Residential Solar & Wind Incentives – Ohio
For residential renewable energy systems in Ohio, the federal government currently offers an unlimited 30% tax credit toward the purchase price of a solar electric, solar hot water, or wind energy system, including all materials and labor. This tax credit rolls over into future years if the tax credit exceeds your tax liability during the year you purchase the system. In addition, Green Energy Ohio (GEO), a non-profit advocate of renewable energy, offers a rebate on all solar hot water (thermal) systems, worth up to $2400 off the cost of the system. This rebate uses funds received by Green Energy Ohio from The Sierra Club, and is available until the funds are depleted. Click here
to read more on this rebate at Green Energy Ohio’s website.
The tax credit and rebate program described above reduce the overall net system cost. The next two financial incentives pay back the renewable energy system owner over time. The first is the cost of the generated energy itself. For solar electric and wind energy systems, this is the electricity that you save and/or sell back to the utility company, which averages $0.08 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in Ohio. For solar hot water, it is the water-heating fuel (typically natural gas, propane, oil, or electricity), which varies greatly depending on the fuel type.
For solar electric and wind energy systems, there is yet another financial incentive that pays pack the renewable energy system owner over time - renewable energy credits (REC's). For solar electric systems, these are called solar renewable energy credits (SREC's). Effectively, Ohio residents currently receive an additional ~$0.40 / kWh for all electricity generated by their solar electric system thanks to SREC's. SREC's aren't quite that simple, however, and take some explaining - see our explanation here
. Note that the sale of SREC’s for Ohio residents is a huge contributor toward system payback, as it reduces the system payback time by ~50% !
Appraisers also estimate that renewable energy systems increase a building’s resale value significantly, but this depends heavily on the home buying market and the buyers at the time of listing the home.
There are several city-specific incentives in Ohio that may also benefit owners of solar and wind energy systems. Use the DSIRE tool at the left to see if any apply to you.
Finally, if the upfront system cost is still prohibitive for your budget, consider a reduced-interest loan funded through the State Treasurer of Ohio. This loan is called ECO-link and provides a 3% interest rate reduction for five or seven years on bank loans when installing renewable energy systems or completing energy-efficient upgrades in your home. Click here
to learn more from the State Treasurer of Ohio website. There are well over a dozen participating banks, the more well-known of which include Key Bank, U.S. Bank, and Huntington Bank.
Commercial Solar & Wind Incentives – Ohio
Commercial incentives in Ohio are the same as the residential incentives described above (minus the ECO-link loan and the GEO solar thermal rebate), but in addition businesses may be eligible for accelerated 5 year depreciation as well as 50% bonus depreciation in 2012.
Click to view SREC Explanation