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Best 4 Solar Companies in Cincinnati, OH

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

With Cincinnati's clear skies and little rainfall, it's a great area for families and businesses looking to harness the added sunlight. Local homeowners might opt for solar to break free of high power costs from sources like natural gas. A knowledgeable solar contractor can help you install and optimize a system that fits your energy needs without being too expensive. In this guide, we'll highlight Cincinnati's best solar companies and offer suggestions for your company choice, so you can find the perfect one for your home.

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 Cincinnati Solar Companies

Solgen Power Logo

Solgen Power

3.9/5
Based on 113 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Consultation Residential Panels Financing Assistance Permit Assistance

Highlights

  • Reliable customer support
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Free quotes
7453 Empire Dr, Florence, KY 509-931-1663 solgenpower.com
Icon Solar Logo

Icon Solar

4.4/5
Based on 26 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Grid-Tied Solar System Residential Panels Battery Storage Tesla Powerwall Permit Assistance Commercial Panels Financing Assistance

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Informative resources
50 W Techne Center Dr K, Milford, OH 513-396-7777 iconsolar.com
OGW Energy Resources Logo

OGW Energy Resources

4.7/5
Based on 40 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Commercial Panels Emergency Services Permit Assistance Consultation Battery Storage Financing Assistance Residential Panels

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Reliable customer support
  • Free quotes
5205 S Co Rd 25a, Tipp City, OH 937-506-8133 ogwenergyresources.com

Ranking Methodology

We analyzed dozens of Cincinnati solar installers, using the following criteria to determine the superior:

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Facts about Cincinnati
Average Max Temp: 62°F
Solar Payback Period: 13.1 years
Average Daily Sunlight: 53%
Homes Powered by Solar: 1,593
Average Annual Energy Bill: $1,165
Solar Power per Capita Percentile: 48.0%

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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. 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: Loan Program

Website: hamiltoncountyohio.gov

Incentive Amount:

$50,000

Incentive Type: PACE Financing

Incentive Amount:

Low-interest, 30-year loan

Incentive Type: Loan Program

Website: tos.ohio.gov

Incentive Amount:

Rate reduction available for up to $50,000 and 7 years of the bank loan

Incentive Type: Solar Renewable Energy Credit Program

Website: puco.ohio.gov

Incentive Amount:

SREC prices vary based on market conditions

Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive

Website: cincinnaticitywide.com

Incentive Amount:

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 Program

Website: duke-energy.com

Incentive Amount:

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 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 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 Average Cost
Solar Monocrystalline $1,167
Solar Polycrystalline $910
Thin-Film $532
Solar Battery $747
Solar Home EV Charger $2,801

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
1 kW 2.6 years
2 kW 5.2 years
5 kW 13.1 years
10 kW 26.2 years

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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Cincinnati

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

Most Cincinnati homeowners spend about $1,165 on energy each year. Your costs could drop by $654.77 for each kilowatt you generate after you pay off a solar array.

How prevalent is solar energy in Cincinnati?

Yes, solar energy is readily available in Cincinnati. A growing number of area homes generate or access solar power on-site or through utility grids, and Ohio has about 7282 jobs forming its solar economy.

Will a solar PV system boost my Cincinnati home value?

Yes, solar energy systems will increase 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.

How long will a common solar system last?

Modern solar panels are built to last. The average panel provides 25 years of reliable power. Lower-cost panels tend to have shorter lifespans than top-tier models.

What care do my solar panels need, and how frequently do they need it?

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

How long does it take to pay back a solar loan in Cincinnati?

Most Cincinnati homeowners pay back a solar loan in 18.2 years. You can shorten the payback period by paying off extra loan principal each month.

How does "net metering" work, and do I need to participate?

Net metering is a method that credits solar homeowners for any excess electricity they generate and send back to the grid.

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.

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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