Solar Panels in Ohio: Best Companies, Costs and Incentives

Looking to cut your energy costs in the Buckeye State? Here's what to know before you buy solar panels.

Columbus, Ohio skyline with a blue sky and billowing clouds in the background.

The sun illuminates the skyline of Columbus, the most populous city in Ohio.

TrentGarverick/Getty Images

Electricity rates in the US have increased significantly in the past year. Meanwhile, the cost of residential solar panels has decreased by 52% in the last 10 years, and there are more available incentives to offset solar costs. 

While solar power provided one-fifth of Ohio's renewable energy generation in 2021, renewables only accounted for 4% of the state's electricity generation. That doesn't mean your home has to run on natural gas or coal. 

You can lower your carbon footprint and save on energy costs by switching to solar on your rooftop. Residents who choose to go solar can also access incentives, such as net metering programs. 

Can solar panels save you money?

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Here's a look at the cost of going solar in Ohio and some of the top solar installers operating in the state.

Average cost of solar panels in Ohio

Here's a look at the average cash price for a 5-kilowatt system before factoring in tax credits and incentives, according to data from But your system might become more expensive if you choose to include Solar Batteries or additional equipment in your purchase.

Can solar panels save you money?

Interested in understanding the impact solar can have on your home? Enter some basic information below, and we’ll instantly provide a free estimate of your energy savings.

Ohio solar panel costs

System size (kW)Price per wattTotal cost
5 $3.41$17,050

How to pay for solar panels in Ohio

As with any major purchase, you will want to think about where the money for the panels will come from. And the money from the tax credit won't be yours until after you've filed your taxes for the year the panels are installed.

Here are some ways to pay for solar panels:

  • Solar loan: Your solar installer likely has a relationship with a bank or other financial institution to offer a loan designed for solar panels. This can be a great deal, but you'll want to get multiple offers to ensure the rates and terms are the best.
  • Cash: This is the simplest approach, but it works only if you happen to have tens of thousands of dollars sitting around in a bank account. If you don't have that yet, but you want solar panels in the future, consider saving money in a high-yield savings account. Interest rates are high right now, and this can help you save faster.
  • Personal loan: You can also borrow the money through a personal loan. The main difference between a personal loan and a home equity loan is that a personal loan is typically unsecured. That means your house isn't at risk. The downside is they tend to have shorter terms and higher interest rates than home equity products.
  • Home equity: You don't have to use a loan from your solar company. Financial institutions offer home equity loans and lines of credit, aka HELOCs, that are commonly used for home improvement projects. These loans can be used for basically any purpose, and they may be a good fit for your solar project. Shop around and make sure you're getting the best deal.

Ohio solar panel incentives and rebates

Adding solar panels to your home is a considerable investment, even with decreased solar prices. Solar tax credits and incentives make choosing green energy more affordable in Ohio. The federal solar tax credit, known as the Residential Clean Energy Credit, offers 30% of the cost of a solar system as a credit when you file your taxes. The credit applies to solar systems purchased from the beginning of 2022 through 2032.

Ohio offers additional incentives from the state and local governments. The following are a few you should know. 

Ohio solar incentives

Energy Conservation for Ohioans (ECO-Link) A 3% interest rate reduction on loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy home upgrades, including solar systems.
Net metering A program where excess energy generated from your solar system is sold back to the utility company for credits on your next electricity bill. Check with your local utility company for net metering details.
Qualified Energy Property Tax Exemption Owners or lessees of renewable clean energy projects, like solar systems, may qualify for property tax exemptions. Qualified Energy Projects are exempt from taxation if the project meets exemption requirements.
Residential Clean Energy Credit Apply through the IRS for a 30% federal tax credit for solar systems installed from the beginning of 2022 through 2032. The credit decreases to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034. Unless it's renewed, the credit expires in 2035.

The best solar panel companies in Ohio 

According to the Solar Energy Industry Association, Ohioans have 56 solar installers. Some solar companies hire installers, while others keep the entire process in-house. Ask your selected solar company about its process, so you know who to contact from start to finish. We narrowed down the best solar companies in Ohio based on industry trends and customer reviews. 

