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4 Best Solar Companies in Ohio (2024 Guide)

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Default Author Icon Written by Tamara Jude + 1 other Reviewer Icon Reviewed by Roger Horowitz Updated 04/24/2024

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. 22 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 affordable. 

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 Ohio

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Top Solar Energy Companies in Ohio

SunPower: Best High-Efficiency System
Blue Raven Solar: Most Reputable
Palmetto Solar: Best Customer Support
Kokosing Solar: Best Local Ohio Installer

Our Top Picks for Solar Installation in Ohio

SunPower

Best High-Efficiency System
4.8

Pros and Cons

Pros Builds customized, high-efficiency solar systems to suit each home Offers an extensive coverage area throughout the country Sells energy storage and EV charger add-ons Cons Limits solar equipment options due to in-house product exclusivity More expensive than other companies, according to some customer reviews

Why We Chose SunPower

SunPower offers high-quality solar systems custom-designed to provide homeowners with the highest efficiency possible. The company combines high-efficiency Maxeon solar panels with in-house components to create a streamlined solar system. Its product catalog includes various electric vehicle (EV) chargers to customize your system.

SunPower offers its exclusive SunVault energy storage system that stores your excess energy for use overnight or during power outages. The mySunPower monitoring app allows customers to monitor their system performance, track energy consumption, and control stored energy usage.

Warranty and Financing

Warranty

SunPower backs its solar products with an all-inclusive 25-year warranty covering all solar system components, additional equipment add-ons, workmanship, and a production guarantee of 92% power output.

 

Financing options

✔ Full purchase

✔ Loan

✔ Lease

Reputation and Awards

Since 1985, SunPower has committed itself to developing innovative solar technology, including its high-efficiency monocrystalline solar panels. In 2020, the company moved the panel manufacturing division into a separate company called Maxeon Solar Technologies.

SunPower continued to develop its own solar products, including mounts, microinverters, batteries, and software. The company received PV Magazine’s 2019 Sustainability Award for “outstanding sustainability leadership in the solar industry.” In 2022, SunPower received the Good Housekeeping’s 2022 Home Renovation Award in the Biggest Energy Savers category. The company was recognized for its innovative SunVault energy storage system.

SunPower currently holds an A+ rating and is accredited with the BBB. Based on our team’s review analysis, we discovered that customers were pleased with their SunPower system performance. However, we noticed a pattern of complaints about higher-than-average installation costs and communication issues with third-party installers.

States Available

All 50 states, but varies by ZIP code

Blue Raven Solar Most Reputable
4.4

We chose Blue Raven Solar because it has earned a reputation for trustworthiness from its solar industry peers and corporate staff. The company offers in-house financing options with five years of fixed rates, making going solar more affordable. Blue Raven offers full-service system design and installation from its in-house staff. The company builds custom solar systems with products from leading solar brands, such as Silfab and Q Cells.

Pros and Cons
Pros 18 months of free solar energy for new customers In-house financing options, eliminating third-party lenders One of the most reputable solar companies Cons Limited two-year power guarantee Only two payment options Workmanship warranty lasts only 10 years
Warranty and Financing

Warranty
Blue Raven Solar includes a 25-year system warranty, 10-year workmanship warranty, and two-year production guarantee.

Financing Options
✔ Full purchase
✔ Loan

Reputation and Awards

Blue Raven Solar has received numerous awards from Comparably, an organization that evaluates companies’ culture and reputation. Recognitions included Best Operations Team 2022, Best Places to Work in Salt Lake City 2022, and Best Company Outlook 2022. In 2021, Blue Raven Solar placed No. 20 on Glassdoor’s Best Place to Work in the USA.

The company holds BBB accreditation and an A+ rating*. We noted that customers praised the courteous customer service staff and knowledgeable installers but warned of pushy sales tactics from door-to-door salespersons.

Palmetto Best Customer Support
4.4
  • Why we chose it: Palmetto offers a comprehensive customer support system to keep your solar system in peak condition. Along with multiple customer support contact options, the company has additional protections such as system monitoring and extended panel warranties.
  • Payment Options: Full purchase, loan

Learn more: Palmetto Solar review

Pros and Cons
Pros Multiple customer support contact methods, including a mobile app Online calculator to determine potential solar savings Tiered protection plans for additional system coverage Cons Additional charges for the highest tiered protection plan Limited to two payment options
Warranty and Financing

Palmetto includes a 25-year panel warranty, 12-year inverter warranty, 10-year workmanship warranty, plus five years of roof penetration coverage.

Reputation and Awards

Palmetto’s Get Solar, Give Solar program provides solar energy to underserved communities. The company received Solar Power World’s Most Forward-Thinking Contractor in 2022. Inc. also recognized the company with a Power Partner Award in the same year.

The company has accreditation with the BBB and has an A+ rating. When reading homeowner reviews, we discovered an appreciation for the system quality and communication during installation but unhappiness with the permitting delays.

Kokosing Rising Best Local Ohio Installer
4.4

Kokosing Solar focuses on Ohio’s local market to provide a more personalized customer experience. As an authorized SunPower dealer, the company offers some of the most efficient solar panels on the market. Kokosing Solar also has solar accessories, such as EV chargers and Enphase and Tesla Powerwall solar batteries. 

The company holds certification with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), one of the country’s most respected solar installer certification programs. In-house installers complete each solar project, offering a smoother and more efficient installation.

Pros and Cons
Pros Authorized SunPower installer Product catalog includes solar batteries and EV chargers In-house installation team Cons Coverage area varies throughout the state Limited solar panel customization options Shorter workmanship warranty compared to other reviewed installers
Warranty and Financing

Warranty

Kokosing Solar has 25-year product warranties and 17-year workmanship coverage for its solar systems. 

Financing Options
✔ Full purchase
✔ Loan

Reputation and Awards

Kokosing Solar maintains an A+ rating with the BBB and is accredited. When reading homeowner reviews, we found that customers appreciated the company’s competitive pricing and responsiveness to technical issues but noted a drop in customer service quality over the last year. 


What Are the Available Solar Incentives in Ohio?

To help reduce solar panel system costs, Ohio offers residents several federal and state solar incentives, tax credits, and rebates. We’ve outlined them below.

Federal Solar Tax Credit

Property Tax Exemptions

Net Metering

Additional Incentives

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 Should You 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. 

Solar Services

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 lifespan 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. 

Payment Options

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.  

Customer Support

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. 

  1. 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 who 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.

Our Conclusion

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?

As of April 2024, EnergySage reports that Ohio’s average solar panel cost is $2.70 per watt, lower than the country’s $2.86 average. When we calculate for an average 5-kWh system, it costs around $13,800 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

We are 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.

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