5 Best Solar Companies in Ohio (2023)
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Although not considered a leading state in sustainability, Ohio’s solar energy use is slowly growing. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Ohio ranks No. 26 in the nation for solar technology adoption, up from No. 31 in 2022. It has a less aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) than other states, with plans to generate 8.5% of the state’s electricity from clean energy. Fortunately, Ohio offers several solar incentive programs to support its solar market growth and help residents move to solar more affordably.
Our team committed over 70 hours to researching the country’s leading solar companies to find the best solar company in Ohio.
Compare Solar Companies Across OH
|Star Rating||Best For||Location Presence||BBB Rating|
|SunPower||Best High-Efficiency System||50 States||A+|
|ADT Solar||Best Solar Warranty||23 States||A+|
|Blue Raven||Most Reputable||18 States||A+|
|Palmetto||Best Customer Support||17 States||A+|
|Kokosing Rising||Best Local Ohio Installer||Ohio||A+|
|Best For||Best High-Efficiency System|
|Location Presence||50 States|
|Best For||Best Solar Warranty|
|Location Presence||23 States|
|Best For||Best Customer Support|
|Location Presence||17 States|
Here’s an overview of the best solar companies in Ohio.
Ohio’s Top Solar Energy Companies
- SunPower: Best High-Efficiency System
- ADT Solar: Best Solar Warranty
- Blue Raven Solar: Most Reputable
- Palmetto Solar: Best Customer Support
- Kokosing Solar: Best Local Ohio Installer
SunPower: Best High-Efficiency System
Using high-efficiency solar panels and streamlined in-house components, SunPower custom builds high-performance solar energy systems designed for maximum energy output and long-term energy savings.
Learn more: SunPower review
ADT Solar: Best Solar Warranty
ADT Solar provides the most comprehensive warranty protection with 25-year system coverage and performance guarantees to ensure optimal panel performance.
Learn more: ADT Solar review
Blue Raven Solar: Most Reputable
Blue Raven maintains its reputation as best in the solar industry amongst its employees and competitors.
Learn more: Blue Raven Solar review
Palmetto Solar: Best Customer Support
Palmetto offers multiple customer support channels for better communication, plus a tiered protection plan for more comprehensive system coverage.
Learn more: Palmetto Solar review
Kokosing Solar: Best Local Ohio Installer
Kokosing Solar (formerly Third Sun Kokosing Solar) provides high-quality solar panels, batteries, and electric vehicle (EV) chargers to the residential Ohio market. Because it’s local, the company offers better insight into state permitting regulation laws and local solar incentives.
(All BBB ratings are current as of June 2023.)
Solar Incentives in Ohio
To help reduce solar panel system costs, Ohio offers residents several federal and state incentives, tax credits, and rebates. We’ve outlined them below.
The federal solar tax credit offers up to 30% back on your solar installation costs. This credit applies to your owed taxes, helping to lower or eliminate your tax debt. All Ohio homeowners can apply provided they legally own their solar system. The credit applies to various solar equipment, such as photovoltaic (PV) panels, solar shingles, and solar batteries. The Energy Conservation for Ohioans (ECO-Link) program provides up to 3% interest rate reductions on five- and seven-year solar loans.
Both the City of Cleveland and the City of Cincinnati offer property tax exemptions for solar products. Usually, adding solar panels raises property value, resulting in higher property tax. With this tax exemption, homeowners benefit from a home value boost without increased taxation. These abatements last 10 years for an existing home and 15 years for new construction.
The Ohio Public Utilities Commission (PUC) mandates net-metering for all statewide utility companies. With this program, you receive electricity bill credits for any excess energy returned to the power grid. With the Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) program, you earn one credit for every 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) your solar system generates. SRECs can be sold to utility companies for cash to help reduce their fossil fuel consumption. Based on our research, we found that Ohio SRECs averaged around $5 in 2023.
We recommend checking the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) to view your area’s available incentives.
What To Look For in a Solar Company
When shopping for the best solar panels, review each company’s services, warranties, customer support, and payment options to find a well-rounded solar provider. Below are some important considerations when evaluating solar contractors.
Many solar panel installation companies offer additional support services, such as system monitoring, dedicated apps, and web portals. These tools help track your system’s performance and identify panel issues. Some apps include technical support integration which makes receiving troubleshooting assistance easier. There are also home energy audits, which help customers find areas with significant energy loss in their houses. Some companies even perform efficiency upgrades for you, eliminating the need for a separate contractor.
Solar companies either use in-house or third-party contractors for the installation process. With in-house teams, companies have better quality control and communication, leading to faster and better-quality installation. With third-party contractors, you may deal with multiple points of contact throughout the process. Based on several companies’ customer reviews, many homeowners were frustrated dealing with third-party installers due to inconsistent installation quality and miscommunications between teams. For the best installation experience, we recommend solar installation companies with an in-house team.
Warranties and Power Production Guarantees
Most solar companies offer two warranty types: manufacturer and workmanship. Manufacturer (or product) coverage protects panels against manufacturing defects. Workmanship warranties cover any issues caused by poor or faulty installations. Although this coverage varies by company, a 25-year warranty is ideal. This aligns with the panels’ average life span and offers homeowners peace of mind. Your warranty coverage could come as individual warranties or a comprehensive warranty that bundles panels, inverters, and components together.
