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: Rebate ProgramWebsite: consolidated.coop
Electric Water Heater: $200 - $400
Duel Fuel Heat Pump Rebate: $600
Geothermal Heat Pump: $1,000
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: 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 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
|Solar Home EV Charger
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
Ready to Get a Quote on Your Solar Project?
Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Columbus
How much energy and money could I save per year by switching to solar?
How popular is solar energy in Columbus?
Will solar panels improve my Columbus home worth?
Could I still use solar power if I live in a rainy, dark, or wooded area?
Is installing solar panels a quick job?
What is the average payback period for Columbus solar panels?
How does "net metering" work, and do I need to participate?
What are the signs I shouldn't use a particular solar company for my 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
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