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Best 5 Solar Companies in Columbus, IN

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Written By Max Peterson|Last Updated: February 05, 2024

With Columbus' clear skies and below-average rainfall, it's a great area for homeowners and businesses hoping to harness the extra sunlight. 487 homes in the area already use a solar photovoltaic or water heating system. Skilled installers will therefore have the exact experience you need to embrace the solar revolution with confidence. On this page, we'll show you Columbus' best solar providers and share insightful advice for your solar journey.

Best High-Efficiency System
4.8
  • Builds custom, high-efficiency solar systems suited to each home
  • Extensive coverage area throughout the country
  • Offers energy storage and EV charger add-ons
Most Reputable
4.4
  • Offers high-efficiency panels and storage options
  • Provides unique in-house financing options
  • Recognized as one of the most reputable solar companies

Top Columbus Solar Companies

Atomic Electric and Solar Logo

Atomic Electric and Solar

4.4/5
Based on 39 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Panel InstallationBattery StorageOff-Grid Solar SystemsGrid-Tied Solar System

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Free quotes
  • Informative resources
1401 S Madison St, Bloomington, IN 812-325-5164 atomicsolarelectric.com
Solar Energy Solutions Logo

Solar Energy Solutions

4.7/5
Based on 17 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Battery StorageTesla PowerwallFinancing AssistancePanel Installation

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Informative resources
  • Reliable customer support
7966 Zionsville Rd, Indianapolis, IN 812-226-4688 sesre.com
Bone Dry Solar Logo

Bone Dry Solar

4.4/5
Based on 15 customer reviews.

Services Offered

ConsultationSkilled RepairsCleaning And MaintenancePanel Installation

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Family-operated business
  • Informative resources
7735 Winton Dr, Indianapolis, IN 317-873-6005 bonedry.solar
EightTwenty - Charlestown Logo

EightTwenty - Charlestown

4.7/5
Based on 19 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Panel Installation

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Free quotes
  • Reliable customer support
97 Industrial Way, Charlestown, IN 812-925-5222 eighttwenty.com

Ranking Methodology

Our team has carefully researched dozens of solar installers near Columbus, focusing on the following criteria:

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Facts about Columbus
Average Max Temp:62°F
Solar Payback Period:10.4 years
Average Daily Sunlight:54%
Homes Powered by Solar:486
Average Annual Energy Bill:$1,326
Solar Power per Capita Percentile:48.0%

Expert Tips By

This Old House empowers homeowners with the knowledge and tools they need to tackle various projects and navigate the complexities of homeownership.

Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar energy provides multiple advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.

  • Reduced carbon footprint: The sun is the universe's most abundant clean energy source, meaning you can lower or beat your home's dependence on "traditional" sources.
  • Better energy independence: Adding a battery backup lets you have trustworthy energy during grid outages and storms.
  • Lowered energy bills: Solar panels allow you to generate your own energy to power your home, lowering your monthly electricity costs. You can eliminate your bills completely if you go off-grid.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Columbus Homeowners?

Indiana agencies and electric companies offer a number of solar incentives to help lower your solar system costs. Here's a breakdown of applicable solar programs where you live.

Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive

Website: in.gov

Incentive Amount:

Solar energy systems used for heating or cooling: out-of-pocket expenditures by the owner for the components and labor
Wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, solar thermal, solar PV, and other solar energy systems: the assessed value of the system

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: powermoves.com

Incentive Amount:

Dual Fuel Heat Pump: $500
Pool Pumps: $250/unit
Heat Pump Water Heaters: $400/unit
Air-Source Heat Pumps: $250 - $1,500/unit
Geothermal Heat Pumps: $1,500/unit

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: sciremc.com

Incentive Amount:

Heat Pump Water Heater: $500
Geothermal Heat Pump: $1,500
Air-Source, Ductless Mini Split, or Dual Fuel Heat Pump with Dual/Variable Speed Compressor: $750
Air-Source, Ductless Mini Split, or Dual Fuel Heat Pump with Single Speed Compressor Replacing Electric Resistance Heat: $800
Air-Source, Ductless Mini Split, or Dual Fuel Heat Pump with Dual/Variable Speed Compressor Replacing Electric Resistance Heat: $1,500

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: nobleremc.com

Incentive Amount:

Dual Fuel Heat Pump: $500
Variable Speed Pool Pump: $250
Air-Source Heat Pump: $250-$750
Ground Source Heat Pump: $1500
Heat Pump Water Heater: $400

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: jcremc.com

Incentive Amount:

Air Source Heat Pumps: $750/unit - $1,500/unit
Geothermal Heat Pumps: $1,500/unit
Heat Pump Water Heater: $500/unit
Mini-Split ductless Heat Pump: $750/unit - $1500/unit
Lighting: Instant rebates through online lighting store (small businesses, farms, or workshops)

Incentive Type: Feed-in Tariff

Website: nipsco.com

Incentive Amount:

Wind 3 - 10 kW: $0.23 - $0.25/kWh
Wind 10 kW-200 kW: $0.15 - $0.138/kWh
Solar 5 kW - 10 kW: $0.17 - $0.1564/kWh
Solar 10 - 200 kW: $0.15/kWh - $0.138/kWh
Biomass 100kW - 1 MW: $0.0918/kWh

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: duke-energy.com

Incentive Amount:

