2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Athens, OH - Tax Credits & Rebates

In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Athens.

You'll learn about:

  • Local & State Solar Incentives
  • Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
  • Ways to optimize your solar investment

Solar installers are experts in maximizing your solar tax credits and rebates.
Get a free quote from one of our trusted Athens solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated January 20, 2023

Why you can trust EcoWatch

We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other site has covered renewables as long as us, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites. Our rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Athens?

Hamilton County - Home Improvement Program

Incentive Type:
Loan Program
$50,000

Local Option - Special Energy Improvement Districts

Incentive Type:
PACE Financing
Low-interest, 30-year loan

Energy Conservation for Ohioans (ECO-Link) Program

Incentive Type:
Loan Program
Rate reduction available for up to $50,000 and 7 years of the bank loan

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates Program (SRECs)

Incentive Type:
Solar Renewable Energy Credit Program
SREC prices vary based on market conditions

Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

Incentive Type:
Personal Tax Credit
30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.

Source: https://www.dsireusa.org/


Solar incentives are designed to make renewable energy usage more affordable through financial incentives for individuals who install solar panels on their homes. Solar incentives might include cash back, upfront discounts or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are given by the federal government, some by the Ohio government and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Types of solar incentives might include:

  • Net Metering: You may be able to sign a net metering agreement with your Athens utility company, that may apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity your solar panels generate. Your utility company will then deduct this value from your monthly utility bill.
  • Rebates: Rebates, or partial refunds after a purchase, are usually given before any solar tax credits are calculated. Rebates may be offered by your local utility company, by your county or by your state.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar performance-based incentives are typically handled by your state government. Once your solar system meets a certain threshold (normally a small amount of energy production), you can receive SRECs that can be sold to your utility company or other buyers. The money you make is generally considered part of your taxable income.
  • Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the government. (This is different from a tax deduction.)
  • Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions may come in one of two forms. The first is sales tax exemption, applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to ignore the value added by your solar system when paying property tax on your home.

Federal Solar Incentives

Federal incentives are the kind of incentives that you are most likely to have some knowledge of. It's likely that you've heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. The ITC is a tax credit equal to a predetermined percentage of the money you spend installing solar panels.

The ITC can be applied to the total cost of installing solar panels, including the panels themselves as well as equipment, accessories and labor. You can claim this credit for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence located in the United States that you own. Originally set at 30% of total costs, the credit has fluctuated over time, and you may qualify for different amounts depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum claim amount.

Curious how the ITC might apply to your specific situation? Reach out to your local Athens solar panel installer to get more information.

The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, made some changes to the ITC (as well as renaming it to the Clean Energy Credit). Under the new program, solar installation projects begun after January 1, 2022 and finished by December 31, 2032 can qualify for a 30% tax credit. This percentage will then decrease slightly each year until the end of the current Clean Energy Credit in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.

Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you, reach out to your local Athens solar installation company.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Tax credits, rebates and more can be claimed at multiple levels. Along with federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones as well. Some incentives are ongoing, while others are offered for only a limited time. Your local incentives might come from your county or municipality, or from the Ohio government.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Athens

Solar incentives may be provided by the federal government, the Ohio government or your local utility company. The growing number of solar incentives available has helped nationwide use of solar energy increase greatly in the last 15 years. If you're prepared to make the switch to solar energy, talking to your local Athens solar panel installation expert is an excellent place to start.

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Solar Financing

Blue Raven Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent reputation
  • Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
4.5

  • Price-match guarantee
  • Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
  • Best solar battery on the market
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

EcoWatch's Athens, OH Solar Incentives FAQs

What are the highest-rated solar panel installation companies near me?

To discover the best solar panel installation companies near you, take a look at our article on the top solar companies in Athens.

How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?

The Clean Energy Credit (previously referred to as the federal solar tax credit, or ITC), currently ends on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.

I want to trade in my old appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any incentives I can apply for?

With the passage of the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are a number of new financial incentives to encourage you to make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details about these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.

Can I claim incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?

The order in which incentives are applied might vary depending on which incentives you receive but in most cases yes, you can claim multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Check with your solar installer or a local tax professional to be sure you are claiming all possible incentives and applying them in the correct order.

Can I use a combination of multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?

You can use multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy, to power your home. Be sure to talk through your ideas with your local Athens solar installation expert. They can help you plan your project and educate you on the various incentives that you will or won't qualify for.

Our goal is to reach as many people as we can with sensible solutions like solar energy. Our team of full-time local researchers collects solar price and installation data for every city in America then compiles it to create these digestible city guides. If you want to read our solar expert's opinion on the top solar companies featured here, follow this link.

Solar incentive research was conducted by Melissa Smith and Karsten Neumeister. Local data analysis was conducted by James Savino. See something we missed or could do better? Email the editor.

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