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s the world grapples with the devastating effects of climate change, many states and countries are shifting their focus to renewable energy sources, particularly solar power. Although Ohio is not yet considered a leading state in the solar arena, it possesses immense potential to make significant strides in this field. In this article, we will explore the economic benefits that Ohio homeowners can reap from transitioning to photovoltaics, as well as discuss strategies for achieving this transition at the lowest possible cost.

Are solar panels in Ohio a smart investment for homeowners?

Ohio's current solar ranking places it at number 26 among all the states in the US, with photovoltaics accounting for a mere 0.9% of its total electricity generation. In 2019, Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio scaled back the state's target of generating 12.5% of its power from renewable sources by 2026 to a more modest 8.5%.

So what is holding Ohio back from adopting solar more actively? Perhaps it's the state's reputation for not having an abundance of sunny days, with only 173 per year compared to the US average of 205. This lack of sunshine has led many Ohioans to question whether PV panels are a viable option for their homes. However, it's important to note that the amount of electricity a photovoltaic system produces isn't solely dependent on the amount of sunlight received. Factors such as the angle and orientation of the array, shading, and the type of modules used can all impact the amount of energy produced. By carefully designing a system and selecting the right panels, Ohio residents can still generate a substantial amount of electricity from the sun’s power.

It's anticipated that Ohio will soon experience an increase in the financial feasibility of adopting solar. This is because the state's electricity prices have been gradually increasing, whereas the cost of photovoltaics has been steadily declining. In the last ten years, it has impressively dropped by 52%, making it a more reasonably priced alternative for consumers. Consequently, it's likely that more households and businesses will opt for photovoltaics to save money on their bills while also lessening their carbon footprint.

Solar energy in North Calorina is rapidly growing, with abundant sunlight and supportive policies driving adoption. Residents benefit from solar incentives and low-cost solar installations.

The cost of PV systems and potential savings

According to Find Energy data, most electricity needs for an average Ohio home can be met by installing a 9kW photovoltaic system. Considering Ohio's average residential price-per-watt is $3.73, the cost of a 9kW system could be around $33,597. However, the cost of installing a PV system can vary greatly and is influenced by multiple factors, including the quality and type of panels used, the system's size, the orientation of your roof, and the type of your property. Additionally, you may be able to save thousands of dollars on the overall cost by taking advantage of applicable incentives.

Although the initial investment for a PV system may appear steep, it's crucial to consider the long-term benefits. The payback period for solar panels in Ohio - the duration it takes to recoup the initial investment - is approximately 13 years. Once this period has passed, you'll be generating your own electricity at no cost. With estimates suggesting that Ohio locals can save a total of $14,102 over 20 years by implementing an average-sized setup, long-term savings can be substantial.

Taking advantage of solar incentives

By taking advantage of the available incentives, Ohio residents can significantly cut down on the total expenses of their installation. Let's explore some of the benefits that are currently offered.

Investment Tax Credit: Without a doubt, the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is the most persuasive incentive offered to PV adopters across the United States. ITC aims to promote the use of renewable energy by enabling consumers to deduct a substantial percentage of their total PV project cost from their Federal income tax obligations. As of 2023, the tax credit permits reimbursement of 30% of the project cost, which applies to both residential and commercial systems and is not subject to a cap on value. This means that if you qualify, you can claim up to $6,000 for a $20,000 solar system.

Solar Sales Tax Exemption: Ohio provides a tax exemption on photovoltaic equipment, such as PV modules, inverters, batteries, and electric vehicle chargers, making renewable energy options more affordable and accessible. With the state's 5.75% sales tax rate and a typical system cost of $33,600, this tax break is expected to save you around $1,900 on the initial system price.

Energy Conservation for Ohioans (ECO-Link) program: Ohio has launched the ECO-Link Program to decrease the expense of solar financing. You could be eligible for a 3% interest rate reduction on loans up to $50,000, although the amount you could save will depend on factors such as your system size, energy requirements, and your installer. Make sure to check the eligibility criteria before applying.

Net Metering: Homeowners can also take advantage of net metering, a billing system that gives credit to owners of solar panels in Ohio for the electricity they supply to the power grid. It's important to note that the State of Ohio's net metering policy doesn't mandate utilities to credit energy produced at the full retail rate, as the specific rate depends on the electric company you're with.

Local incentives: Additionally to the incentives offered at the state level, there are also some available locally. For example, Cincinnati and Cleveland offer a Property Tax Exemption that ensures the value of your PV system installation won't increase your taxes. Another example is the Hamilton County Home Improvement Program which offers reasonable financing choices for photovoltaic equipment up to $50,000, with interest rates 3% lower than the standard rate provided by banks.

A wrap-up of Ohio solar energy for homeowners

Ohio may not be at the forefront of states that have embraced solar power, but the state's potential for progress is significant. As electricity prices continue to climb and the cost of photovoltaics decreases, more households and businesses will probably turn to this clean power source.

Adopting solar energy in Ohio can bring about several benefits for homeowners, both financially and environmentally. While the initial cost of a photovoltaic system may be steep, the long-term gains, such as substantial bill savings and reduced carbon emissions, make it a wise investment. Additionally, Ohioans can benefit from various incentives that can help lower the overall cost of installation.

Sources:

https://www.seia.org/state-solar-policy/ohio-solar

https://findenergy.com/oh/solar/

https://www.energysage.com/local-data/solar-panel-cost/oh/

Posted 
Jun 12, 2023
 in 
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