ADT Solar

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Founded in 2011, ADT Solar installs solar panels and batteries in 24 US states. The solar company prioritizes customer satisfaction with a 25-year manufacturer warranty and a 25-year production guarantee. Additionally, ADT Solar provides a price-match guarantee to ensure you get the best market price. 

ADT Solar installs quality name-brand products like the Tesla Powerwall and Enphase microinverters. The company offers solar systems for cash purchases or solar loans. ADT does not offer solar leases or PPAs.

As one of the largest solar companies in the US, Palmetto Solar also installs solar systems in Ohio. The company is committed to making green energy accessible to homeowners and businesses by offering many financing options, including cash purchases, solar leases and PPAs. Choose from top solar panel manufacturers like Q Cells and REC Alpha, which include a 25-year performance warranty. 

Palmetto's digital experience differentiates the company by providing online access to your solar system's information. Utilize the Palmetto Solar account to track your performance, receive insights and request support.  

Founded in 1985, SunPower is CNET's pick for best overall solar company. You can view potential money savings with a free online solar system estimate and consultation.

Financing options from SunPower include cash purchase, solar lease or solar loan. Solar system products come from top manufacturers, including Maxeon and Enphase, with a 25-year system warranty. 

Local Ohio solar installers

You don't have to go with a major national company to install your solar panels. Many smaller, local companies offer solar panel installation and other services. Here are a couple we found.

Ohio Power Solutions

Ohio Power Solutions is a family-owned local solar installer headquartered in London, Ohio. The company serves cities such as Columbus, Dayton and surrounding areas. Its goal is to provide accessible and affordable solar products to meet customers' needs. 

Ohio Power Solutions installs Silfab and Q Cell solar panels, which both come with at least a 25-year warranty on the products. Solar battery options include SolarEdge and Enphase. The company includes a 15-year quality-of-work warranty for proper installation and service. The main benefit of choosing a local, family-owned installer is that the entire solar installation process is completed in-house, from sale to activating your system, instead of having subcontractors or other companies involved. 


Since 2009, Yellowlite has provided solar energy systems to residential and commercial customers in Ohio. Start with a free consultation and evaluation detailing recommended products, system size and 30-year potential savings.

Yellowlite's certified professionals install name-brand products from companies like LG, SunPower and Tesla. The company offers a 10-year quality-of-work warranty in addition to the solar products manufacturer warranty.

Read more: Want something smaller than a whole-home solar system? See our picks for the best portable solar panels and solar generators.

Installation factors to consider

Here are five things to consider when deciding if installing a solar system is right for you. Consider what type of solar panel system you want. Among other differences, some solar panels are more efficient than others.

Are you a homeowner or renter? Homeowners have more decision-making power than renters when it comes to making changes to the property. Solar options for renters include community solar programs, which are subscription-style services from companies like Arcadia.
Where is your home located? Solar panels work best when they absorb direct sunlight for at least four hours daily. The panels will generate less energy if your home is shaded most of the day.
What is the condition of your roof? Installers should inspect your roof before you move forward to determine any required maintenance and repairs.
Do you need to consider HOA or neighborhood rules? HOAs are allowed to restrict or prohibit solar panels in Ohio. Review your HOA or other neighborhood association rules regarding solar devices before installation.
Have you checked your insurance coverage? Check if your homeowner's insurance policy includes solar panels. If not, contact your agency.

Ohio solar panels FAQs

Updated on June 8, 2023

Written by  Faith Foushee
CNET staff -- not advertisers, partners or business interests -- determine how we review the products and services we cover. If you buy through our links, we may get paid. Reviews ethics statement
Faith Foushee CNET Contributor
Faith Foushee is a CNET contributor and a writer for our sister publication, covering energy-efficient products, renewables and other energy topics. She enjoys learning about new energy technology and helping others save money. Faith graduated from High Point University with a bachelor's degree in strategic communication.
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