HVAC Install (Heat Pumps, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Central Air Conditioners): $300 - $400/unit with additional $125 if installed along with a smart thermostat
Heat Pump Water Heater: $350
Attic Insulation and Air Sealing: $250/unit
Duct Sealing: $100/unit
Variable Speed Pool Pump: $300

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: bcremc.com

Incentive Amount:

Geothermal Heat Pump: $1,500
Air Source Heat Pumps: $750 - $1,500
Water Heater (New Construction/Conversion): $500
Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling: $50
LED Lighting: Instant discounts

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: jacksonremc.com

Incentive Amount:

Heap Pump Water Heater: $500 for the primary unit and $750 for the secondary unit
Air-Source or Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump: $400/Unit - $1,500/Unit
Geothermal Heat Pump: $1,500/Unit
Duel Fuel Heat Pump: $400/Unit - $1,500/Unit

Incentive Type: Personal Tax Credit

Website: ecowatch.com

Incentive Amount:

30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.

How To Choose the Best Solar Company in Columbus

The purchase price and effectiveness of solar panels often depend on the solar company that installed them. Here are some crucial criteria to bear in mind while shopping for a solar specialist.

Licensing and Training

In Indiana, there are no electrical or solar contracting licenses at the state level, but cities and counties might adopt their own licensing programs. Check for private accreditations from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), among the solar sector's most reputed trade groups. Its program includes certifications for both solar photovoltaic and water heating installers.

Cost of Solar Panels in Columbus

The kind of solar panels you purchase decides how much electricity you can produce. Monocrystalline panels cost more but give you the best performance. Polycrystalline panels work with a tried-and-true mechanism and cost less, but produce less power. Thin-film panels aren't the best for large residential installations, but they are excellent accessories for non-traditional roofs.

If you'd like to charge an electric car or use your solar power in cloudy weather, you can pay extra for accessories. By selecting the right components, you can make your system more efficient and user-friendly. Not all solar companies include these optional components, so look for a contractor that sells them if it's crucial for you.

Most Columbus homeowners select solar systems sized for five kilowatts (kW) of electrical capacity. These systems cost about $20,500 to set up, considering both materials and labor. You can see more specific cost information in the table.

Solar Panel CostAverage Cost
Solar Monocrystalline$1,122
Solar Polycrystalline$875
Thin-Film$512
Solar Battery$718
Solar Home EV Charger$2,693

Financing Solar Energy in Columbus

Choosing the right financing plan will affect your overall solar system cost and possible savings. Common payment options include cash payments, leases, loans, and power purchase agreements. We recommend paying with cash or securing a solar loan for the highest return on investment (ROI). Cash payments require a hefty sum up-front, but you’ll pay the least long-term by avoiding interest. You’ll also have full ownership of your system and can apply for solar incentives to reduce your total costs. Solar loans are another good option if you don’t want to make a big initial investment. You can pay for your system in installments while still enjoying energy bill savings and solar incentives. However, you’ll pay more in total due to accruing interest. Solar leases involve paying a set monthly rate to use rooftop panels. A PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) allows you to pay a monthly rate determined by the energy you use, akin to an electric bill. We typically don’t recommend these two options because you won't own the solar system and are disqualified from using solar incentives. We suggest working with a company that offers multiple financing options. Ask each salesperson about what's available, and acquire more than one estimate for the best odds of keeping within your budget.

The table below lists the average payback periods for different capacities of solar systems in Columbus.

A 26% federal tax credit applies to recently-purchased solar equipment purchased through 2032. Extra incentives may be available through local governments, usually in the form of rebates and special financing programs.

Solar System CapacityEstimated Payback period
1 kW2.1 years
2 kW4.1 years
5 kW10.4 years
10 kW20.7 years

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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Columbus

How much money could I save by going solar in Columbus?

Most Columbus homeowners spend about $1,326 on energy each year. Your costs could drop by $976.20 for each kilowatt you generate after you pay off a solar array.

Is solar energy easily accessible in Columbus?

Yes, solar energy is readily available in Columbus. A growing number of area homes are already using solar power on-site or through utility grids, and Indiana has about 3600 jobs forming its solar economy.

Will solar panels boost my Columbus home price?

Yes, solar panels will boost your property value. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), for every dollar you reduce on energy bills, your home value rises by $20. So, if your panels save you $600 per year on energy costs, your property could appreciate $12,000.

What can I do to assess my home's solar viability?

To determine your home's solar readiness, nothing substitutes for a comprehensive estimate from a local solar provider. However, you can use the PVWatts tool for a simple solar viability estimate based on public data, including tree cover, system size, local weather and topography, and panel efficiency.

How do I care for my new solar system?

Solar panels don't need much upkeep to keep working properly. All you'll need to do is inspect and clean the panels every six months or as necessary in dusty seasons. Solar companies frequently offer maintenance packages to assist in your system's care.

What is the average payback period for Columbus solar panels?

The average payback period for a solar loan in Columbus is 14.7 years. By paying off extra principal each month, you can shorten the payback period and own your system faster.

How are traditional solar loans and PPAs different?

A power purchase agreement is a contract between you and your provider. They set up, own, and care for the panels, and you buy the generated electricity from them for 10–25 years. There will usually be options to extend the agreement and buy out early to own your system.

In contrast, solar loans can come from the government, local banks, installer and specialty lenders. You'll need to pass a credit check to qualify for most of them. While the upfront costs are greater, and you'll be responsible for maintenance, you'll also have full ownership rights and can apply for many more benefits.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviewsteam@thisoldhousereviews.com.

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