Although most solar panels last 25 years or longer, they decrease in efficiency over time. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that panels drop 0.5% in efficiency per year. Some solar companies include power production guarantees to account for this gradual degradation. Guarantees range from a few years to 25, depending on the company. If panels fall below their outlined levels, they’ll be repaired and upgraded.
Most companies offer two or more solar financing options to support various household budgets. Cash payments and solar loans are the most common and offer the best return on investment (ROI). Both options qualify you as the legal system owner—typically a requirement for solar incentives, rebates, and credits.
Other payment options, such as solar leases and power purchasing agreements (PPAs), give panel ownership to the solar provider, disqualifying you from incentives. Although these options work well for homeowners uninterested in system ownership, they provide the least ROI.
We recommend choosing an up-front payment or loan to maximize your solar investment.
When analyzing customer reviews, we discovered that poor customer support was a common complaint among homeowners. The ideal solar company offers multiple means of contact, such as email, phone, or online chat. While email and phone connect you to a real agent, when testing several online solar company chats our team received a mix of real agents and automated responses. Some companies also offer customer support via their dedicated app and may include service scheduling capabilities.
How To Get a Solar Quote in Ohio
The solar experts we spoke to recommended requesting quotes from at least three solar panel companies. Compare each company’s solar equipment, warranties, pricing, and financing options to find the best fit. Below is an outline of the typical solar quote process to help prepare you for your solar shopping experience.
- Contact each solar company: You begin by contacting the company via phone or online form. During our phone shopping experience, we were often connected with representatives that verified local service and solar eligibility. From there, we were transferred to a sales rep for further information. Once connected with a solar rep, you’ll schedule an in-person or virtual consultation. Be mindful when completing online forms. Some companies automatically sign you up for texts or emails that can be difficult to unsubscribe from.
- Review your energy needs: Your official consultation will include a review of your average electricity use. Have your latest electric bill handy for this step. Although many companies only request one monthly bill, some companies prefer to review several months. These detailed reviews give insight into your annual energy use, accounting for seasonal fluctuations. We recommend having three months of electricity bills ready.
- Assess your roof space and design: The rep will assess your roof design with in-person consultations, noting any areas with heavy nearby shading and roof elements such as skylights or chimneys. They will also assess its structural integrity and may make necessary repair recommendations before panels are installed. For virtual consultations, consultants check your roof with satellite imagery. However, an in-person rep will still make an assessment before installation begins.
- Build your solar project: After conducting the final assessment, the rep will design your solar project. Your final solar quote will include detailed costs of solar panels, inverters, and other components. Additional accessories include solar batteries, home energy monitoring equipment, and electric vehicle (EV) charges. We spoke with professional solar installers who advised that each quote should include warranty information, labor costs, and your expected solar panel payback period. Your installer may also offer assistance with applying for federal and state solar incentives.
We recommend SunPower as the best choice based on our research of top Ohio solar companies. The company offers the most efficient energy solutions, enhanced by in-house components for improved performance. Homeowners receive a comprehensive 25-year warranty for product, workmanship, and performance, ensuring your system’s performance throughout its lifetime.
We recommend requesting and comparing free quotes from three solar installers to find the best offer.
Other Ohio Home Service Resources
FAQ About Solar Companies in OH
Can you get free solar panels in Ohio?
No, there are no programs in Ohio that offer free solar panels. Instead, homeowners can take advantage of available solar incentives, credits, and rebates that lower overall solar installation costs, making going solar more financially reasonable.
How much does it cost to put solar panels on your Ohio home?
According to Ecowatch, Ohio’s average solar panel cost is $2.56 per watt, lower than the country’s $2.66 average. When we calculate for an average 5-kWh system, it costs around $12,800 before subtracting any solar incentive savings. This final cost varies based on system size, solar company pricing, energy needs, and solar panel types.
Does Ohio have a solar tax credit?
Yes, Ohio residents can take advantage of the federal tax credit, which provides 30% off solar power system costs. Ohio does not have a statewide solar tax credit incentive.
Is solar power worth it in Ohio?
Yes, converting to solar power is worth it for Ohio residents. Homeowners benefit from several federal and state solar incentives with additional city-level tax exemptions. Ohio also offers specific solar loan programs targeted at lower interest rates, helping improve your solar payback period. Moving to renewable energy helps reduce your energy bills and carbon footprint while making you more energy independent.
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for solar providers is on a 100-point system based on five factors:
- Payment options (40 points): Options include purchase, loan, lease, and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). Companies receive points for each of the four options they provide.
- Solar services (30 points): Does the company provide in-house installation of solar panels and battery backups? Can the company also monitor energy production and perform energy-efficiency audits to ensure system performance? The more options available, the higher the score.
- Warranty options (10 points): The success of a residential solar system depends on the workmanship, performance guarantees, and length of product coverage. The more warranties a company offers, the higher the score it receives.
- State availability (10 points): We award the most points to companies with the broadest service area and state availability.
- Reputation (10 points): We factor in how the Business Better Bureau (BBB) scores each company. We deduct points for any alerts or pending lawsuits.
Total scores are divided by 20 for a final 5-point rating scale.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at email@example.com.