Ohio: the land of eight U.S. presidents, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a burgeoning solar industry. Ohio’s simultaneously sensible and daring personality means many Ohioans are interested in the opportunities presented by solar energy. If you are one of these enterprising folks and are hoping to learn more about the policies supporting solar in Ohio, you are in the right place.
The best solar programs, rebates and tax breaks in Ohio
Ohio has a few incentives to help you go solar: one that pays you for the electricity your panels generate, one that rewards you for that electricity’s clean characteristics, and one to help you finance your new solar energy system.
Net metering in Ohio
Your solar panels will often produce more electricity than you need, but thanks to Ohio’s net metering policy, you will be able to sell this back to the grid in exchange for credits on your utility bill. When you need more electricity than your panels are producing, you can use those credits instead of buying electricity from your utility.
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs)
Ohio has committed to producing 12.5 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2027. In order to achieve this, the state uses solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs). For each megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity your solar panels produce, you will be granted one SREC that you can sell for extra cash. In 2016 these certificates sold for about $15, meaning that a 5-kilowatt system that produces 5 MWh per year could earn about $75 annually.
Interest rate buy-down
The state has also created the Energy Conservation for Ohioans (ECO-Link) Program to make it less expensive for you to finance your solar energy system. All you have to do is successfully apply for the program and you will receive up to a 3 percent interest rate reduction on your bank loans, for up to seven years.
Federal solar tax credit
The value of these solar programs in Ohio is also bolstered by the recent extension of the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar. This generous tax credit is worth 30 percent of your system’s cost, and comes right off of your federal income taxes. Keep in mind that the ITC applies only to those who buy their system outright, either with a cash purchase or solar loan, and that you must have enough income for the tax credit to be relevant.