Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy provides multiple advantages. Let's look at a few of them.
- Better energy independence: Photovoltaic systems with energy storage operate through blackouts and emergencies, and you won't have to depend on the power grid for your safety and comfort.
- Reduced carbon footprint: Using solar is a surefire way to lower your carbon footprint and home fossil fuel dependency.
- Lowered energy bills: With a solar array, you produce power without paying the tacked-on costs of grid-tied power. You can eliminate your bills completely if you go off-grid.
What Solar Incentives Are Available to Cincinnati Homeowners?
Ohio's public agencies and power companies offer a variety of solar incentives to help offset your solar system costs. Check out a breakdown of relevant solar programs where you live.
Incentive Type: PACE Financing
Low-interest, 30-year loan
Incentive Type: Loan ProgramWebsite: tos.ohio.gov
Rate reduction available for up to $50,000 and 7 years of the bank loan
Incentive Type: Solar Renewable Energy Credit ProgramWebsite: puco.ohio.gov
SREC prices vary based on market conditions
Incentive Type: Property Tax IncentiveWebsite: cincinnaticitywide.com
Residential New Construction: 100% tax abatement for 15 years
Residential Renovations: 100% tax abatement for 10 years
Commercial New Construction: Effective 75% tax abatement for 8-15 years
Commercial Renovations: Effective 75% tax abatement for 8-12 years
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: duke-energy.com
Variable Refrigerant Flow HVAC: up to $400
Central AC or Heat pump: $300-$400
Geothermal Heat Pump: $400
Smart Thermostat: $125
Heat Pump Water Heater: $350
Variable Speed Pool Pumps: $300
Duct Sealing: $100
Duct Insulation: $75
Attic Insulation and Air Sealing: $250
Incentive Type: Personal Tax CreditWebsite: ecowatch.com
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 Cincinnati
Choosing a company is the first step toward a well-oiled and cost-efficient solar system. Consider each of these aspects in your contractor search.
Licensing and Training
Ohio may require a solar installer to hold a state contractors' license, but only for commercial work. For home solar panel installations, cities can establish their own licensing or regulatory requirements. You should also visit a company's website to learn about its private accreditations. Two of the most prestigious are the PV Installation Professional and Solar Heating Installer certificates, backed by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Some companies don't publish this information online, so you should also ask your estimator about them.
Cost of Solar Panels in Cincinnati
Your photovoltaic panels' type will affect how much energy you can produce. Monocrystalline panels perform the best but cost the most. Polycrystalline panels offer you a budget panel with a traditional design, but at the cost of less power generation. Thin-film panels are excellent for non-traditional roof shapes and cost the least, but don't work well for large residential installations.
Additional system add-ons, such as electric vehicle (EV) chargers and battery storage, will increase your overall costs. However, they might make your solar system more efficient and convenient to use. Not all solar companies include these additional features, so look for a company that installs them if it's crucial for you.
A majority of Cincinnati homeowners choose solar systems rated for five kilowatts (kW) of electrical capacity. These systems run about $17,050 to install, considering both materials and labor. You can see more specific cost information in the table.
|Solar Panel Cost
|Solar Home EV Charger
Financing Solar Energy in Cincinnati
Solar providers use multiple different financing options to lower your costs and increase your savings. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are solar loans, solar leases, cash payments and power purchase agreements (PPAs). Most solar experts recommend a cash payment or using a solar loan. Cash payments require a large up-front sum, but they help you avoid paying interest, grant you system ownership, and qualify you for cost-saving incentives. Solar loans have the same benefits, though you'll pay more in total due to interest and fees. Similar to a car or home loan, you'll pay a set monthly rate with as little as $0 down. Solar leases involve paying a set monthly rate to use rooftop panels. A PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) enables you to pay a monthly rate determined by the energy you use, similar to an electric bill. We typically don’t recommend these two choices because you won't own the panels and cannot use solar incentives. Look for companies that offer several payment plans to find the right fit for your pocket.
The table below lists the average payback periods for different capacities of solar systems in Cincinnati.
You are eligible for a 26% federal tax credit for new solar energy devices until the year 2032. Local and state governments and utility companies might also offer discounts, rebates, and specialized financing options that could save you more.
|Solar System Capacity
|Estimated Payback period
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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Cincinnati
How much money could I save by going solar in Cincinnati?
How prevalent is solar energy in Cincinnati?
Will a solar PV system boost my Cincinnati home value?
How long will a common solar system last?
What care do my solar panels need, and how frequently do they need it?
How long does it take to pay back a solar loan in Cincinnati?
How does "net metering" work, and do I need to participate?
Some states or energy providers mandate you to participate in net metering when purchasing your solar system, while others give you a choice. Either way, once you participate, you'll receive a bill credit or check for your excess generation at a wholesale or retail rate.
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