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Best 3 Solar Companies in Columbus, OH

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

Columbus homeowners benefit from 5,300,000 sunny days each year, making the city a perfect environment for solar panels. Solar contractors take a distinctively educational approach, helping homeowners understand the underlying technology and customize it to their requirements. In this article, we'll showcase Columbus' best solar providers and offer suggestions for your company choice, so you can find the right 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 Columbus Solar Companies

OGW Energy Resources Logo

OGW Energy Resources

4.7/5
Based on 40 customer reviews.

Services Offered

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

Highlights

  • Reliable customer support
  • Free quotes
  • Informative resources
5205 S Co Rd 25a, Tipp City, OH 937-506-8133 ogwenergyresources.com
ARP Solar Logo

ARP Solar

4.3/5
Based on 19 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Commercial Panels Tesla Powerwall Maintenance Residential Panels

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Reliable customer support
  • Informative resources
10131 Haga Ridge Rd, Stewart, OH 740-498-0498 arp-solar.com

Ranking Methodology

We analyzed a multitude of Columbus solar companies, using the following criteria to select the superior:

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Facts about Columbus
Average Max Temp: 60°F
Solar Payback Period: 13.1 years
Average Daily Sunlight: 52%
Homes Powered by Solar: 4,730
Average Annual Energy Bill: $1,231
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 offers multiple advantages. Let's look at a few of them.

  • Better energy independence: Adding a battery storage system lets you have dependable energy during storms and grid outages.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: Solar is a highly abundant clean energy source, meaning you can reduce or eliminate your home's dependence on fossil fuels.
  • Lowered energy bills: You can skip the expensive cost of grid-tied power by producing some electricity right where you use it.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Columbus Homeowners?

Ohio homeowners who choose solar could qualify for rebates, reimbursements, tax credits and special financing. Here are just a few of the local incentive programs.

Incentive Type: Loan Program

Website: hamiltoncountyohio.gov

Incentive Amount:

$50,000

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: consolidated.coop

Incentive Amount:

Electric Water Heater: $200 - $400
Duel Fuel Heat Pump Rebate: $600
Geothermal Heat Pump: $1,000

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: 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 price and efficacy of solar panels often hinge on which company mounted them. Consider each of these elements in your business search.

Licensing and Training

Ohio may require a solar installer to hold a state contractors' license, but only for commercial work. For residential work, cities can establish their own licensing or regulatory requirements. Look for private accreditations from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), one of the solar industry's most respected 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 select determines how much power 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 recommended for large residential installations, but they are ideal for small projects like converting RVs and sheds.

If you need to charge an electric car or use your solar power in dark weather, you can pay extra for add-ons. By choosing the right components, you can make your panel array more efficient and convenient to use. Not every solar company provides these additional features, so look for a provider that installs them if it's essential for you.

Generally speaking, it will cost about $17,050 for a five-kilowatt solar array in Columbus. This table lists more specific prices for different solar panel types and system components in your area.

Solar Panel Cost Average Cost
Solar Monocrystalline $1,122
Solar Polycrystalline $875
Thin-Film $512
Solar Battery $718
Solar Home EV Charger $2,692

Financing Solar Energy in Columbus

There are many ways to pay for new solar panels, and the right one will help you decrease overhead. A few of the most common options include loans, leases, cash payments, and power purchase agreements (PPAs). Most solar experts recommend a cash payment or using a solar loan. Cash payments demand 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. Much like an auto or home loan, you'll pay a set monthly rate with as little as $0 down. Solar leases let you rent your panels for a set monthly rate, while PPAs let you pay only for the energy you use, similar to an electric bill. Both options disqualify you for solar incentives and do not provide you system ownership. Solar experts generally don't recommend them, but they might be suitable in some cases. Ask each company you're vetting about the payment options it offers. A team member can help you determine the best option for your pocketbook.

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

The IRS allows you to claim a 26% federal tax credit on total system costs, so long as you purchase it before 2032. Local governments and utilities might also offer their own financing programs, incentives, and rebates that could save you more money.

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 Columbus

How much energy and money could I save per year by switching to solar?

On average, Columbus homeowners shell out approximately $1,231 per year on electric bills. Once you repay your solar array, you could reduce your costs by $862.51 for every kilowatt you produce.

How popular is solar energy in Columbus?

Yes, solar energy is becoming increasingly popular in Columbus. Some homes already use solar power on-site or through utility grids, and they're fortified by a state solar economy with 7282 job opportunities and counting.

Will solar panels improve my Columbus home worth?

Yes, new solar systems lead to higher property values according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL.) Homeowners could project a $20 property value increase for each dollar they save on energy. Therefore, $600 in energy savings could boost your property value by $12,000.

Could I still use solar power if I live in a rainy, dark, or wooded area?

A solar system could still work well in dark areas. Your contractor will position your panels to capture the most sunlight possible. They might also recommend a battery backup system to keep your system functioning at its best.

Is installing solar panels a quick job?

Your solar job's duration will depend on its size and complexity, as well as Columbus' permit and inspection procedures. It could take a few weeks to a couple of months on average.

What is the average payback period for Columbus solar panels?

The average payback period for a solar loan in Columbus is 13.8 years. By paying off extra principal each month, you can shorten the payback period and own your system faster.

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

Most utilities and states run net metering programs, and some mandate homeowners to join. Once you enroll, you can get a check or bill credit for any surplus electricity you generate and send to the grid. Generally, power companies compensate solar homeowners at an "avoided-cost" or wholesale rate.

What are the signs I shouldn't use a particular solar company for my job?

While many online reviews are positive, even the best solar providers might have negative reviews. You should know these early warning signs for the best odds of a well-done job:
  • High-pressure sales tactics
  • Being evasive about credentials and training, warranties, references and cost
  • Limited or no customization
  • Rushing through the site assessment
  • Limited online information

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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