you to get up to 18 months of free solar energy, Blue Raven Solar makes solar power accessible for nearly everyone in America.
And they bring some of the highest quality solar panels to the market, meaning you get maximum efficiency, regardless of where you live.
6. Solar Energy Interest Rate Reductions
Most homeowners will finance the cost of their solar panel installation. And in Ohio, you get even more incentive for doing so. The state is home to the Energy Conservation for Ohioans (ECO-Link) Program.
Under this program, when you take out a loan to finance your solar installation, you can receive an interest rate deduction of up to 3%. Just another way that Ohio is making solar power more affordable for all of its residents. This interest rate deduction is available for up to seven years.
While normally, major purchases in Ohio would be subject to sales and use tax, it doesn’t apply to solar power. The state waives sales-and-use tax on solar panels.
With a statewide sales tax rate of nearly 6%, this exemption can save another $900 you might otherwise have to spend.
There may even be city-wide tax incentives for Ohioans. For example, in Cincinnati, there’s a property tax abatement for green buildings. And Cleveland has a similar property tax incentive for buildings that prioritize solar energy.
Many homeowners are pleasantly surprised to learn that solar panels will last 30 years or longer. They are also happy to know that they require almost no maintenance. A simple cleaning now and again will keep your panels functional year-round.
Once solar panels are installed on your roof, you can enjoy passive electricity savings for decades at your forever Ohio home.
Invest in Solar Energy Today
Solar energy is the future. But we don’t have to wait until someday to start benefitting from solar energy.
With so many incentives available, especially those in the Buckeye state, going solar today makes a lot of sense, especially before the FITC runs out.
Looking for more information about solar power? Visit our blog now to keep reading.