- Ohio nearly reached 1GW of solar energy in 2022, enough to power 117,000 homes and save homeowners more than $19,000.
- Solar equipment in Ohio costs about $2.50 per watt, lower than average, and a 6kW system costs around $15,000 before incentives.
- Federal solar tax credit returns 30% of all purchases made toward an array, potentially reducing the cost of a 6kW system to $10,500.
- Ohioans can save thousands on utility bills after paying off their solar panel system, with potential net returns of $12,508 to $19,380.
- State incentives include net metering, performance payments, and tax exemptions, further reducing the cost of solar installations.
Ohio nearly reached 1GW of solar energy in 2022, producing enough power to support 117,000 homes. It makes the Buckeye State one of the more supportive states in the Midwest, and that’s good news for homeowners. Those considering solar panels in Ohio could save more than $19,000.
So, where do you start budgeting for an array? In this article, we cover all the important aspects, including average prices and potential savings. Let’s get into it so you can begin making the switch.
Average Cost of Solar Panels in Ohio
At first glance, you might think solar panels in Ohio aren’t worth it. After all, equipment in the Buckeye State runs about $2.50 per watt, which is lower than average. When scaled to a 6kW system, homeowners could expect to pay about $15,000 before incentives.
However, this benefit balances out when considering the average price of electricity. Homeowners in Ohio use less power than usual, about 873kWh a month. Coupled with a standard electricity rate, Ohioans only spend about $114.54 monthly, one of the lowest in the country.
Still, those on the fence about making the switch might appreciate the federal solar tax credit. This program returns 30% of all purchases made toward an array, including labor, equipment, and sales tax. Ohioans utilizing this with a 6kW system could watch the cost drop from $15,000 to $10,500.
How Much Solar Do Ohioans Need?
While the above example shows an average cost for solar panels in Ohio, it might not represent your household’s needs. Because of their lower electricity requirements, homeowners in the Buckeye state may want a different wattage. To properly size your solar array, simply divide your daily power usage by the typical amount of direct sun.
We’ll give you an example using Ohio’s averages.
On average, homeowners in the Buckeye State use about 29.1kWh a day (from 873kWh a month). When we divide that by Ohio’s overall peak sun of 4.15 hours, our solar panel system needs to produce about 7.0kW an hour. Higher than the national average, Ohioans can expect to pay about $17,500 before incentives.
Now that you know how to find the wattage for your home, try it with your personal power usage and sunlight. Because direct sun differs depending on location, use the Ohio sun chart to find the estimated time for your city.
Ohio Solar Cost Factors
As we saw in the above example, sunlight can have a major effect on the cost of solar panels in Ohio. Because of the Buckeye State’s location on Lake Erie, cities on the southern side may have more direct sun than on the northern side. For example, homeowners in Dayton receive about 4.4 hours of peak sunlight, around 15 minutes more than average per day.
To learn more about how sun and location affect solar panel costs, compare Ohio to its neighboring states:
Another factor that influences the price of an installation is the type of equipment used. Generally, you can expect higher efficiency out of monocrystalline panels at a higher cost than polycrystalline. In Ohio, where the weather notoriously changes, homeowners should consider the former.
Now, it’s important not to overlook the company installing your panels. While labor prices might seem high, an installer that undercuts their competition might provide lower-quality equipment or warranties. And with nearly 70 installation companies in Ohio, you can prioritize picking for your needs.
Can Solar Energy Save Ohioans Money?
In the Buckeye State, you could go either way with an installation. While equipment prices and power usage are low, sunlight and electricity prices are similar. So the question stands: Can you save money with solar panels in Ohio?
The short answer is yes. Homeowners can save thousands on utility bills after paying off their solar panel system. Here’s what that looks like.
Ohioans pay on average $1,374.48 a year for electricity. When this bill is applied to offset the cost of a 6kW system, homeowners can pay it off in 10.9 years. While that might feel longer than usual, it’s not the longest. However, it’s important to remember that some Ohioans may need a larger solar array.
With the system paid off, homeowners start to see net returns from their investment. With an average lifespan for solar panels in Ohio of 20 to 25 years, residents could earn around $12,508 to $19,380. And with state incentives and regulations, there’s even more to save.
Solar Panels in Ohio: Rebates, Credits, and Incentives
Ohio has a lot going for it, but there are also factors that make the switch less desirable. Therefore, it’s worth considering any benefits that the state offers. Fortunately, the Buckeye State offers decent incentives to help cover the cost of an installation and even earn a paycheck.
First and foremost, homeowners need to consider the federal solar tax credit. This program covers 30% of all aspects of an installation. Those that utilize this credit with a 6kW system can save about $4,500.
Additionally, Ohioans benefit from a modest set of renewable standards. This promotes incentives such as net metering, performance payments, and tax exemptions. For a deeper look into these available benefits, check out our Ohio incentives guide.
|Average Cost of Solar Panels in Ohio||$2.50 per watt, $15,000 for a 6kW system before incentives|
|Federal Solar Tax Credit||30% of installation costs, reducing 6kW system cost to $10,500|
|Ohio Solar Cost Factors||Direct sunlight, location, equipment type, and installation company|
|Potential Savings||$12,508 to $19,380 over 20-25 years|
|Ohio Incentives||Federal solar tax credit, net metering, performance payments, and tax exemptions|
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